Would you like to be a member of our research panel? Join here - there's (nearly) always a great incentive offered for your views.
Discussion- Whats your veiw on Teenage Pregnancy/ Teenage parents?(65 Posts)
I thought it woukd be a good discussion as I know there are so many different opinions and i would love to hear them!
I'm 19 myself, had my 1st at 17 but he was born sleeping at 23 weeks and then had two miscarriages. I'm now 19 and 9 weeks pregnant, I'm due a couple of weeks before my 20th and a month before I complete college.
Don't be put off because im a teenage parent, I understand everyone's opinions are different. Join in the discussion and feel free to ask questions :-)
Personally I think it depends on the person, you can get one teenager who is the same age as another and one can be really childish, I had my first at 19 I thought I was mature and while iv done my best by him if I had been that little bit older and wiser I could of done much better. So my view is to wait and live life don't have kids so young I feel most(but not all) teenagers are still children and don't have enough life experience to be the best parents that they can be
Op, What are your views on teenage pregnancy/ parents?
Sorry to hear about your losses iv also had 2 mc.
I think from 17+ it can be made to work.
Younger than 16 is just incredibly sad and a very difficult situation.
Terilou, honestly I feel under 18 pregnancies are silly because they arent classed as adults. i would of turned just 18 if my little boy went fullterm and I wasn't 100% ready.. But now i feel ready. I'm engaged, getting married in April (been planned for 6months) and should be getting our own mortage next summer :-). My partner is 26 and works long hours on a very good wage so we are now stable for a child and ive been offered a care job after finishing college in june.
I know a few girls my age who have 2+ children with no qualifications and have no inspiration to work, which I think is a little wrong as the kids will look up ti them. I know a 16 year old who fell pregnant just to keep claiming all her money. Some teenage parents give others a really bad name..
I fell pregnant at 16 and had a termination. I was quite naïve about it initially, thinking how perfect it was going to be, just me and my cute little baby, but thankfully my mom made me see sense. When I look back now I can't imagine how my life would have been if I'd kept the baby. I would have had to sacrificed a lot I think. I don't really class 18/19 year olds having a baby as a being in the same league as 'teenage pregnancy' as the women are adults at that age. I look at 16 year olds now (and some girls younger) with their babies and I can't believe that could have been me - they just look so young. It unnerves me a little to think my life could have taken that direction.
I also think it very much depends on the individual. I work in a 16-19 college and some students are far more mature than others.
However, I think I would advise anyone so young to consider waiting a few years and enjoying their teens before having a child (not that you can't enjoy having a child in your teens of course but you would perhaps not have the same freedom as your friends).
I agree with eggy though seeing teens of around 16 and even younger having children does make me feel quite sad as it's such a difficult situation.
I'm almost 27 and married with a good job but still occasionally feel to young to be having my first baby lol
Many years ago I was one, my eldest is now an adult and a very much productive member of society as am I,it didn't cause me any problems in my future (obviously couldn't have known that back then).
I have no feelings either way towards teenage parents (unless its an abuse situation) and I know plenty of 35 yo parents who quite frankly shouldn't be within 100 yards of a child.
Some people turn out to be very good or very bad no matter what there age.
Couldn't of said it better myself sockreturningpixie iv seen plenty of people who shouldn't be parents much older than teenagers.
Sockreturningpixie, I couldn't of put it better than that! No parent is perfect
I would agree with others that it more depends in the person rather than the age.
Although we know someone who recently got his 15 year old girlfriend pregnant. She's barely been to school in the past 2 years. Don't get me wrong I'm sure she'll love the child, but what else can she give with no education (not that that's ness!) but also no life experience. Or will this be a case where grandparents have to step in?!
I don't think age matters one jot.
Personality,maturity and circumstances (financial and social) are far more important.
Although even when everything is against a person becoming a good parent,many still triumph.
I know fantastic mothers of all ages,and I know dire ones of all ages too.
I think 16+ is just life but the hard way round. It is easier to go to Uni without children, go travelling in late teens/early twenties, etc. You have time to get your career underway and start a pension and mortgage, etc. without having to worry about children. You have a larger cushion of savings built up with your husband so you can take a full year of mat leave, etc.
Under 16, I think is tragic. Children having children. It makes me sad for their lost childhood.
I'm having my first baby at 22 and have friends of the same age with children in school already ... To be really honest, I don't envy them.
I don't think age necessarily makes you a worse parent, but the majority of girls having children at 15/16 haven't had a chance to grow up yet and that's a shame for the mother and the child
If its a planned pregnancy and either of the parents are under 18 I think it's mad. On the other hand, accidents happen, and abortions aren't an option for everyone.
Like so many other posters have said, I think a lot depends on circumstances rather than age
SockreturningPixie put it perfectly. I'm 18 and pregnant with my first child. I've been with my partner since I was 14, been engaged since I was 16, living together since February (which is when I must have become pregnant, funnily enough) and we're getting married on the 5th of November. Our little boy wasn't planned and I was on the pill when I became pregnant but, for me, abortion wasn't an option.
