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Misconception #4: Shaming Teen Moms is an Effective Approach

Do a quick Internet search on the stereotypes teen moms often hear, and in about two seconds you’ll see blog posts from real teen moms like the one below:

“Slutty drop-out welfare teen mom with a dead beat baby daddy”

This comment was written by a teen mom on a blog site, followed by the following statement.
“We face these judgments on a daily basis, but they're excused because we ‘deserve’ the poor treatment, and to be ashamed and humiliated, in order to prevent other girls from getting pregnant.”

I am quite sure there are no statistics that show a drop in teen birth rates when teen moms are shamed and shunned. On the contrary, studies how successful a teen mom can be as a healthy parent and a successful student when she has long-term, supportive relationships with healthy adults.

At Hope House, we work so hard to help our teen moms see themselves the way we believe God sees them – beautiful, strong, capable and loved. It is not easy for them to accept this at first.

I will never forget showing Vanessa the professional pictures our photographer snapped of her and her son -- and how Vanessa turned away from the laughing, joy-filled girl in a pretty yellow dress portrayed in the picture.

“That’s not me!” she exclaimed. “I don’t look like that.”

It would be weeks before she would allow us to hang the picture at Hope House.
Vanessa is not a statistic. She is a beautiful teen mom with a name, a sweet face, and a terribly hard story, which includes being homeless and alone on the streets in the Denver area at age 14. She became pregnant at 15, and from that moment on, she dedicated herself to building a stable life for her baby, a son she named Aiden.

Vanessa accomplished many things while at Hope House, including earning her GED, taking parenting classes, growing through counseling, and completing our healthy relationships classes. Today Vanessa’s son is a soon-to-be kindergartener, she is married to his father, and they share a home in Austin, Texas, where they moved to be close to her husband’s family. In an amazing turn, Vanessa decided to attend beauty school and will soon be a stylist, helping others to feel beautiful - something she once rejected for herself.

Vanessa, and every one of our Hope House girls, are the exact opposite of the cutting comments they so often overhear on the bus, while at the park with their little ones, and even in the doctor’s office. It is our deepest desire at Hope House to counteract those ugly statements with the truth we see, even when they can’t see it yet. I don’t have any statistics on how this affects the teen birth rate, but I’m willing to bet my statistics are better than those on the “shame them” side.

And just to make sure that Vanessa remembers how we have always seen her, I sent her a 16 x 24 canvas of that beautiful, joy-filled young woman in a yellow dress.

By Lisa Steven, Executive Director, Hope House of Colorado



I am so proud of Vanessa good friend of mine and mother.
Posted By Eva | 7/30/14 02:03 PM
Comments:Misconception #4: Shaming Teen Moms is an Effective Approach
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Blog Archives

January 2018

Organizational Growth Cycles: Stages that Lead to a Mature Nonprofit - 01/23/2018

November 2017

Knowledge Share #19: Creating Unity: The Power of Mealtime - 11/20/2017

October 2017

Knowledge Share #18: The Power of Networking - 10/12/2017

September 2017

Knowledge Share #18: Engaging the Millennial Generation - 09/19/2017

August 2017

Knowledge Share #17: When the Dream Seems Too Big - 08/17/2017

July 2017

Knowledge Share #16: Personalized Learning - The Cornerstone of our GED Program - 07/18/2017

June 2017

Knowledge Share #15: Special Needs and Special Moms - 06/08/2017

April 2017

Knowledge Share #14: Creating Connections through Children - 04/18/2017

March 2017

Knowledge Share #13: Managing Volunteers: Benjamin Franklin had it right! - 03/13/2017

February 2017

Knowledge Share #12: Advocacy and Self-Sufficiency: Finding the Balance - 02/14/2017

January 2017

Knowledge Share #11: Effective PR and Spot On Communications - 01/18/2017

November 2016

Knowledge Share #10: I Walk the Line: Creating Deep Connections While Maintaining Professional Boundaries - 11/15/2016

September 2016

Knowledge Share #9: "Fundraising for Non-Profits: An Insider's Perspective" - 09/22/2016

August 2016

Knowledge Share #8: Breaking Out of Poverty - 08/18/2016

July 2016

Knowledge Share #7: Creating a Home - 07/11/2016

June 2016

Knowledge Share #6: The Power of Mindset - 06/14/2016

May 2016

Knowledge Share #5: College or Bust! - 05/17/2016

April 2016

Knowledge Share #4:Understanding Addiction - 04/07/2016

March 2016

Knowledge Share #3:Mentoring Empowers Teen Moms - 03/21/2016

February 2016

Knowledge Share #2: Healthy Relationships - 02/11/2016

January 2016

Knowledge Share #1: Brain Development - 01/12/2016

December 2015

Teen Mom Barrier #8: Communicating the Barriers - 12/16/2015

October 2015

Teen Mom Barrier #7: Homelessness - 10/09/2015

July 2015


June 2015

Teen Mom Barrier Number #5: Domestic Violence - 06/03/2015

May 2015

Teen Mom Barrier # 4 The Challenges of College - 05/12/2015

April 2015

Teen Mom Barrier #3: The Unexpected Bill: Car Repair, Doctor's Visit, Broken Pipe - 04/03/2015

February 2015

Teen Mom Barrier #2: Childcare - 02/18/2015

January 2015

Teen Mom Barrier #1: Society's Negative Expectations - 01/26/2015

December 2014

Teen Mom Misconception #7: Teen Moms Are Completely Self-Absorbed - 12/29/2014

October 2014

Teen Mom Misconception #6: Teen moms drop out of school because they want to - 10/31/2014

September 2014

Teen Mom Misconceptions #5: Success is Impossible - 09/22/2014

July 2014

Misconception #4: Shaming Teen Moms is an Effective Approach - 07/22/2014

June 2014

Misconception #3: Mentoring Teen Moms is Complicated - 06/05/2014

May 2014

Because they want someone to love them? - 05/21/2014

April 2014

Teen Moms - A Persecuted Population? - 04/22/2014

March 2014

Connecting across the Continents: Teen Moms and the People Who Love Them - 03/18/2014

February 2014

Can you break out of poverty with a vocabulary of just 900 words? - 02/17/2014

January 2014

Community - 01/20/2014

December 2013

8 Pennies - 12/18/2013

November 2013

"The most courageous young women I know." - 11/14/2013

September 2013

Our Graduates: In their hands, they hold the future! - 09/30/2013

August 2013

The Cliff Effect and Other Perils on the Journey to Self-Sufficiency - 08/30/2013

July 2013

Breaking the Cycle: Do Poor Teens Have to Become Poor Adults? - 07/30/2013

June 2013

Measuring the Intangible - 06/15/2013

May 2013

Grown-Up Mom - 05/01/2013


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