Look a little deeper into those "poor outcomes*" for young parents cited so often in research and you'll probably find that, rather than teen parenthood in itself being problematic, any problems are usually the result of either structural barriers, i.e. the education system excluding young parents (formally and informally) or background factors such as low confidence / self esteem / autonomy; these may have arisen from living with poverty, bullying, domestic abuse etc: all those things that make you feel that you don't have control over your own life. Both issues are interlinked and strongly reinforced by the negative attitude society has towards young parents. Therefore, rather than blaming and shaming young parents, there are some obvious things that could actually be changed to make the world a better place! 

Accountability...

...so that so-called professionals (academics, media, midwives, politicians, teachers etc) aren't able to get away with blatant discrimination, using bad examples of 'research' or just stereotypical anecdotes to make a point or shame young parents. Anyone who makes assumptions or judgements about a young parent's capability simply based on age should be challenged and that challenge needs to be taken seriously.

Understanding...

...of how being a young parent doesn't mean that your life is over and you are doomed to lifetime on benefits. Support and advice should be available to allow young parents to work, study or whatever they wish, whenever they wish (i.e. not necessarily when the child is still young - support often ends when the parent is 19. The reality is it often takes much longer than this). Positive examples of young parents who have worked hard and overcome barriers should be visible in the media and to other young parents who may just want a few ideas of what is possible.

* Also, be careful what is meant by 'outcomes'. If research is only considering economic outcomes, such as how much you earn, then this isn't the full picture, and potentially ignores what people really value in their life....

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