Since: Jul 12

Oceana, WV

#1 Jun 15, 2013
My mother had her first child when she was 16. My first child was born right after I turned 20. My daughter had her first (only) child at 18.

"What the heck is wrong with you people!?" I imagine people think this when they realize how close in age our generations are. I often am accused to being my daughter's sister and my mother was been accused of being mine. People see me with my grandchild and think that she is my child, since it is more normal for 40 year old people to have toddler children instead of 20 yr. old children. I imagine we are often judged as "unable to learn our lesson" or perhaps we pass on our inability to avoid having sex before being married. I know the evidence supports this view - but.. I am testifying that the real explanation is 1000 different explanations that all add up to the same result: no matter how we tried to prevent it, nothing worked!

Teen pregnancy is IN YOUR FACE. If you are not seeing it, you should look in a few other places - in my town, it is common and predictable. But I couldn't predict my OWN daughter's actions - I actively corrected all the mistakes MY mother made and still we found ourselves facing these choices: abortion, adoption, parenting.

How has teen pregnancy effected your life? Why do you think it has become so common now? Is my town unique, or is this common to see everywhere? What are your ideas for controlling teen pregnancies? What are you ideas for the children of teen mothers? Show me some Bible verses, Christians!
Dave P

Lexington, KY

#2 Jun 15, 2013
ASM, I plan on answering this post full steam sometime tomorrow evening. Just got in from work, long day ahead tomorrow. Teen pregnancy affects my family too. All I say for now is grace and love.
Dave P

Lexington, KY

#3 Jun 16, 2013
Awesome_Steve_Monkey wrote:
How has teen pregnancy effected your life? Why do you think it has become so common now? Is my town unique, or is this common to see everywhere? What are your ideas for controlling teen pregnancies? What are you ideas for the children of teen mothers? Show me some Bible verses, Christians!
I believe societal change is the big issue. Years ago arranged marriages, teenage pregnancy was common and expected. What has happened is that society, societal expectations, life expectancy has all changed.

*Kids hit puberty from around 12 years old-give or take a couple either way.
*Life expectancy in ancient Israel around 40-45 years old; today it is 70-80ish.
*Infant mortality rates were very high then; very low now.

Bible times, couples who were teens had arranged marriages, became adults at 12-13 years old; and had as many children as possible as quickly as possible, knowing some of them would not survive.

Today, we still consider them "kids" until 22-25; many aren't mature until then, if not later or EVER; Kids are in junior high/middle school at 12; kids are expected to finish high school, college, get a job before marriage and raising a family today. We expect kids to withhold their sexual urges for 10-15 years at least before it's "acceptable" for marriage, sex, and children.

I believe that is a recipe for failure.

You won't find Bible verses about teenage pregnancy because it wasn't an issue then. It is now. I do not suggest that we should go back "to the good ol' days" either.

With our completely insane society today, even if two teens married and had children in high school (I do remember one case of that happening in HS), would they even stay together since everyone gets divorced nowadays?

*One piece of advice I would have is this-we need to remember that these are people and babies involved. Calling these girls nasty names serves no purpose. And why does the boy get a pass and the girls get black-listed?

*Temptation is hard for all of us to deal with. Yet we expect 16 year olds with raging hormones to control theirs? I believe God made us the way we are for a reason. I think teenage pregnancy is a problem because of man's "infinite worldly wisdom".

The only solution I see is this-teach God's standards on sex and marriage, pray, and show love and grace in all situations.

Since: Jul 12

Oceana, WV

#4 Jun 17, 2013
Dave: I believe societal change is the big issue. Years ago arranged marriages, teenage pregnancy was common and expected. What has happened is that society, societal expectations, life expectancy has all changed.

*Kids hit puberty from around 12 years old-give or take a couple either way.
*Life expectancy in ancient Israel around 40-45 years old; today it is 70-80ish.
*Infant mortality rates were very high then; very low now.

ASM: So you are saying that teen pregnancy was as common in the Bible as it is today - but for a variety of different reasons? Birth control changed everything - and that was not so long ago. I have observed a steady increase in number of young mothers throughout my life and I am curious if this situation is as common elsewhere as it is in this secluded mountain town.

When I became a young mom, I had to face scorn. Here and now, getting pregnant at a young age is POPULAR - teens' futures seem so bleak - they better not wait until the world is over to get on with their lives. They look around and realize that any fool can have kids - they are anxious to prove that they can do it better than their parents or their friends.

Is that how it is in your town?

Dave:Bible times, couples who were teens had arranged marriages, became adults at 12-13 years old; and had as many children as possible as quickly as possible, knowing some of them would not survive.

ASM: Back then, teen pregnancy was reasonable - today it is irresponsible. In many ways, you can correct life's errors and keep your life pretty much the same - adoption and abortion allow the same option for pregnant teens. I can't express how hard it is to choose one of those options - so hard, I wouldn't do it - here and now, teens don't spend much time considering them.

The hard part about opposing abortion is raising all those kids you "saved".

