Parenting Vivian | 26 Apr 2011 07:26 pm

Ways to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

16-year-old Jamie Lynn Spears, star of TV show “Zoey 101″, is having a baby. How can that affect your family?

The United States has the highest teen pregnancy in the Western World. To make matters worse we have these teen celebrities that our kids look up to getting pregnant. Although I am glad that Jamie Lynn decided to keep her baby, I ‘m really concern about the impact her actions is going to have in our teens. As we all know, celebrities are role models that influence our society, specially our vulnerable youth, whether they like or not, whether they intend to or not.

When Jamie Lynn’s pregnancy news came out, MTV wrote an article about it and created a poll and comment section on this article for people to give their opinion on the matter, and this is what some of our teens had to say about it:

- “I think she has done nothing wrong… she is not doing anything wrong at all..i am glad she is just ignoring everyone and remembering the only thing that matters is her and that baby”

- “So what, everyone has their irresponsible moments. We all do it sooner or later. All because she’s pregnant doesn’t mean people should be jumping down her throat about it cause she’s a celebrity, she’s the same as every other pregnant person. But still, I hope for the very best for her & her boyfriend & that everything works out okay. Honestly, I hope she’s ready for this because this is more bigger than being a celebrity.”

- “I feel some of the people’s comments on here, are not as open-minded as they should be in this day in age. Some of you obviously don’t realize that you have sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, and whatnot that have unprotected sex, intentional or not. Sure, I agree with your opinions on the topic that she is too young. So was I, so was alot of teenagers had their first child or sexual experince. You people can NOT blame Jamie-Lynn for portraying a “bad image” for being pregnant! Simply because, look at the television nowadays! Seriously, sex, sexually eplict scenes, and teenage pregnancy is EVERYWHERE. And what’s sad is that even though you don’t realize it at the time children and teenagers see something sexual on the tv all the time, it’s even in the cartoons that they play for kids. Think about it…. teletubies and spongebob are a few that come straight to mind with me. It’s in the schools, it’s in books, it’s in the minds of teenagers trying to deal with their raging hormones. You people need to lighten up, because when I was 15 and younger, I swore to remain virgin until marriage. Uh, yeah, things happen and change. when I was 16 it “happened”, and when I was 17 I got pregnant. Due to mishappens and tons of haunting pains I lost my child. And seeing some of you people mock Jamie because of her pregnancy sickens me, simply because I would give ANYTHING in the world to have my child. Who are you people to say when she is ready to have sex and not or anyone for that matter?….”

- “I think that she is brave, i’m seventeen and i have a 7 1/2 month baby, and it is hard, but Jamie is brave, people need to support her, not berate her.”

To read MTV’s complete story on Jamie Lynn’s pregnancy you may go to:

I don’t know about you, but when I finished reading this article I was alarmed at what some of our teens had to say about Jamie Lynn’s pregnancy. There were some speculations about whether or not the show was going to be off the air after the news broke out, but as you probably already know, it didn’t. A lot of outrage mothers have taking the step to prohibit their kids from watching the show, and I don’t blame them.

I’m of the opinion that kids should be taught absolute abstinence until marriage. Teenagers are children themselves. They shouldn’t be having children even if they were married. If I had the opportunity, I would do anything in my power to discourage a teenage couple from having children while they are teens. They are at stage in their lives where they’re the most selfish and are not equip emotionally, physically, mentally, and in some many other ways to take care of a baby. They have so much more growing to do, and so much yet to learn, specially, learning a skill, trade, or profession that would allow them the income necessary to support their family. There is a new reality show on TV called “Baby Borrowers”. Finally a reality show that can teach our kids a valuable lesson! In the show a couple of teenagers that are thinking about having a baby are given the opportunity to borrow someone else’s baby for a couple of weeks. There they have the opportunity to play house and see how it’s really like to have a family, go to work and take care of the kids. The teens on the show are having a major eye opening experience, many having melt downs and wanting to quit and go home. The show is still being aired on NBC on Wednesdays 9/8c. We can save our children from a lot trouble and heartache and help their future to be a brighter one. I say, have your kids watched this show, tape it or buy the DVD, because they can really get a dose of reality when they see the struggle this group of teens go trough trying to take care of a baby and a household at their age.

According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Babies born in the U.S. to teenage mothers are at risk for long-term problems in many major areas of life, including school failure, poverty, and physical or mental illness. Babies born to teenagers are at risk for neglect and abuse because their young mothers are uncertain about their roles and may be frustrated by the constant demands of caretaking. A child born to a teenage mother is also seen to be at a disadvantage in society. Newborns of teen mothers tend to have a lower birth weight. As they get older, they are more likely to do poorly in school and have a greater chance of experiencing abuse and neglect. It has been found that sons of teenage mothers are more likely to wind up in prison. Daughters of teen mothers have an increased risk of experiencing a teenage pregnancy themselves. Not to mention the impact it has on the young mother.

We parents can help prevent teenage pregnancy through open communication and by providing guidance to our children about sexuality, and the risks and responsibilities of intimate relationships and pregnancy.

Studies have found that teens that have a good relationship with their parents are less likely to experience a pregnancy. If you have not yet discussed the subjects of sexuality and pregnancy with your teen, now is the time to do so, especially if they are females and a fan of “Zoey 101″. Make sure your teen understands that there is a difference between them and Jamie Lynn Spears. Jamie Lynn has already established a very lucrative carrier, and has the means to support herself and her baby at the age of 16, which it is not the fate of the thousands and thousands of teens who get pregnant every year.

Let’s be proactive. Let’s take a stand and not cross our fingers and hope that something like this doesn’t happen to our family. Let’s do whatever it takes to prevent this from happening to one of our children. I know it is not easy, and it could feel very awkward to sit down and discuss sex and pregnancy with our children, but they need desperately that we do so. I remember when I was a teen my parents never discussed sex and pregnancy with me, but fortunate for me, my grandmother did one day. And she did it in a very informal way, but I got it and it stuck with me all trough my high school years and beyond. I still remember her words. She said: “you know, there is going to be a time when boys are going to like you, and will tell you that they love you, and a lot of other things to get you in bed with them. But remember this, a boy that proposes that to you does not respect you, and must likely after they get what they want, they will dump you and move on to the next. They might even ridicule you and laugh at you after. They might even tell your pears about it, and give you a bad reputation in school. And worse, you can even get pregnant and get dumped.” Those words was all it took for me to remain pure. Sure, there were times when hormones were ragging and temptation was great, but I just had to remember little old grandma’s words and good sense would suddenly come back to me. Now-a-days it might take a lot more conversation than that, and there are more risks to discuss besides an unexpected pregnancy, such as, sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) and HIV, but once you’ve done, it will be all worth it. Don’t hesitate to talk to your kids about sex, pregnancy, STD’s, HIV, and other possible risks. They need you to do so today.

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