Sunday, August 06, 2006

Why won't they Listen?

Statisticians keep saying that the pregnancy rate for teenagers has dropped, particularly in African American neighborhoods. This must be an April Fools' joke because all I see are teens having their first and second child. This week alone I have met at least five teens who have lap babies and are pregnant again. Two of whom I believe didn't even heal before they were making babies again. The thing that makes me angry is this:

1. How are they going to feed these babies without an education. Most of them drop out because things are too difficult when they have a child without the support of the babies' daddies and their own parents.

2. They can't find jobs that will pay more than minimum wage and since it’s been $5.15 for ten years and just recently failed passage again, there’s' no chance of an increase it seems, ever. Therefore, these teens will become the working poor, possibly living stacked up with relatives because you can't do much with that amount of money.

3. Teens can't find jobs without an education and without an education they can't find a decent paying job and without a decent paying job can't get a house, transportation or health insurance.Yet, they continue to have sex too young and without protection.

4. Women know that sex is a mind game. If a women's mind is in a bad state, most don't want to have sex. But sometimes in order to please the spouse, or lover a woman can turn her mind on to become sexy even when she doesn't feel like it. Does a teenager really understand sex?

5. Does these young girls have orgasms or are the just allowing this guys to hump on them because of peer pressure or maybe they are so hot they are boiling over.

Finally, I wish that teens would listen. I was told that when folks know better they will do better, so why is it that teens sit in lecture after lecture, participate in role-plays, etc. and still will lay down, not use birth control, risk their health and drop out when they know this will lead to nothing but poverty?


Elizabeth said...

I'm no expert on this subject, but it seemed to me, when I was working with young black women who had kids in the foster care system (due to substance abuse) that giving birth made them feel important and made them feel like women. I don't know that I see that it's about sex...they could have abortions if that was all it was about.

Mistress Regina said...

You write well. Do you have interest in other opportunities beyond those you currently pursue?

Perhaps we could look at a link exchange?

Nella said...

I like this post. I know alot of girls my age that have lost most of their friends here and also some respect of their family. One girl I know was only 17 when she had her first kid, then at age 19 she had her second and now at age 20 she has had her thrid, that is alot to handle and I feel bad for her she has no help from family she is on her own single with three kids now and I can only help she does well.

And as for other teen girls like me I can only hope that they learn from this too I have and I have not had sex yet and I am proud of it!

Good post.

Nourah said...

i love ur writings
i have no comment on what u wrote thu
thank god such probs dont exit in where i live

chele said...

I believe a child receives the biggest influence from their parents.

The parents have got to talk more loudly and more often than the teachers, their friends, television, rap videos, etc. The parent has got to be an ever-present force so when the the child is placed in a situation the words of the parents are still ringing loud and clear.

We, as parents, cannot shrug our shoulders and give up. Our kids want our guidance. They want to be directed. Our kids need us.

Why don't they listen? I think they are listening. Unfortunately, more times than not our kids are hearing mixed messages. "Do as I say, not as I do." When a young girl sees her mother parading boyfriend after boyfriend through the front door, what is she supposed to think?

I was too afraid of my mother to step out of line. I wasn't perfect but I knew exactly how far to go. Today's children are not afraid of their parents. You know why? Because today's parents try too hard to be friends with their kids. Our children are not our peers and they don't need us to be their friends. We are supposed to be the authority figure. They don't need us to be their buddies.

I have two children and I pray over them everyday. I also talk to them everyday. I try not to nag but when I see something that is a good conversation starter ... I start a conversation. Whether it be about sex, drugs, respect, education, employment ... whatever it is. My kids sometimes roll their eyes and say, "Ma, not another lecture" but I know they're listening.

Sorry about blogging in your comments.

Luke Cage said...

Pop culture may not be the only reason to blame for this outbreak of teenage parents, but I can definitely say without a doubt, it is the chief reason for it. Lets look at the facts.

Social and educational institutions share in a large portion of the problems of adolescent childbearing too, so I don't want to paint a picture of this solely being a pop culture issue.

Children of teenage parents frequently live in homes that are near or below poverty level. They often require public assistance for the basics of life: food, clothing, and shelter. There is an increased incidence of school failure and dropout in teenage parents and subsequently in their children.

But, the AMERICAN pop culture virtually glorifies sex and ignores responsibility. Beginning in early childhood, young people are constantly being bombarded with sexual messages. On tv, the internet, video games, school, billboards, whatever. Then, at the same time, you have this diluted and puritanical attitude that restricts the availability of resources and frank discussions about sex.

In other countries, specifically other Western nations with similar levels of adolescent sexual activity have much lower rates of adolescent pregnancy than the U.S. In countries with straightforward attitudes about sex, teens get more consistent messages, clearer information and greater access to contraception and abortion.

Here, its like... shhhhhh, don't say it loud. Or keep it quiet. When Janet Jackson popped her breast out in front of American audiences a couple of years ago at the Superbowl, folks lost their collective minds. It was a BREAST!!! It wasn't being sucked or anything on tv. This wouldn't have been an issue if America was more frank about sex and drugs to their kids instead of trying to make it look like window dressing.

Come out with it and tell the kids what's happening. Be up front and honest with them, and maybe then we can stem the tide a bit. Someone's got to be more responsible about this. Our youth haven't figured it out yet and as adults we owe it to them to at least try. Both, young girls and boys! Both are responsible...

ILLstate said...

I think if we could develop positive media outlets that interest young people until it becomes popular culture, we may have a chance

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

I agree with you! I have not seen the "downside" of the statistics reported.

Jaimie said...

When I was in high school, it seemed like everyone had a baby. We had a day care at my school bc there were so many babies, and so the young moms could finish.

i don't know about now.

Brownsoul said...

Teens don't think about the consequences.
Heck, grown men don't think about the consequences. It's sad when you have to beg a grown man to wear a condom because all he's thinking about is that he's clean and he doesn't like wearing the condom.

I said that to say that if it's like that for adults, then I know that these youngsters aren't thinking clearly. I just wish that they understood what getting pregnant means for their life...not just for those nine months. I believe the reason why pregnancy is more common now a days is because it's almost like a badge of honor. Everybody seems to have a baby's daddy so some girls even start to feel left out and get pregnant on purpose.

It's sad for the babies. They didn't choose this life.

Bougie said...

Wonderful article, Rose. Be sure to go back and take a peek at our little chocolate drop who finally arrived Aug.2nd.

sodijety said...

I think because no matter what we tell them, mass media makes it seem cool to have sex, just for having sex. Parents and educators are competing against a gigantic monster here. It's not only the baby, or the disease they might get. It's also there self image. But you know teenagers they think they know it all.

Shawn said...

I wonder the same thing often. Let me know when you find the answer. I wonder if advising youth is really worth it. Are they listening? Or, is it an exercise in futility?

The Sarccastik Variable Why said...

i hate to hear about today's youth...

nosthegametoo said...

Many of the teens I have encountered have no appreciation for the fact that life is serious, and that choices have serious consequences.

For instance, once, during some volunteer work, a young teenage girl told me how “exciting” it will be to have a baby; she even fantasized about the cute designer clothes she’ll get (as opposed to purchase) for her baby. She honestly and sincerely didn’t understand that a baby is not a “baby,” but a young person that needs a tremendous amount of care and support for at least the next 20 years.

I suppose when young girls and boys see unplanned pregnancies as part of the normal experiences of life, they are convinced that they “just happen,” as a young man once put it to me.

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