When Your Primary Influencers Fail You

How can anyone be surprised by the disproportionate number of out of wedlock births amongst teens of color – of a certain class strata? When adults fail to parent and a community drops the ball this is the end result.

While the out of control violence that is affecting male youths has garnered a lot of attention, it is very telling when the daily lives of young girls is ignored.  Robeson High School in Chicago has nearly 1 in 7 students pregnant. They’re not operating in a vacuum.

Lauren Lake of WEEN Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network and Dr. Brenda Wade provided a great intersection of analysis that’s worth viewing.  Dr. Wade specifically mentioned intergenerational patterns and how they affect the family structure.  I really liked the dialog between them and the host.

4 Replies to “When Your Primary Influencers Fail You”

  1. I'm a new reader to your blog, and I like it!

    Sigh, sigh, sigh. I TRY, so HARD, to stop making judgements on this issue. I know, everyone says, "Mistakes happen," "No one is perfect," "It could have happened to you too", etc. And I know all of those things. And I know that teen/young woman/out-of-wedlock pregnancies happened in the old days too.

    But I am so tired of seeing out-of-wedlock births and births to teenagers. I was a teenager too (that secretly had a boyfriend), but you know what stopped me from getting pregnant (besides the obvious)? FEAR! Fear of my mother. Fear of being thought of as loose, slutty, easy, etc. Fear of my GPA dropping from the 3.95 with which I graduated and losing my college scholarship (which was my ticket out of my horrible neighborhood). Fear of being a single mother that could hardly provide for my kid (like my own mother). Fear of being a 29 year old (my current age) with a teenage son or daughter to raise.

    Yes, I thought a lot as a teenager. I think that's what a lot of teenagers are NOT doing. Or they're thinking that it's no big deal. And that's why we have so many mothers my age, grandmothers not that much older than me, and great- grandmothers that are my grandmother's age, trying to go out to the club and party, since they couldn't do it as a teenager, or couldn't because they had a baby or babies to take care of.

    My own sister got pregnant at 17, and now has 2 kids at the age of 21. There were no real consequences for her getting pregnant that young: she got free health care, WIC, didn't have to work, all of the "perks". Maybe that's why the teenagers don't think it's a big deal-they'll get so much "free stuff."

    Unfortunately, I don't see an end to this epidemic. I wish some doctor/PhD out there could do a study on how having a baby/babies so young affects a young woman's body and/or mind. MAYBE that could sway some teenagers in a different direction, and not think having a baby is the thing to do, or some big accomplishment.

    1. Welcome and thanks for commenting. I don't think properly assessing a situation is judging. If it is then more of us need to do so. If we are to not only survive but THRIVE as a people and as women (as individuals) we MUST have a set of standards for ourselves and goals for what we want out of life. Things don't just happen randomly -- we have to plan and execute. I can tell you I've personally had to reassess everything I've been doing and I'm still working through re-ordering my disordered thinking as far as personal life, family relations and career goals go. I don't think we should ever stop but having a solid foundation and a support network makes things so much easier in the long run.

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