*~ Teen Mom~*

My husband tells me not to watch certain reality shows such as The Bad Girls Club and Jersey shore, he says my IQ just dropped. In a way I agree with him however, a friend of mine got me in to MTV’s Teen Mom a few months ago, and I just can’t bring myself to turn it off. I didn’t watch 16 and pregnant so I wasn’t sure of the original story line. (Teen mom being a spin off from that show). When I first started watching the show I kept thinking how immature these young girls were, and every week that I watch the show I think the same thing. Becoming a young parent is indeed very difficult however, seeing these young women makes me sad, our young men and women are having babies at a very early age and they are still babies themselves.  As I watch these girls I can’t help but wonder if they even notice the consequences of their actions. This is MTV of course so perhaps some things are made to be more dramatic. For example, one of the mothers Amber is physically abuse to her daughters father, they fight curse and scream in front of this little girl. What are these girls thinking, they are so angry with their lives and what it has become that their children suffer because of it. How can they teach their children morals and values if they don’t have any themselves? The show is not all drama, one the little girls was put up for adoption which made a lot of sense, and it does portray the harsh decisions young people must make.  I saw the finale and I just had to write about it, these kids don’t know anything about the real world. One of the girls Farrah complains about her mother all the time, she is so spoiled. Farrah’s mother charges her $200 a month for rent and she complains. I feel like writing to Farrah and saying Excuse me sweety but $200 is my food and metro card money for the week, so grow up, you are lucky you have your mother because some young girls don’t have anybody. Am I the only one who thinks these girls come across as being total immature idiots?

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8 Responses to *~ Teen Mom~*

  1. I have to agree with you. It really bothers me to see young moms who rely on parents or other family to take care of their babies. I can honestly say I know what it is like to be a teen mom. I became pregnant at 16 years old. I don’t recommend it for any teen its a very hard life. But I can honestly say if I had to do it over again I probably would do it all the same. I ended up marrying the baby’s dad at 17 and had 3 more kids with him. We were married for 11 years.
    Now my first point is, being a teen mom is not easy. My mom never raised my kids. She never babysat them without some sort of payment. (I wouldn’t have asked for free babysitting) Mom was not happy that I was pregnant but she helped me in any way that she could- giving me guidance and advice. She reminded me I was the mom when I wanted to go hang with friends and have her babysit. Back then I thought it was a little harsh but a few years later I understood why she did that. Have a child is a life time of selflessness and unconditional love. And that was the choice I had made when having a child. She was a gramma, not a second mom.
    My second point, Maybe I wasn’t the norm for a pregnant teen. I still went to public school (back then teen pregnancy was still in the shun stage) I did have a husband, he was 21 and I was 17 but he was probably more immature than I was. (he still is) My children are all from the same daddy and we were married for 11 years. That’s a really long time for marriage in general these days let alone a teen marriage.
    I notice that alot of today’s young teen moms many of them seem to think their kids are play toys to be passed off to what ever family member they can. And where are the dads in all this? either not around or to busy playing video games to take care of the kid.
    This past weekend I met a young girl for the first time. who is now part of my family- she had a baby with my nephew and he brought her home to meet his family for the first time. I have to give the girl alot of KUDOS because when I first met her I thought she was in her mid-twenty’s. While my nephew instead of spending time with his new baby would rather play video games. (he also has a 2 year old daughter who he only sees when this new girlfriend- the one who just had his baby) I have to say that she is an excellent mother.. and the kicker I found out she’s only 17. She takes care of her baby, doesn’t pawn him off on family. She even takes care of a 2 yr old who’s not her for the whole weekend.
    I think it is hard enough just being a teen mom and now the world wants to see ever aspect of it. I did what the show 16 and pregnant with my daughters. I thought the show would re-reinforce to them how hard it is to be a teen mom. I think it has but it has also showed them a lot of other things that teens face as they start to become young adults. Things like living on their own, getting a job, and how hard relationships can really be.
    I’m not the poster mom for teen pregnancy and I wouldn’t wish being a teen mom on anyone. But life does happen, teen make choices that sometimes they don’t realize will change their lives. I do hope that because I have experienced life as a teen mom I can offer experience and advice to young moms. I have done that in the past for my daughters friends who have become my “adopted” kids and grand babies.
    It was hard being a teen mom. I had to grow up over night. Now that I have teens myself I do still worry that one of them will come home and tell me they are pregnant. I know I probably wouldn’t be overly happy about it first. When teens become pregnant the first person people blame is the parents. Horrible parenting or parents who aren’t around. That’s not always true you can have the best role models in the world- Like I did but I was one of those rebellious girls who thought it would never happen to me! I do know that if they did become pregnant I would provide unconditional love, support and guidance to help them make the choices that are best for them.

