“You should be changing the world, not diapers.” I can’t even read a magazine, go on the Internet, or look at a billboard without seeing some type of negativity towards me!
Who’s to say we are not capable of changing the world and changing a diaper at the same time? I may not be changing the WHOLE world but I am definitely changing lives. I’m an advocate, an activist, a leader, an ambassador, a blogger, and I have a voice. Everyday, people around me remind me that I am changing lives and the reason I am changing lives is because I changed diapers!
We know there’s a statistic that shows many young people are more motivated after they have their children. They become more determined after becoming a parent. I know because it happened to me. So, where are those billboards?
What about the young people that aren’t young parents, but become potheads, alcoholics, addicts, and convicts? Should we use their image to shame others not to follow in their footsteps? What about the parents that aren’t young but don’t become “successful” and fall into the same level as the young parents described in shaming ads? Let’s face it, there are a lot of young parents in this world but a lot of family struggles much worse that aren’t shamed. Why don’t we shame them too?
I totally understand that ads like these are supposed to be increase awareness on teen pregnancy prevention, but why the teen parent shaming? That’s the only thing these ads do: shame young parents like myself. All the teen pregnancy ads that come out nowadays are about “scaring” young people into not becoming young parents. I know people may think the “scare tactic” might work, but no one really thinks about the message they are sending pregnant or parenting teens.
Here’s an idea: Let’s shame parents, teachers, and schools that don’t prevent young people from becoming parents. Let’s shame them for ignoring the fact at they are going to have sex. Let’s shame those who only push abstinence and don’t talk about anything else. Why are there no shaming ads for this… we all know these tactics are NOT working!!
And here’s a news flash: teen pregnancy is NOT CONTAGIOUS!!! Most youth don’t look at other young parents and say, “Yea THAT IS the life I want!” It’s usually, “I cant imagine being a parent anytime soon”, “I feel bad for them”, and “That will never be me”. So please people stop blaming US, teen parents, for the lack of resources and the lack of education coming from the adult community! The most interesting part - most of the people I know that working on youth pregnancy prevention ARE young parents who are teaching people to see from their point of view. Yes, we are proud parents. But just because we are proud parents does NOT mean we are pushing young parenting on our peers, it’s the total opposite!
Yes, as young parents we go through many struggles everyday. Some things we wouldn’t wish for anyone. This very experience drives us to prevent teen pregnancy so others don’t have to go through what we went through. But please, instead of shaming and blaming young parents, why not try to find the good in us, what we want show you, and what we are capable of accomplishing. Instead, get to the root of the problem, which is the lack of resources, support, and education.
Come on society! Please stop closing your eyes and pointing fingers, open your eyes and take responsibility! I mean come on… as young parents, we already have!