(Check out the “With One Voice” report Gloria refers to at http://www.thenationalcampaign.org/.)
Ask teen parents how they intend to make sure their children do not become teen parents themselves and the answer is always the same: talk to the them.
While the answer seems arbitrary or too small to be effective we must remember that it is the small things that make the biggest differences. Things like condoms, waiting and saying no all seem like small things but in the right context they can make a huge difference.
The survey report does not surprise me at all.
Being a teen mom myself (I’m 22 now but still identify myself as a teen mom) I know first hand that my parents’ lack of communication, combined with other factors, is one of the reasons I set out to find my own answers to questions I didn’t feel comfortable asking them.
To me teen parents have a strange advantage over other parents.
We are in the position of being our parent’s young child, young adults and parents all at once. While all these roles are difficult to handle and can lead to an overwhelming amount of stress, once a person has the ability to handle them better she will learn that each offers wonderful insights into parenting.
Being someone’s young child with a child and transitioning into adulthood we have the ability to indentify the things we wished your parents did more; more talking, more family dinners and more family time are just a few to name.
As a parent we can see how our parents may have felt uncomfortable approaching us or speaking to us about certain things. Lets face it, as teens we behaved as if we didn’t want our parents to speak, interact or acknowledge us. However, that’s exactly what we wanted.
Teens and parents seem to speak a very different language but in reality we are both saying the same things. We both want to be able to identify with one another and we both want what’s best for our children.
Being able to identify all of these things as young parents better enable us to form a relationship that will be better and different then that of which we had with our parents.
Through identifying what we wanted as teens and finding ways to meet these needs with our children we have the ability to stop the cycle.
The best thing about the survey report is that it further reinforces the true saying that communication is key.