  2. sdmychale9 says:

    I strongly agree. These moms are immiture. They say having a baby at an age like this makes a teen grow up over night. I strongly disagree with that. Look how Farrah picks fights with her parents and acts like a spoiled brat 24/7. Just because she has a baby doesn’t mean she’s now mature. She def. needs some sense knocked into her. I understand that there were problems between her and her parents. But the way se treats them she desrves nothing from them. She’s lucky it’s only $200 a month, because for most teen moms they would never have it that easy.

    One thing that makes me so angry is teen pregnancy. I’m from Syracuse and I went to college for a while at Oswego. Oswego although it is close to home, it is a very different town. I used to work for one of the elementary schools there, and saw so many teen moms. I’m not just talking like the common 4 or 5 girls from each grade. There are dozens and dozens of girls that are teen moms. The fab for Oswego students is that once they get to the age of rebelling, girls try to become pregnant so that they no longer have to attend school. You see 14-18 year olds walking their babies up and down Bridge street every day. It is discusting. None of these girls are mature enough at all especially if they chose to become pregnant to drop out of school. This town sickens me and I feel if you want to see a real teen mom’s series it should be filmed there. These girls get pregnant for the wrong reasons, they get caught up in drugs they run away from home so most of them are homeless. Then they try living off of wellfare. It might seem as if I’m being a little dramatic with this, which sadly I wish I was. I don’t understand what could be teaching these girls that it’s a col thing to do to become pregnant.

  3. Teen Mom hands down has to be one of my favorite shows on tv. I love that all of the mothers are truly unique (even though they all are in the same age range). Being that I work with new mothers of all ages (age 13 and up) I can tell you that all teen mothers are truly different. They come from various backgrounds. Some of the mothers are on there own from the moment that they tell there family that they are pregnant. Others are just on a 9 month break from being a teenager (then family, most of the time grandparents take over, even of it’s not b choice), and others handle their business and concentrate on making life better for them and there children. I myself am not here to judge any mother. But being 26 and the mother of an 18 month child, i can already foreshadow depending on what school I put my son in, me and the teacher are going to be the oldest people in parent teacher conference!

  4. floryduran says:

