And then Comes a Baby with a Baby Carriage: The The Great Influence of Parents
“During the last quarter century, the rate of teenage pregnancy has been declining in Canada” (Dryburgh). In 1997, approximately 41,000 women between the ages 15 to 19 faced pregnancy, some of which gave birth, and others chose abortion. However, the year 2006 has turned the tables around, and countries such as America are experiencing a sudden increase in adolescent pregnancies. There are many causes of teenage pregnancy, such as the lack of contraceptives, lack of awareness and pure pressure. Aside from the obvious factors in relation to this topic, parenting also plays an immense role in teenage pregnancy.
This issue has introduced a new global concern to the all of us, especially to parents. Unfortunately some parents believe that they hold no power over their child’s decisions about sex, as their voice has been lost in the buzz of peers and popular culture. In the year 2000, the total rate of teen pregnancy in Canada was 38,600, 38 in 1000 and 821,810 in the United States. Amongst examination, teenage pregnancy is indefinitely caused by poor relationships between teens and their parents and, frequently, their parenting styles. Teenage pregnancy may be the result of lack of love and concern from parents, single parents or absent parents, and permissive parenting styles.
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The feeling of comfort and security is a feeling which should always be available between a child and his or her parent’s. The ages 13 to 19 are very sensitive years, and adolescents are incredibly easily influenced. It is very easy for teenagers to fall through the cracks, and demonstrate behaviors that will affect them negatively. Parents have strong authority over their children on many decisions, especially sexual relations. However, some parents don’t obtain a strong bond with their children, and barely ever discuss the topic. According to a national campaign in 2002, 69% of students agree that it would be much easier for kids to postpone sexual activity and avoid teen pregnancy if they are able to have more open, honest conversations about these topics with their parents. Some parents don’t communicate with their offspring, and are not involved with their lives. Many parents find it hard to talk about sex with their children, but it is very important to break the silence and for parents to mention their sexual attitudes and values. Parents, who don’t show a concern of teenage pregnancy, may cause them to lose their children to the issue.
Overly strict parents can also be the cause of teenage conception. Many parents give commands, but no opinions. Many strict families refuse to converse with their children about sex. They simply think that it is wrong and not a part of their religion- end of discussion. Completely banning such things will lead to curiosity and promiscuity. In addition, the teen will refuse to go to their parents for advice about the topic out of fear, and will soon turn to friends. As a 14 year old boy has stated, “Many kids don’t feel comfortable talking to their parents, so they go to their friends and usually get bad advice”. Many parents establish an enemy-like persona, as apposed to a friendly one. For some teens, parents are the last people they would talk to about serious issues. In order to reduce the chance of teens having intercourse, parents need to build a strong relationship with their kids.
Many parents are just simply distanced from their children. Some parents don’t spend enough time with their kids, and refuse to listen to their children. Parents aren’t supportive of their children, and don’t engage in activities together. A distanced relation will provide the child with lack of parental love. Lack of love, support and concern are all causes of teen pregnancy. Parents need to be clear about the value of abstinence and the dangers of unprotected sex. Parents need to provide clear messages, and show a strict, but opinionative, attitude about the subject. If teens have the parents, then the parents need to use their power and benefit their child.
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Statistics show that one in two couples get divorced. A large amount of these divorced couples have children together. Divorce is an intensely stressful experience for all children, regardless of age or developmental level. A 1980 study proved that less than 10% of children that had support from parents and other relatives during the stressful phase of divorce. Adolescents are prone to responding to their parent’s divorce with acute depression, suicidal ideation, and sometimes violent acting out episodes. Living with a single parent will create a change in the child’s behaviors. As one parent is playing the role of two, he or she will soon not have enough time for the child. A probable cause for this is lack of finance. When divorced, the expectations for appropriate behavior are usually decreased. Some teens may take advantage of the divorce, in mischievous ways. For instance, one may lie to their mother, saying that they are at their fathers place, and vice versa with their father; while indulging in a prohibited activity.
When divorced, the relationship between the offspring and the single parent commonly shatters. For one, the amount of time the child sees each parents is drastically reduced. As opposed to associating with both parents at the same time, the time that is spent with each parent is varied, depending on the custody ruling. Lastly, as mentioned earlier, the kid may take advantage of the situation and seek for self-pleasure, since their parents no longer have enough time for he or she. It is understood that parenting styles change, after a divorce or the loss of a spouse. The single parent may feel guilty and bad for the child, so the parent showers the kid with special gifts, or gives the child more freedom but less support. A female teenager in this situation might find herself with accessible freedom. Staying out late, performing sexual activities and trying to displace the stress with pleasure may all conquer in this case. Replacement can also be created by a single parent family, which may lead to intimate relationships that may, perhaps, get caught in the issue of teenage pregnancy.
