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Because they want someone to love them?
Teen moms have babies because they want someone to love them. This comment is often tossed out with a sad shake of the head, in a don’t-you-feel-sorry-for-her tone of voice.
It is an oversimplification at best and an assumption of complete selfishness at worst.
However, what is true is that many teen moms grow up in homes filled with poverty, addiction, abuse and neglect, and have not experienced unconditional love from their families. It is also true that teen moms are likely to fill this void in their lives with risky behavior, including sexual activity.
However – and this is the shocker! -- one-third of teen moms failed to use contraception because they didn’t think they could get pregnant. And about one-quarter didn’t use birth control because their partner did not want them to.
These numbers come from a recent survey conducted by the Center for Disease Control, and they show that the assumption that teen moms get pregnant because they want someone to love them is simply not true.
In reality, many teen moms will state that their pregnancy led them to make a conscious decision to clean up their lives. Some will even say that having a child saved their life as it helped them to leave a gang, stop drinking, quit doing drugs… whatever it took to give their baby a better life than they had.
Their priorities are reshaped by their motivation to provide for their little one, and their focus actually shifts away from themselves – the opposite of selfishness.
When asked whether a desire to have someone to love her was a factor in her becoming a mother at the age of 17, Danielle shakes her head and laughs.
“Why would I get pregnant just to have someone love me? I was in a really hard situation and getting pregnant made it more complicated. I was already struggling to make it on my own after my mom left me. Having a baby meant I had to figure that out for both of us.
“Having a child is a LOT of work, but it’s also the best thing that has ever happened to me. Having Nadia gave me hope… and I give her love.”
Click here to view a few teen moms responding to the question: “Did you have your baby because you wanted someone to love you?”
And join in the conversation on a topic that is as prevalent as it is controversial!
By Lisa Steven, Executive Director, Hope House of Colorado
Knowledge Share #8: Breaking Out of Poverty - 08/18/2016
Knowledge Share #7: Creating a Home - 07/11/2016
Knowledge Share #6: The Power of Mindset - 06/14/2016
Knowledge Share #5: College or Bust! - 05/17/2016
Knowledge Share #4:Understanding Addiction - 04/07/2016
Knowledge Share #3:Mentoring Empowers Teen Moms - 03/21/2016
Knowledge Share #2: Healthy Relationships - 02/11/2016
Knowledge Share #1: Brain Development - 01/12/2016
Teen Mom Barrier #8: Communicating the Barriers - 12/16/2015
Teen Mom Barrier #7: Homelessness - 10/09/2015
TEEN MOM BARRIER #6: GENERATIONAL POVERTY - 07/16/2015
Teen Mom Barrier Number #5: Domestic Violence - 06/03/2015
Teen Mom Barrier # 4 The Challenges of College - 05/12/2015
Teen Mom Barrier #2: Childcare - 02/18/2015
Teen Mom Barrier #1: Society's Negative Expectations - 01/26/2015
Teen Mom Misconceptions #5: Success is Impossible - 09/22/2014
Misconception #3: Mentoring Teen Moms is Complicated - 06/05/2014
Because they want someone to love them? - 05/21/2014
Teen Moms - A Persecuted Population? - 04/22/2014
Community - 01/20/2014
8 Pennies - 12/18/2013
"The most courageous young women I know." - 11/14/2013
Our Graduates: In their hands, they hold the future! - 09/30/2013
Measuring the Intangible - 06/15/2013
Grown-Up Mom - 05/01/2013
Misconception #4: Shaming Teen Moms is an Effective Approach
Eva said: I am so proud of Vanessa good friend of mine and mother. [more]