    Amy- I admire you both for telling you story w/ such honesty and bringing up how we all think we’re invincible when we’re young. None of us think we’ll get pregnant if we skip the protection just this once, or get raped if accept a ride from a stranger just this once etc. etc. I also admire you for writng a blog that rivals the length of many of mine (ha!)!
    The thing that really distubns me about 16 and pregnant/Teen Mom is that I think that the shows are genuinely trying to de-glamorize getting pregnant b/4 you’ve finished high school, but somehow, it just doesn’t seem to work. Teen pregnancy is on the rise. I don’t have the stats, I just know that an enormous # of my son’s friends (he’s 18) have either had kids or have fathered a few (one of them has 3 already and he’s 22& unemployed…whereabouts unknown. He apparently refused to wear condoms becuz he didn’t like them. Boo-Hoo! He was super-hot, so I guess he thought he’d get away w/it, which he did. I hope he gets old and shrivelled.) But geez, there are so many birth-control options now! When I was young and (I’m not going to lie) pretty darn “active”(like many of us were in the early’70s…there was a very, very short period of time when “free love” was a real ethic; in the progressive crowd, you didn’t get a “reputation”), all we had was the earliest form of the pill. And I swear, no one got pregnant…or at least, no one was walking around school w/ a baby bump (and they weren’t hiding. I knew everyone (so to speak). Somehow, we knew the consequences & were not at all ready to give up our freedom ( we hadn’t been to India, or backpacked Europe or travelled w/ a rock band…) I think we also knew that there was no way in **** that our parents wd help us out since we’d been the one’s who’d “played w/ fire.” Our little butts would have been out the door before we could even get the sentence out…but then, this was generation gap time.
    It just wasn’t the thing to do, it wasn’t “cool” or accepted the way it seems to be now. Sure, there were a few abortions, but no one I know suffered too many emotional scars becuz of it. No one I know wishes that they’d had that baby when she was 18 or 19. And we’d have been in heaven to be able to get a birth control injection or an implant or the choice to have 4 periods a years. It was just….different. I didn’t have a baby until I was 32 & had bn married for 3 years…I’d done everyting I wanted to do by then & was ready to settle down.
    Now, the girls that I meet thru my son (who always has condoms, whether we can afford them or not), think of getting preg like the child will always be a baby…like he/she will be perennially 1-2…like they will always be a tiny little kitten and never a big, cranky cat. When I hear the girls on 16 & Preg talk, they dont’ picture the 4-yr old “curtain climber,” or the smart-mouth adolescent, or the kid who has ADHD.
    It kind of reminds me of those girls you see on “Say Yes to the Dress,” or so many of the recent spate of “bride” films, where all the talk is of the wedding and very little thought is given to the 50 years that come after, when both of you are old and your bodies are falling apart.
    OF COURSE you fall in love w/ the tiny baby that they put in your arms. There is nothing that replaces the miracle of giving life. You just can’t imagine the 6 yr. old having a meltdown at the store or the 12 year old that gets caught smoking. And frankly, I cringe when I think of being tied in ANY way to the boys I thought were “all that” in high school.. You do so much of your growing & changing in your 20s.
    So even when MTV follows the girls into Teen Mom, they still have precious little toddlers, though few of their relationships last once the baby is born. And you’re right, the girls are often spoiled, helped like crazy by their parents, despite what the parents say when the girl is preg., They just can’t resist the cute little babies. But, of course, easy to say until iy hapens to you.
    I also hear so many of the girls talking about having something “all their own” or getting the unconditional love that the baby will bring them. But children are not supposed to fill your emotional gaps…you shd be there, a complete woman (to the extent that any of us are ever really “complete”…we all have issues) w/ life experience and wisdom to assist children as they grow.
    Of course, many teen moms do a wonderful job…and no one is ever going to say to somone they love,” I wish I hadn’t had you,” unless they’re exceptionally cruel. But even successful teen moms worry that their girl will come home and say that they’re 16 anf preg,too. Marriages at any time of life can work or not and children are a challenge, especially when you’ve got a ton of growing to do yourself.

  5. I was very moved by all your responses to this blog. This is the topic for my research paper so I actually know the statistic on growing teen pregnancy..it is 3%. This doesn’t seem very high but it actually is compared to the decline we were having. It is almost 400,000 per year. These young girls have no idea what is in store for them when they get pregnant or make the decision to have teen sex. They think that life is going to keep going the same except with a little baby to love them and for them to love. Like you said Susan, they don’t think of the colicky baby that you walk the halls with for hours on end or the teething or the overnights in Emergency Rooms with the little ones. They don’t think into the future for temper tantrums, braces, or puberty! Some of the research I have done has said that many of these teen moms are lacking in emotional support and they are born from single mothers who don’t give the emotional support due to the high stress of their lives. I see my single friends who have children struggle everyday, granted they are 28 years old and not 16 but no matter what age you are being a single parent is hard! I also came across a study done by the American Academy of Pediatrics and they found that something like 79% of the girls in High School who became pregnant thought that they would end up married to the fathers of their children. The actual number of girls who end up with the fathers of their children are less than 3%. If you are an avid watcher of Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant you would see that very rarely do these couples end up together. Catelynn and Tyler seem to be one of the only ones who have a good solid relationship and I think this is partly due to the fact that they had to go through the pain of giving their child up for adoption. Last week I saw the boy and girl who got married and I was shocked! I can’t imagine being bound to anyone I dated in high school! These kids often have tons of family support and this is good but on the other hand are we as parents making it more acceptable by being so supportive? My parents told me from a very early age what would happen if I ever “got in trouble” (can you tell we are Irish Catholic?). I would be sent to a home for unwed mothers and the child would have to be placed up for adoption or I could not come home. Did this fear my parents instilled in me stop me from having sex? Absolutely not! So I guess maybe it is a crapshoot, some of us get lucky and don’t get pregnant and then some of us end up not so lucky. Either way I think that being a teen pregnancy is something that should not be taken lightly and more needs to be done to help prevent it.