A teenager, living in a single parent household may find him or herself trapped in a house where he or she is receiving only half the love and support that is desired. This fact mostly refers to girls. “I always hear all the other girls talking about how their father’s bought this for them, and did that for them. They tell me that when they want something, they ask their father’s because men are more easily going and easily convinced. I tried to get that love that was supposed to be provided from the father I never had, by getting a boyfriend. Who ever knew that the joke was on me”, shares a girl, 15 years of age. Being raised in a family with only once spouse, and missing another, more often fathers, the circumstances encourage teenage girls to replace the love by relationships (these can be ranged from non-platonic male acquaintances to boyfriends) with another male. In addition, many single parents, shoe self-indulgence on mature activities and behavior. For instance, many single mothers go out seeking for their own pleasure by going to clubs, bars or seeing different men. If this mother has a daughter, chances are she will be greatly influenced by her mother’s behavior. Just feeling supported and protected can mean a lot to a female in such terrible circumstances.
Aside from overwhelming family issues and loveless families, many average and well off families are allowing their young ones experience self-pleasure. Over the past few years, there has been an obvious increase in the amount of freedom adolscents are receiving from their parents. Parents are adapting a permissive parenting style, meaning that they are giving their kids excessive freedom. It is quite clear to indicate that in each generation teens are exposed to more freedom, which increases the chance of teen pregnancy. The headlines of young girls getting raped or going missing are frequently reported on the news. In today’s society, these illicit occurrences often happen in their homes. Freedom is one thing that should not be increased, especially for teenage girls. There are many gullible and easily fooled young women, who may succumb to peer pressure.
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This type of “Peer Pressure” does not refer to a young girl getting convinced by her friends into shoplifting or committing a light drug. In fact, the “peer pressure” shich seems to be most common is the pressure, given usually by males, to be put into horrific situations, such as teen sex. Parents seem to be saying “No” les frequently to their kids. What is not understood by most parents is that it’s not a matter of trusting your child, but a matter of trusting his or her peers and surroundings. The more a female goes out, the greater the chances of her going out with a male. Studies have shown that males think of sex every eight seconds , regardless if they are on a date or a casual meet. Girls need to be smart enough and not fall into their traps. Unfortunately most parents don’t see this, and still give their daughters all the freedom they wish for. The same goes for the parents of the young men fathering these offsprings. Many early intamte relationships end up pregnant, because their parents didn’t seem too concerned.
Many experts believe that permissive parenting is detrimental to the child. It is true, that children need to have freedom to experience and learn on their own. However, excessive freedom is not beneficial to the children. Studies have shown that children need stronger role models and rules to help mould their personality. A lot of parents adapt a permissive parenting style, because they believe their children will love them more, and build a better relationship with them. From the sound of it, permissive parents act this way due to insecurity. Unfortunately, what they don’t realize is that their parenting style is distancing them from their kids. According to a national study children tend to feel more secure when their parents establish rules for them. When parents give too much freedom, they give their child the idea that they can do anything they want, with no complaints from the guardians. They also tend to think that their parents are indifferent and anything he or she does will not affect the parent. According to experts, moderate permissive parenting is also possible, and seems to be the right way of parenting. It is okay for a child to make some of his or her own decisions. Parents influence their child’s decisions on many issues and decisions, such as sex. However, the child needs to be guided, by parents into learning the right way of making these certain decisions. Permissive parenting, when exercised in moderation, will in fact benefit the child.
Being loved, cared for and supported are all important parts of life. Being loved, cared for and supported by parents are essential parts of existence. Missing parts of life can break it apart. Parenting is one of life’s most challenging responsibilities, and must be done the right way, in order to succeed. Research, along with teen thoughts, makes it clear that parents can make a change in a teenager’s behavior. Parents seem to be lacking awareness and concern for their teens and lack of education from parents is available. If teens are not feeling loved by parents, they will seek for that love in a mate, which can lead to intimate relationships, and possibly to teenage pregnancy.
It is very important for parents to share close relationships with their kids, talk to them, be moderately permissive and portray a good role model. Parents should never underestimate the great need that children of all ages feel for their parent’s approval, guidance, and support. As a Miami father has shared, “Children have to know that there is someone out there for them always”. Parents also need to portray better role models, and try to avoid getting too caught up in their own lives, while excluding and influencing their kids. After examining the issue of teenage pregnancy, I have indicated that teenage pregnancy is the result of lack of love and concern from parents, single parents or absent parents, and permissive parenting styles. It is vital to society that we treasure its youth, because children, after all, are our future.