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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.
Eva
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

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

TEEN MOM BARRIER #6: GENERATIONAL POVERTY - 07/16/2015


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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Recent Comments

Knowledge Share #14: Creating Connections through Children
Lisa Steven said: Laura, you are an amazing teacher! You are making a huge impact in the lives of our young moms ...   [more]

Knowledge Share #14: Creating Connections through Children
Kerry Kelley said: What a great post, Laura! That was so insightful and caring! It almost made me cry! I love the pe ...   [more]

Knowledge Share #6: The Power of Mindset
Caty love said: Danielle is one of my friends back from high school and just wanted to stop by and show her how hap ...   [more]

Measuring the Intangible
Kim said: The truth just shines thrguoh your post   [more]

Teen Mom Misconceptions #5: Success is Impossible
Brenda said: Fantastic blog Lauren - and so true. Success IS possible when people love and believe in you! Nev ...   [more]

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