Dave: Today, we still consider them "kids" until 22-25; many aren't mature until then, if not later or EVER; Kids are in junior high/middle school at 12; kids are expected to finish high school, college, get a job before marriage and raising a family today. We expect kids to withhold their sexual urges for 10-15 years at least before it's "acceptable" for marriage, sex, and children.

I believe that is a recipe for failure.

ASM: I will continue your logic and suggest: encouraging young people to sign a legal contract that lasts until FOREVER could also be a recipe for failure.

Dave: You won't find Bible verses about teenage pregnancy because it wasn't an issue then. It is now. I do not suggest that we should go back "to the good ol' days" either.

With our completely insane society today, even if two teens married and had children in high school (I do remember one case of that happening in HS), would they even stay together since everyone gets divorced nowadays?

ASM: In this town, children do marry and have children in HS - or maybe they have children and still live at home - or maybe they forget about school, get a public apartment and decide to immediately become an adult - without support - since you don't really need support, the government supports teens and their babies. I know it makes taxpayers angry to hear that, but it is true.

Since: Jul 12

Oceana, WV

#5 Jun 17, 2013
Dave:*One piece of advice I would have is this-we need to remember that these are people and babies involved. Calling these girls nasty names serves no purpose. And why does the boy get a pass and the girls get black-listed?

ASM: Well, Dave, one benefit from having lived my life is that I am immune to other people's opinion of me. This skill was developed BECAUSE I have experienced scorn - for those who judge me poorly, I understand that they are acting on the influences of their lives and so I appreciate how they are feeling even if I disagree. My advice is also: don't act rotten towards pregnant teens - but in case you do anyway, realize that your words come too late and you are facing someone who was brave enough to face you with a scarlet B on her belly. Young men don't necessarily have to be brave.

Dave:*Temptation is hard for all of us to deal with. Yet we expect 16 year olds with raging hormones to control theirs? I believe God made us the way we are for a reason. I think teenage pregnancy is a problem because of man's "infinite worldly wisdom".

The only solution I see is this-teach God's standards on sex and marriage, pray, and show love and grace in all situations.

ASM: I think teen pregnancy is a problem because we don't like to take responsibility for the children that other people irresponsibly create. Speaking as one who has taken on much responsibility for my little grandchild - I'd have to agree: it is a PROBLEM. But - the support I give my daughter is much like paying a debt to my parents - and since my support is personal and the results are seen with my own eyes, I am able to do it all with a smile on my face. Those people supporting teen pregnancy with tax dollars are NOT smiling.

I'm sure God has some good ideas about sex, marriage, praying, love, and grace - what are they, Dave?
Dave P

Lexington, KY

#6 Jun 17, 2013
ASM: So you are saying that teen pregnancy was as common in the Bible as it is today - but for a variety of different reasons? Birth control changed everything - and that was not so long ago. I have observed a steady increase in number of young mothers throughout my life and I am curious if this situation is as common elsewhere as it is in this secluded mountain town.

When I became a young mom, I had to face scorn. Here and now, getting pregnant at a young age is POPULAR - teens' futures seem so bleak - they better not wait until the world is over to get on with their lives. They look around and realize that any fool can have kids - they are anxious to prove that they can do it better than their parents or their friends.

Is that how it is in your town?

Dave- I live in northeastern Kentucky. There isn't much difference between KY and Pineville, WV (where is that anyway?). Teenage pregnancy very common here as well, kind of a backwards economy and depressed area.

ASM: Back then, teen pregnancy was reasonable - today it is irresponsible. In many ways, you can correct life's errors and keep your life pretty much the same - adoption and abortion allow the same option for pregnant teens. I can't express how hard it is to choose one of those options - so hard, I wouldn't do it - here and now, teens don't spend much time considering them.

The hard part about opposing abortion is raising all those kids you "saved".

Dave- I will agree that teen pregnancy today is irresponsible. I will not call it "one of life's errors" that can be "corrected" and life remains the same. That is not true. Ask my sister-teenage mother, had an abortion; still repercussions from both events. Both were over 20 years ago. Life isn't the same for her.

We had a man who used to post here, Johnny Marrs. Him and his wife both had family issues. These lasted for years. Johnny's wife only recently found her birth mother. They spent years looking.

ASM, I don't consider people mistakes, or one of life's errors that can be corrected. Did you ever entertain the thought that the child just might be the correction, the blessing to come from the mistake? And if not a blessing for the birth mother, how about for another?

I will not badmouth any woman who gives up a child for adoption to give it a better life, a chance to be loved, etc.
Dave P

Lexington, KY

#7 Jun 17, 2013
ASM: I will continue your logic and suggest: encouraging young people to sign a legal contract that lasts until FOREVER could also be a recipe for failure.

Dave- We don't take the idea of marriage seriously enough here. We give lip service to "till death do us part", when the truth is, 1-5 years in many are ready to trade up. Look at how you worded this: A LEGAL CONTRACT THAT LASTS UNTIL FOREVER.

ASM, we're talking about marriage, not a cell phone contract! These young people also have no idea how devastating divorce is.

