So, the girl child and I are going to a special seminar this week. And tonight the husband and I went to a facilitated group discussion at her middle school to learn about talking to your child about sex and drugs. We didn't get to the drugs.
The doctor leading the group (PHD, not MD) works with pregnant teens. She talked about how a success in her workday is getting a mom to choose to put water in a baby bottle before soda, spending a couple of nights a week at home, rather than going out every single night. And how she engages the pregnant and new mom teens and elevates their esteem by having them travel around to schools and speak about their circumstances to share what they could have done differently.
She also shared that, as good as it is for the school teens to hear these girls stories, it is so much more important for these young moms themselves, as it can help to keep them from having second and third children while still in their teens.
Tonight I learned some staggering facts:
Over 80 percent of teen mothers drop out of school, never to return again.
Over 80 percent of teen fathers are out of the picture. Of the remaining 20 percent, most do not see their children even once a week.
Teen pregnancy costs the US 8 billion dollars a year.
There were so many more things. Like parents who address their fears by putting their daughters on the pill to "regulate their periods." Like parents who NEVER talk with their kids about sex. And parents who struggle, awkwardly, through the embarrassing and uncomfortable conversations because they love their kids so much. Like me.
So I'm gonna drag her to the "Heart to Heart" seminar. And we're gonna feel awkward and uncomfortable. And my baby is gonna grow up before I know it. And she will or will not have sex as a teen. And she will or will not end up in therapy blaming me for everything that ever happened to her.
But she will not get to say, "No one ever talked about sex in my house."