Responding to articles about teenage parents has become a bit an obsessive compulsion lately! My comments usually get ignored among all the Daily Mail type attacking of young parents. Occasionally I will get a response like 'this is the dumbest thing I have ever heard" (gee, thanks!). However, after commenting on today's article in the Guardian I actually got some positive responses. I don't know if I am getting better at arguing or people are getting more tolerant (doubt it!) but here is the article and here is my comment :
'It seems that a lot of people are commenting here without really understanding what it is like to be a pregnant teenager. If I hadn't been pregnant at 16 then I would probably agree that at this age you are too selfish and irresponsible to bring up a child-I know a lot of people must have thought this about me. However, when you are pregnant some thing takes over. I guess it is the same for all mums. Suddenly everything you do and think is about being the best mum you can for that child.
For me the best that I could do was finishing my A-levels, getting a degree, getting a good job, buying a house; all of which I had done by 22 (way ahead of my friends). I was also able to spend the majority of time with my son because I either studied or worked school hours.
I'm now 30 and I do feel that I did my best - Obviously I'm biased but my son is a fantastic teenager and I think he has benefited from having me around but also seeing me work hard to have the life we have now. If I had a child now I would not be able to do all of this.
There is such a bad perception of young mums which is totally undeserved. No one is saying we should encourage girls to get pregnant, but don't assume that those that who do get pregnant are ruining their (and their children's) lives. The values you were brought up with and then hold as a parent are likely to be the same what ever age you have your child. It is these values that are important, not your age.
If politicians really want to make a difference they should
look challenging these perceptions. It is inexcusable that Cameron
stated baby P's mother was 17 (when she was 27) as an explanation for the
abuse - Any other type of discrimination like this would have caused
uproar yet no one said a word......' (recommend (84))
I think this is the first time in my life when (84) people have agreed with me. I struggle to get even 1 person to agree with me at home!
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