ASM: Well, Dave, one benefit from having lived my life is that I am immune to other people's opinion of me. This skill was developed BECAUSE I have experienced scorn - for those who judge me poorly, I understand that they are acting on the influences of their lives and so I appreciate how they are feeling even if I disagree. My advice is also: don't act rotten towards pregnant teens - but in case you do anyway, realize that your words come too late and you are facing someone who was brave enough to face you with a scarlet B on her belly. Young men don't necessarily have to be brave.

Dave- good points. I agree. It takes guts to go into the world marked in such a way. Guys get the easy way at times.

ASM: I think teen pregnancy is a problem because we don't like to take responsibility for the children that other people irresponsibly create. Speaking as one who has taken on much responsibility for my little grandchild - I'd have to agree: it is a PROBLEM. But - the support I give my daughter is much like paying a debt to my parents - and since my support is personal and the results are seen with my own eyes, I am able to do it all with a smile on my face. Those people supporting teen pregnancy with tax dollars are NOT smiling.

Dave- I like this post, agree with it much, and am glad you find some joy and love helping your family out. I do agree that this stuff is a problem.

I must admit, when it comes to the tax dollar issue, teen pregnancy is at the very bottom of my list of complaints. How many of those angry taxpayers will voluntarily help pregnant teens? Few. All those tea-partiers out there, will they really volunteer to help the less fortunate in their community? Or is it all talk? How many want smaller government-until their trash service or social security check is gone?

How many times is "charity" dictated to those we feel truly "deserve" it? A teenage girl knocked up won't get very much sympathy.

The angry taxpayers don't care enough to vote out the crooks who profit off of them, but how dare some welfare case get my money!

It's hypocritical of us to complain about irresponsible girls having babies at 16 when the irresponsible voters have helped create the very system that perpetuates the problems. You mentioned birth control-all of the "Great Society" stuff LBJ started, the "War on Poverty" you and I have seen firsthand in KY and WV, and in Va-all keeps us in the mire.
Dave P

Lexington, KY

#8 Jun 17, 2013
I'm sure God has some good ideas about sex, marriage, praying, love, and grace - what are they, Dave?

This will have to wait til tomorrow.

Since: Jul 12

Oceana, WV

#9 Jun 19, 2013
It is cold to hear words like error, regret, mistake, or accident to refer to innocent children - I meant the act of creating children without a thought or plan of what to do with them when they arrive. I used to be very touchy about those words, but I have had to reflect on how true they might be.

This is how the times are a-changing. My mother quickly married her HS sweetheart - they are still married. I married someone other than my child's biological father several years later who adopted my child - replacement father - we are still married. My daughter has no intentions of marrying anyone and her child is shuffled between families, being shared so that she has 4 "homes". This is not a teen pregnancy issue - it's more of a marriage issue.

Abortion is always an option - a way to correct an err in judgement - a way to prevent another child born with a list of disadvantages. My "friends" though I was foolish to NOT have an abortion - several of them had their own abortions - and I can only accept that end result of my pregnancy and theirs was probably in the best interest of each of those children. The difference is the attitude the mothers have towards their children.

I wouldn't suggest abortion to anyone because it causes terrible psychological effects to the MOTHER. The child lost was a shame, but I do believe that if a woman willingly has an abortion it is a clear indication that she does not consider herself ready to be a parent. I'm concerned, though, about the young girls who find themselves doing whatever it takes to quiet the adults who have taken over making decisions for them. I'm concerned about teens who see abortion as a "quick fix" to a problem that was going to "ruin her life" otherwise. When any person experiences multiple life-changing events - conception and death combined - it brings on strong emotions that must be handled, or more likely, denied and stored to handle at a later point in that person's life, like when that person experiences ANOTHER conception or death. Teens generally do not take heed to the suggestion of future harm.

Then there is adoption - more difficult and more psychologically damaging than abortion - UNLESS those strong emotions that come with the experience are dealt with properly so that the girl is not forever haunted by what "could" have been. Through adoption, that IS more likely to happen - adoptive parents are often so grateful for being given a child that they go the extra mile to see that the mother is not damaged by what has happened. That is a modern concept, so I'll go so far to say that at least adoption has IMPROVED through my lifetime. Finding "birth parents" is fairly common for young people today - that's psychological healing for the children.

Since: Jul 12

Oceana, WV

#10 Jun 19, 2013
The result of teen pregnancy is children one way or another. Are they the blessings? Of course! My accidental kid was exactly what I needed - I would not be who I am now without the experience - and I accept and I am pleased with how my life has been. Becoming a surprise parent motivates people to take control of a life they may not have been controlling well before. But ultimately: that child was brought to the world financially, culturally, and socially disadvantaged because a teenager thought it was a good idea.

And so, it is what it is. It is easy to disassociate myself from the problem, since I'm already actively caring for an actual result of a teen pregnancy - what else could I possibly be doing? There are a lot of public services to accommodate babies and young mothers - to promote continued education and see to it that the children are being cared for properly. These programs were intended to protect the innocent children, but young mothers use them as a resource to support the children they may have otherwise aborted or adopted out. So, by handling the problem, are we increasing the problem?

What can be done to decrease the number of teens who are faced with these life-changing options? I thought I had taken the bull by the horns by being open, blunt, and honest to my children about sex - it didn't work! What does?

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