  6. sophie665 says:

    They come across as totally immature because they are. They have no idea what it takes to raise a child or even be responsible for themselves. My boyfriend tells me the same exact thing. My IQ drops when I watch these shows. Unfortunately some young girls believe it will be fun to have a baby at such a young age, especially when they see their friends doing it. I remember a friend I had when I was 16 who went off the pill and didn’t tell her boyfriend. She said it would be her way of keeping him around. She was wrong, he disappeared after the baby was 2 months old. Leaving her to raise her son, who was born with a handicap, all by herself. She never did go on to have any more children. Looking back I know she realizes how young and foolish she was.

  7. 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom are shows that I am most defenitly guilty of watching. I was actually watching a new epsiode of 16 and pregnant, thiswas the first episode I saw where the teens were rasiging their baby, findin a place to live, and fiancially supporting themselves without the help of parents. I am sure parents are not planning for their childrn to bless them with grandchildren when they are 16 years old but sometimes life just happens, however these shows potray teen pregnant and motherhood as a bit glamorized.
    I know some of you other ladies have touched on the fact that a few of the charaters in the show seem to be just fine, yes I am sure behind closed doors it is more difficult for them. For example Farrah & Maci seem to be doing fairly well for themselves (and I’m sure MTV is providing them with some type of finanacial support) both girls are driving around in nice cars, living in nice apartments and providing their children with toys and cute clothes. Someone else mentioned the girls using the children as “dolls” I think with making their outter appearance look good is covering up the inside, the scared feelings, embarrasing, and being disappointed in themselves.

    If I was a teen watching this show, lets say my mom wanted me to watch it in order to re-enforce teen pregnancy I am not sure I was be too scared. MTV focuses on the drama a lot and a times you can tell it is a little over the top. I think I at times watch this show to see if there will be a storey of moms who are being empowered by their pregnancy, and this episode I watached last night met that expectation.

  8. Rachel Klopp says:

    I think many of the teen moms on this show are acting for the camera. I also think it is very sad for these children who have never grown up without a camera in their face. I agree that it almost erases what was once taboo into a completely okay subject, but I also think that it does show a good insight into what teen motherhood is really like. They usually don’t stay with the father, they have to struggle with work and school, they have to live with their parents (if you watch the show, these girls don’t want to live off their parents; they have to), and they are unable to be free teenagers like usual. I think Caitlyn also serves a good insight into how hard even an adoption is to deal with.

    I was 17 when I got pregnant for the first time with my then boyfriend. I ended up having an abortion because there was no support for me in my relationship, family, or school. I regret my decision, and if teen moms weren’t so critized, I would have gone through with it. I am 18 years old now, and have played through what my life would be like (my baby would be just over 6 months old now), and I think I would have had to live with my parents to be able to continue going to college like I am now but I wouldn’t want to. It’s what would be best for the child.

    I think these girls have a lot of growing up to do, especially Amber and Farrah, but they were children when they had children; they are growing up with their baby. And it’s sad, and horrible that there isn’t more support for them by saying, “Wow. Those girls are doing their best. They brought that baby into this world, and that is a very selfless thing to do”.

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