How does having a child affect a teen's life?How does having a child affect a teen's life?

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Apart from the above posts (which I think are right on in regards to answering your question), I find a really good, modern movie that deals with this topic directly is Juno.  Juno, the main character, is very true-to-life in regards to how she is affected by pregancy.  Although I do think the movie glorifies teen pregnancy a bit (in that the end is a bit too-good-to-be-true), I still think it goes a long way in answering your question.

If you'd like to stay in the movie realm, but see the intensely negative side, try watching the 80s movie For Keeps.  I'll never forget when I saw that film.  (It came out when I was in high school.)  With its postpartum depression, screaming couple, and screaming baby, ... it pretty much cemented my virginity for many years to come!

And finally, I'll end with a personal story from when I was a student teacher.  I remember Amanda, ... she was probably the smartest student in our junior AP class, ... and nine months pregnant.  I'll never forget when she stayed after school one day talking with my mentor teacher and I.  I remember Mrs. H commenting, "Yeah, I always wondered about that guy you were going out with.  You have always been such a wonderful girl, ... and he was such bad news!  The whole staff was thinking, 'Yuck!'"  Amanda just stood there for a moment with her mouth open and then she started yelling, "Mrs. H, ... WHY didn't you TELL me that!?!  If someone, ... ANYONE would have told me, I would have listened and wouldn't be in this situation right now.  Instead, no one cared enough about me to tell me the truth.  NO ONE."  She stormed out of the room.

After being privy to that conversation, I have always tried to be BIG on communication with my students.  And once they figured out that I wasn't afraid of this taboo subject, the questions started coming.  In regards to you, lhexie, my advice is to COMMUNICATE with your friends (and/or students if you are studying to become a teacher).  Try to encourage them to make wise decisions in regards to sex and marriage, ... and support them if and when they make mistakes.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is no one answer that is true for all teens, of course.  However, being a parent is always difficult and it is even more difficult for the typical teen.  I have seen this anecdotally in students of mine who have had children while in high school.

Parenting a young child is physically exhausting.  You often have to get up every few hours all night to care for the child.  Imagine doing that and then trying to go to school as well.

Having a child also takes away a teen's ability to simply be a teen.  A teen parent cannot simply go out whenever she wants to.  She has to find someone to care for her child if she wants to do anything with her friends.  This drastically changes the sorts of relationships she has with people.

Overall, being a teen parent is very difficult physically and emotionally.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Clearly, the teen's life is changed by keeping the baby.  Even with abortion or adoption, the person will be forever changed.  You have to live with the idea that you created a life, and either ended it or gave it up.  Sometimes, new parents go into a deep depression after giving up a baby for adoption.  Teens are no exception.  It may be the right choice, and they may know that it's the right choice for the baby and parents to have a better life, but it's still emotionally heartbreaking to give up your child.

thewanderlust878 | Student

Being a teen myself, I know that life would change drastically for me, if I decided to keep the child (though if I were in that situation I most likely would not). I would have to quit college, move out by myself, and figure out some way to feed not only myself, but another human being. It is scary to even think about, let alone having to actually go through out. No longer could you go out with your friends, play video games all day, or even study as much as you normally could. All that time would go towards taking care of a child that probably wasn't suppose to be conceived. 

jess1999 | Student

I believe that having a child can affect a teen TREMENDOUSLY . For example , the teen would needs to face huge responsibilities such as taking care of the child , making sure its needs are met . Of course though , when they are faced with such huge responsibilities , they would have  a harder time focusing in school . Later on without proper education , it would be hard for them to find a job to support the child . Basically having a child when you are not ready yet can have a ripple effect . Of course though , this is just my opinion . 

cheerchamp432 | Student

my friend id prego right now and shes only 15. im very close with her so she has told me all her feeling and things.  for one, her parents of course are very mad at her and she almost embarrassed walking into her home every day.  she has to put up with all the bad talk about her at school but she feels like the good about being prego is that she will find out who her real friends are.  she misses alot of school cause she does to the doctors like once or twice a week.  once she has the baby she is thinking about giving it up for adoption but she doesnt know yet.  at the moment she is thinking about whether or not she will let the father be apart of the child's life if she keeps it. if she does keep it then she knows that her social life is over. no parties, no mall, no movies, no sleepover, no chillin all day and night with friends.  plus this will fallow her around for the rest of her life. she will have to tell the one she marries that when she was just 15 she had a child. life will suck:(

orangeorange | Student

Of course it would be hard. They have to have schooling and still care about their health for the baby. And when the ive birth to the baby they have to take care of it and wake up every few moments to answer their crying baby and feed it every so often. Many teenagers who end up pregnant end up dropping out of school or just struggle in learning. They usally don't have the money to take care of their baby. Many of them give their own mom or dad to take care of their child while they go to school or go out with their friends. So much time is sacrificed in order to take care of the baby. Family and friend time especially. You sacrifice your hobbies and interests and your friends would probably move away from you and your relationship would widen because they many not fel comfortable towards yo or you just have no time for them. You would feel constantly moody because of the exhausting job it is to take care of your child.