Social Question

redellbabymomma's avatar

Do you have any advice for a teenage mom?

Asked by redellbabymomma (92 points ) January 28th, 2013

My friend found out she was pregnant this month. She doesnt know what to do except she knows that she wants to keep the baby. The bad news is that the father didnt want one so he walked away and left her with the responsibility!

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55 Answers

janbb's avatar

How old is she? Is she still in high school? Do her parents know yet?

redellbabymomma's avatar

@janbb she is 16 years old . and she stopped going to school because of what people might think. and her parents know and wont support her decision!

WestRiverrat's avatar

First she needs to enroll in a good prenatal program.
Then she needs to either go back to school or get her GED. Without that piece of paper she limits herself severely when it comes to jobs.
She has to go after the father for child support. He helped make it, he can help raise it even if only financially. Not only because it is the right thing to do, but because in some states it leads to a higher WIC payments.

livelaughlove21's avatar

So…no daddy, no education, presumably no job, and no parental support. And she’s keeping the baby, why?

She needs prenatal care and a supportive place to live. She needs a job and plenty of money. She needs to finish her education.

She put herself in a situation that will define the rest of her life before she’s even had the chance to accomplish anything on her own. Her decision to keep the baby means she’s got to pull on the big girl panties, grow up, and try to figure out how she’s going to be a single mother and support her child without any help. Single-wide trailer and welfare is my best guess unless she can get her parents on board.

Babies having babies, I swear. As if a condom is so difficult to figure out!

whitenoise's avatar

@WestRiverrat
Re. She has to go after the father for child support…... because it is the right thing to do”

How do you know that? Likely he lives in the US where there is – imho – a structural lack of proper sex ed. Besides… he likely is a child as well. You don’t know the details, so your implied conclusion is off mark.

@redellbabymomma
As your friend is still a child herself, I would suggest her to look at her parents for support. You write that her parents don’t support her, but this truly is a moment that she should try to not alienate them. Their future support may make all the difference in the world.

On top… And don’t take this the wrong way, she should not base her decision on ‘keeping the baby’ on merely ‘wanting the baby’. It is a very grown up decision and from the little you wrote, I have my doubts whether she is up for it.

Dropping out of school has enourmous impact on her future and that of her child, yet she does so, because she is afraid of what people might think of her. She seems to drive her parents away, at an awful timing.

Is this the girl you wrote about, that needed your help and you were afraid to lose her friendship if you couldn’t? That sounded truly immature as well and, if so, adds to my point.

In any case, she should look for and accept all counseling and help she can get. There are people that can help her. In short… She has to grow up fast.

whitenoise's avatar

@livelaughlove21 We wrote our answers simultaneously… You’re right.

redellbabymomma's avatar

@whitenoise this is not the girl that i was talking about in the other question..it is a whole different situation and a whole difernt person..but i see where you are coming from! thanks for your input!

wundayatta's avatar

No matter how hard, she should persevere in here education. She must get as much education as she possibly can, and it doesn’t matter what other people think. Education is the key to a decent future for her baby. It’s all about her baby now. She can’t think about what anyone else thinks. The only thing to think about is taking care of her baby. The first step is getting as much education as possible. She should not stop until she has a college education. This is crucial for her baby.

Second, she must get prenatal care. She needs to see a doctor now, and get on a schedule to see the doctor when the doctor says so. If she doesn’t understand what the doctor tells her, she needs education to figure it out.

Third, she needs to start eating more healthily than she ever has. No more junk food. No chips. No cheetohs. No soda. No sugar. No McDonalds. She must eat fresh vegetables. Balanced meals. If she doesn’t know what this means, she needs education in order to learn how to figure it out.

Fourth, she must start planning to make the baby the center of her life. No more partying. Ever again. No more going out. She has to be there for the baby. No more smoking. No more drinking. These things are all bad for the baby. If she drinks or smokes, she is killing the baby and she might as well get an abortion. It goes without saying that there will be no drugs. But I have to say it, just in case she does need to know that.

Becoming a parent is a very serious business. She has a lot of work in front of her and she needs to start now. In fact, two months ago. Many young people don’t take it seriously, and their kids suffer.

She needs to learn how to parent. She can’t afford to wing it if she wants her child to be cared for properly. She needs education, yep, Education. In order to learn how to be a good parent. How to sing to the baby. How to give it good toys to teach it stuff. How to find good schools and to help it do school work when it is older. She has to grow up fast and become educated fast, because this baby will be here soon.

As a friend, you should tell her this straight. Make sure she understands how serious this is and how much work she has in front of her. She can do it, but she will have to suddenly become an adult. No more playing around. No more fun. It’s all work now. Because another human will be dependent on her and she will soon find out she knows nothing. Shoot. People who are in their thirties usually don’t know enough to be good parents. Maybe by the time you are 40.

Bellatrix's avatar

Everything people have said above is true but she also needs a support network now. People she can turn to for emotional and practical help. This is especially true if her parents are not being supportive. Do they want her to have an abortion or what position are they taking?

Does she have any aunts/uncles or older friends who can help her? Has she actually spoken to anyone who has genuine knowledge about her options? How far along is her pregnancy? There is so much we don’t know about this young woman.

I would suggest you do some research into women’s support networks/organisations in your area. Be careful to try to find an organisation that will provide her with unbiased advice. Her doctor may be able to point you in the right direction but you might need to start checking things out on the internet. She needs someone she can talk to about her short and long term options. She is probably very confused right now and making emotional decisions.

