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The Effects of Teenage Pregnancy

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The Effects of Teenage Pregnancy

The question has often been raised: At what age should people begin to have children? It is a subject often debated amongst doctors, psychologists, social workers, and ordinary citizens, respectively. Some argue that it does not matter what age a person is, as long as he or she is mature, while others say that maturity comes with age, and a teenager is never equipped for the responsibility that comes with childbearing. Despite efforts to discourage teenagers from having babies, it is a growing trend in our community. While a number of people might say that society should embrace this behavior, and accept the teens engaged, it is evident that this trend is having a negative impact on our society.

Most evident, teenage pregnancy creates a huge financial burden for the families involved. These adolescents are, often times, too young to obtain a job making an adequate salary to support a family and/or inexperienced or under-educated. The parent is then forced to work a low paying job to make ends meet, and with the rising costs of childrearing, it is often impossible to get by. There is an option of receiving public assistance, but a person must meet certain standards in order to qualify. Also, public assistance is not a reliable source of income, as it is always subject to change, and does not come close to matching an income needed to sustain basic needs required for caring for a family.

The task can be even more difficult, given the fact that a high percentage of teenage parents, are single parents. Young adults are sometimes not ready to commit to long-term relationships, or involved in such unhealthy relationships that they have to end them. This leaves one party with the obligation of raising the child alone. An absentee parent can create insecurities in children, and, depending on the parent's role in the child's life, can make some children more prone to crime and other emotional issues. This is not apparent in 100% of single parent homes, as the absent parent may still play an active, healthy role in the child's life, but it certainly is a cause for concern.

Another issue with adolescent pregnancies is, more often than not, the parent(s) are not mentally prepared for the added responsibilities of raising a child and giving them the knowledge needed to be successful adults. The truth of the matter is, teaching begins at home. A child begins to grasp the concept of right and wrong at the earliest stages of learning. It is a time when basic morals and values are taught. If the parent is not fully capable of successfully relaying the proper information to the child, he or she is then left to learn the information on his or her own. When children are left to teach themselves, it frequently leaves room for disaster. How then can a child be expected to function as a "normal" adult, when they were never given the proper foundation



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