How Young is Too Young?
At my co-op placement the other day we were on break, and I got talking to my employer. We were talking about our families, and she asked me how old my mom is. When I told her, she was shocked. She said that you don’t hear about too many people having children that late anymore – I didn’t think it was that bad, but I guess to some people it’s a pretty big gap.
But that’s when it hit me – are people really expected to have children so young now?
I’m not terribly close with anyone who’s had children while they’re still in high school or college, but it’s not unheard of, even to me. Any of the ones that I’ve heard of, they weren’t planning on having a child so young. They had plans & goals, none of which involved having their own children.
Times haven’t really changed all that much, teenagers have always done things that they know their parents wouldn’t approve of, but still, there’s been a steady decline in numbers of teenage/young mothers. There’s multiple statistics that say why; the availability of contraceptives. Abortion, birth control, you name it – it’s all out there at anyone’s convenience. So I guess most of these people had plans that didn’t involve children too.
I don’t have much experience myself with teenage pregnancy, seeing as I don’t have my own child or know many people who have had them young, but one person that I do know has made her story clear.
She had her first child when she was only in grade 10, and had another when she would have been in grade 11. Most people know that if your pregnant, you’re not at school anymore – at least while your pregnant; so, she was forced to leave school. When told that it’s a bad example to the other students, she complained back that she didn’t see what was such a bad example – to be a pregnant teenager who wants to continue on with her education. Although before then she hid it under her clothes, it eventually became obvious. To this day she loves her kids, but there’s a constant struggle to support them and to know how to handle things peacefully.
On the other hand there’s people who wait till they’re in their 40s to have children. My aunt for example is 48, and is the mother of two boys; the youngest is two. Just imagine being in your early 60s with two teenage boys running around.
So I ask, what’s a decent age to be having children? Obviously it’s not what I had thought – and I only know three people who are/were teenage mothers.
So think about it, how young is too young?
(and then comment) 🙂