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Teenagers who become parents at a very young age tend to be lower in...

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xtreme69 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 17, 2009 at 7:41 PM via web

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Teenagers who become parents at a very young age tend to be lower in social/economic levels all of their lives.

Teenagers who become parents at a very young age tend to be lower in social/economic levels all of their lives.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 18, 2009 at 5:36 AM (Answer #2)

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Economic determinism always carries with it the ability to lock individuals in socially stratified conditions.  I think the statement given might have a tendency to lock people in a predicament where they are merely automatons of economic reality.  Indeed, there are some significant challenges for teens who become parents at young ages, as economic and employment opportunities become poised against child care and the economic and emotional costs of having children.  However, to make the assumption that only teens of low social/ economic levels become parents too soon is debatable.  While there might be statistical data which could present such a case, I would refrain from indicating that the lower one's economic level, the greater the tendency to become parents at a young age.  Perhaps, the issue should be broadened to indicate that all teens who engage in unsafe, unwise, or unwanted sexual practices stand a higher chance of becoming parents too soon, too quickly, and without proper preparation.

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kc4u | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted September 18, 2009 at 6:41 AM (Answer #3)

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I find your question quite interesting. Do you mean to say that teenagers belonging to lower social/economic levels show a greater tendency to become parents all too early? Perhaps not. If I am correct in reading your question, you mean to suggest that teenagers opting for early parenthood invite lives full of social/economic obligations which impede their upward movements in life.

First, to be engaged too early in sex, especially unprotected sex, may lead to serious physical and psychological implications.

Second, teenage motherhood may prove harmful for both the mother and her child. A too young girl is neither physicallly nor mentally fit enough to give birth to a healthy child and to bring the child up.

Third, the emotional/psychological as much as the economic burden involved in child-rearing is really something. Since a boy and a girl should mind his/her growth--especially education-- during the teens, early marriage and parenthood can never be encouraging.

Parents do have many responsibilities towards their children, just as they have many responsibilities towards themselves. The so-called teenage is the period for a boy /girl to get prepared for the future. By preponing parenthood, they would only spoil that future. Under-prepared in body, mind, education, maturity, teenage parents shall remain  bogged down to a poor quality of life.

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drmonica | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted September 19, 2009 at 10:20 AM (Answer #4)

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Your statement is true, especially for females. Girls who become teenager mothers are substantially more likely to drop out of high school. Dropouts have been demonstrated to average significantly lower lifetime earnings than high school and college graduates.

Once a teenager becomes pregnant and decides to go through with the pregnancy, issues surface that impact her ability to continue with school. Is child care available? Is she able to identify the child's father and secure child support payments? Does she have a network of helpers and supporters, including parents, extended family, and friends? All of these questions are important in determining the future of a teenage mother.

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 22, 2009 at 12:44 PM (Answer #5)

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I agree with this statement.  It has long been proven that education is the way to higher-paying jobs unless you happen to be blessed enough to have a family business in which you are able to work and get paid well.  For females, who are usually the primary caretakers of children, the salary level is already lower than the male counterpart doing the same job.  Without the additional education, the salary increases will not be there.  It goes without saying that many young women with children do not further their education because of the time constraints, the costs, the childcare issues, etc.  As often as we see the young, beautiful woman with a child get the rich guy and live happily ever after in the movies, it does not usually happen that way in real life.

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mrpoirier | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted September 22, 2009 at 4:05 PM (Answer #6)

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Your statement is true, especially for females. Girls who become teenager mothers are substantially more likely to drop out of high school. Dropouts have been demonstrated to average significantly lower lifetime earnings than high school and college graduates.

Once a teenager becomes pregnant and decides to go through with the pregnancy, issues surface that impact her ability to continue with school. Is child care available? Is she able to identify the child's father and secure child support payments? Does she have a network of helpers and supporters, including parents, extended family, and friends? All of these questions are important in determining the future of a teenage mother.

  I think that your questions highlight something that I've been arguing for a long time.  I've seen, first hand, these very problems while teaching at inner city high schools with high levels of poverty and various ethnic make-ups.  You posed the questions, "Is she able to identify the child's father and secure child support payments? Does she have a network of helpers and supporters, including parents, extended family, and friends?"  I think these are absolutely important questions to ask and all too often, the answer is, unfortunately a no.   I especially find your first question interesting.  Is she able to "identify" the father of her child.  This speaks to the promiscuity of today's youth and their complete irresponsibility in regards to sex.  I have personally taught young women who, by the age of sixteen, already have multiple children with multiple partners.  The saddest part is that they don't understand that it is wrong. The question of "who's your baby's daddy?" has become so common that it's even seen as comical in some circles.  Child support?  Most of the fathers were in high school as well and had absolutely no means of supporting their sometimes multiple children with multiple young women.  And, again, this was seen as commonplace and not-at-all out of the ordinary. 

Next, does she have a support network including family?  Again, too often, the answer is no.  Sure, there are teachers and social workers available after jumping through hoops and, too often, after the young lady has already had a child.  It's reactive rather than proactive.      And, it's not the job of those people to "raise" a child. 

This leads me to the main point of this argument.  The problem is the complete breakdown of the traditional family.  Regardless of the "socio-economic status" of the neighborhood where I was working or the predominant race of the residents of the neighborhood, the children that thrived were, inevitably, the ones that had a family that was intact.  They had the support and encouragement of parents that loved them.  Plain and simple. 

This was most evident during "report card pick up" days at the school.  Parents had the opportunity to come to the school and physically pick up their child's report card.  In addition, it was an opportunity to address their child's academic progress, etc.  Inevitably, the parents who bothered to show up were those of the students that were having no trouble.  The parents of the students that were struggling were nowhere to be found. 

 

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted September 27, 2009 at 4:35 AM (Answer #7)

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I do not have any concrete statistical data on the extent to which people who become parents while they are teenagers tend to have lower economic and social level throughout their lives. Bur assuming that this is a reality, i can thing of several possible reason for the same.

  1. When people become parents at younger age, they have less time, energy, and financial resources for their education. With lower education they automatically have restricted job opportunities.
  2. Presence of family and child tends to make shifting of place of residence difficult, Therefore, young parents are not able to switch job that easily to improve their job profile and pay.
  3. People who are self employed or in business, are able to save less for investment in business and professional facilities.
  4. There may be some amount of negative feelings in mind of general people about young parents.
  5. Young parents may have more short-term perspective in life, due to which they may not be able to plan their career that well.
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besure77 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted June 9, 2010 at 1:34 PM (Answer #8)

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Teenagers that have children are less likely to finish school school because they have other responsibilities. They may not have a family that is able to help raise a child. Education is very important. It is a way that people are able to better themselves. Without an education it is very difficult to get out of a lower socio-economic status.

 

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 28, 2011 at 11:58 AM (Answer #9)

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Sometimes starting out behind is hard to overcome. Young parents often miss out on educational and financial opportunities they normally would have had if they had not been parents at a young age. Usually one or both parents needs to drop out of high school, and higher education is not an option unless the young family has a lot of help. Financial needs in the beginning, from diapers to rent, can be difficult barriers to overcome. But perhaps the biggest obstacle to a young parent's financial stability is that the young couple cannot stay together. Young people don't usually have the maturity to handle a new baby and a relationship. The baby is usually an accident that strains a new relationship and the relationship the parents have with their families. Single parents have even more financial difficulty.

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