I was almost finished my HND and due to start uni in September when I POAS and when it came up positive all my plans were totally thrown in the air. To be honest, I just plodded along with my fingers in my ears going "it'll all work out" because I was so frightened of actually sitting down and working out what my plans would be. How was I going to go to uni? How would I pay for childcare? How could we possibly afford our rent, bills, food etc and a child? I didn't want to think about any of that so I didn't. I turned up for my first day of uni this September 7 months pregnant and, after a risk assessment, it was decided that I couldn't continue with my course (adult nursing) this year. I was absolutely devastated until my lovely lecturer took me aside and told me that since I had turned up to my class, I was now a student of that course and therefore entitled to 45 weeks off with full bursary for maternity leave, which they wanted to start me on immediately. I hadn't known a thing about the bursary despite my meetings with student support so it came as a total surprise.
I've not had my son yet so I can't comment on that side of things but so far things have worked out better than I ever could have hoped for. I'm not naive, I know it's going to be bloody difficult but I'm hopefully optimistic.
One of my friends is also pregnant at 18. Her and her partner don't work, aren't in education, didn't bother with birth control and expect their parents to do the majority of the work when their little girl comes along. They miss their antenatal appointments because they can't be bothered going. They sponge off their friends and parents and spend the money on weed and drink. It's not my business so I've not said anything but I'm concerned about their ability to be parents.
It totally depends on the person.
Did that even answer your question? Sorry for the long post!
My best friend had her first at 16 and she was/is a brilliant mother. She had been through an awful lot beforehand (and unfortunately her partner at the time/father of DS1 was violent) but DS1 is now 13 and a real credit to her (and horrible partner well out of the picture).
She also feels she's starting to get her own life back a bit more now (she's not quite 30).
I had my first in my late 20s and she's a better (read more patient/naturally maternal) mother than me by far.
I am 19 and pregnant and all i have had is dirty looks and insulting comments from the start. If you are in a good enough situation to support your child then why wait years to have children. My mum had me at 18 and everyone would also say you are going to miss out on your life but personally bringing a life into this world trying my hardest to make my daughter do well will be more appealing than getting drunk and partying!
I also think this all comes down to the individual. Personally I could not have been a teenage mother, I know that I would not have coped. And I was able to lead a very different life as a younger adult because I remained child free for longer, and I am very grateful for that.
But I have certainly looked at teenage mums with new respect since having children myself, as it is only once you have your own child you really realize exactly how full on it is. I am truly certain I could not have coped as a teenager!
Oh and fwiw the father of my eldest child was in his 30's allegedly very respectable responsible net contributor blah blah blah
He needed some serious education on how to be a decent parent from what I can gather after I gave up trying with him his next wife and family had no better result.
My reservations would always have been about getting on with a career, but now I see having kids young doesn't have to work against you. A woman I work with had 4 kids young then came back into the work place 5 years ago and has worked her way up because she's got confidence, maturity and lots of skills from having raised a family. I had my kids later and lots of career opportunities I had while young I didn't make the most of because I lacked confidence and maturity. My and my colleague are both at the same level, except I'm sleep starved from having two little ones and another on the way and she looks fresh and vibrant and a good advocate for having kids young!!
It does make me sad for young women who accidentally fall pregnant and don't have much support though - must be so hard. But I really do think if your someone with get up and go, you'll be as fine at 18 as you would at 38 (maybe with a bit more energy too!).
I think it depends entirely on the person, their situation, the circumstances and their relationship and support networks. Unplanned is a different kettle of fish to planned too - I find it sad when a baby is planned (by a couple of any age) but when you hear the couple's 'planning' you realise the baby is wanted rather than planned, IYSWIM. I hope you don't mind (as you invited comment), but was this pregnancy planned? Only a lot of your OP talks about things happening next year, you say you're ready and stable for a baby but it would've been a lot easier after you've finished college, started work (with the accompanying SMP), got your mortgage and moved, and got married. Again, no offense, you sound like your head's screwed on and I'm sure you and your DP will be wonderful parents!
I know a lot of non-teens who've made terrible parents (including my own DB, the perpetual 15-year-old, actually aged 30) so I'm not sure how much age actually has to do with it. But I look back to my own teenage years and think how different things would've been with a baby, which makes me sad as despite thinking I was very mature (moved out early, friends all older, in what I thought was a 'forever' relationship) I was a child. I have DS1, aged 2, and I'm 33 weeks with DS2. It's harder work than I ever imagined, although it's amazing, but I'm so pleased I got the selfishness of late teens/early 20s out of the way first, and that I waited until I'd fulfilled all of my own 'conditions' for starting a family - career, marriage, decent place to live (not saying I think everyone should have these conditions, just that this was right for me).
I'm rambling - in short, I think too young is a tragedy, I think too selfish is a tragedy, I think too immature and unprepared can be a tragedy, but I think every child is a blessing and can't be sent back, so every parent regardless of age should be supported to be the best parent they can be!
My entire view is that it disadvantages the teenage mother far more than the child.
And that's the sole reason for discouraging teenagers from getting pregnant.
I think people forget that the best time to have babies is late teens/twenties as your body is at its child bearing best. Our society has changed in the last few decades, further education, gap years, big mortgages, the dream holidays etc(not everyone I know).
My mum had me in the mid sixties and she was 19. My nan had my mum in the forties when she was 22. I had my first dc in 1990 age 25.
All of our ages seem quite young now to be first time mums but is was the norm.
A lot of people don't want to grow up these days(40 is the new 30 anyone) and some tv programmes would have you thinking its great to flat share and party 'til you're almost middle aged.
I guess what i'm saying is, if you are making an informed decision with a loving partner, you have the means to support yourselves, then I don't see age as a barrier.
Personally, I believe young people need to have finished their education and have reasonable financial security before bringing children into this world.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.