Can you take her to get the prenatal care she needs?

I would also encourage her to speak to her school guidance counsellor. They will have come across young women in this situation before. They will be able to give her support and advice. The advice above is right. If you can encourage her to complete her high school education she will thank you for it later. Even if it’s hard on the pride for now. The school counsellor may be able to help her find some middle ground with her parents. I hope so. She needs help not judgement.

redellbabymomma's avatar

@Bellatrix her mom and dad wants her to get an abortion. but she says it makes her look like she didnt care about the fact that she is taking someones life that hasnt even started. she has a little bit of friends to help her mostly me. she has spoken to different agencies ..she is 4 months and ha little time to prepare herself.

Bellatrix's avatar

Well the abortion path has gone anyway. She can still have her baby adopted though and that’s why it’s very important to get her access to genuine, unbiased advice. You didn’t say how old you are but I would encourage you to try to persuade her to speak to the counsellor at school or even a trusted teacher. I’m glad she has your friendship.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@whitenoise yes, the people that bring a child into this world should be at least partly responsible for its care. She should go after child support, then a judge can decide if her claim has any merit. The father should not be able to unilaterally decide he has no responsibilty and therefore be off the hook, regardless of his age.

filmfann's avatar

When you say the girl is going to keep the child, I am assuming you mean she will give birth to it, and not give it up for adoption.
If this is the case, she needs to think of the baby’s welfare. She has to take care of herself, going to the doctor and taking prenatal vitamins. She also must understand that she cannot care for the child without a good education, so she needs to go back to school, or work on her GED.

josie's avatar

It’s too late for my advice. You should have asked sooner.

JLeslie's avatar

What exactly does it mean that her parents don’t support her decision? You said they want her to have an abortion. That does not necessarily mean they won’t help her if she does have the baby. Has she talked to her parents about how she might be able to finish school or get her GED and work with their help? It is ridiculous to me that she dropped out. She is making one bad decision after another. What was her plan for school before this pregnancy? Go to college? Not go to college?

This sounds like a big mess. Can she go to her school counselor, explain her situation and see what help she can get? Maybe there is a school in her district that is good for pregnant girls? And, girls with babies. Or, at least the counselor can refer her to organizations that can help her.

Or, her GYN or Planned Parenthood could help her. Give her information on what help is out there.

Judi's avatar

Parents have a way of coming around in these situations once they meet their grandchild.
She needs to stop worrying about what people think and start worrying about that baby! Take it from one teen mom to another, get back in school!
This can either be the best or worst thing that ever happened to her.
For me, becoming pregnant shocked me into reality and I became a responsible citizen for my child’s sake.
A lot of people go the other way. I pray your friend is wise enough to put her child ahead of herself and become the woman she would want her daughter to become.

deni's avatar

Sorry to be the bad egg here but why exactly does she want to keep it? Does she realize the financial strain? Does she realize she can’t travel or pursue her own interests for a very long time? Does she realize her education and own well being are at stake? Just make sure she knows abortion is an option and is not the terrible option people make it out to be just because they are pro-life and want to impose their opinions on everyone else. Abortion gets a bad rap but in many cases especially a case where there is no father, a very young mother, no support from outside, it’s not a terrible decision. If she is not prepared to bring a child into the world, she doesn’t have to. Just saying. I’m sure this is not the scenario she envisioned for her first child. And honestly in our day and age a 16 year old, I think in general is far from even realizing the consequences of such an insanely large decision. Also this is why the world is overpopulated.

Bellatrix's avatar

She’s four months already @deni. I’m not sure what the law is where she is but she might have missed that option. You would have more idea than me about how far into a pregnancy you can be in the US to be able to have an abortion.

JLeslie's avatar

@Bellatrix Federal law is any time before viability, so she can still do it, but it may not be available in her city at 4 months. My city is up until 14 weeks, but two hours away it can be done at 4 months. I don’t know if that is because of a law in my city or just availability of doctors who can or will perform it.

But, it doesn’t look like she is willing to abort anyway, and she definitely is running out of time for a legal abortion. If she wants to change her mind she needs to quickly, especially if her state has required waiting times.

janbb's avatar

I think finding prenatal care and a supportive network are the most important right now. I would look for a Planned Parenthood Center and see what kind of support – ther than abortion – they offer for pregnant teens. And yes – talk to a school or other helpful counselor. Maybe going to a counselor with her parents would be an option.

Shippy's avatar

Sometimes parents do come around to the idea, when the other important issues, like education etc., has been sorted out. Also I would suggest to her, to get some counseling regards other options. (Just going there and finding out does not mean she has to change her mind). Like for example different kinds of adoptions, or foster cares any other alternatives there may be. Without her mom and dad to assist, or a job and money and no education she is not really giving her child a fair start in life. I am not saying it will be a disaster. But the odds are not stacked for her I’m afraid but against her. Unless she has support plus is able to complete her education.

nicole29's avatar

I am continually amazed at how selfish young people can be. Even now, at twenty-two, financially stable, relatively mature and graduating with a doctorate in two years- I would not feel ready to support a child. I truly feel that the mature decision is often the hardest one.

With all of these details, what sort of life will this child likely have? I can’t understand people punishing children, forcing them into a life of poverty or struggle – a life that they did not choose. Having grown up in a strong family, I cannot imagine some of the struggles that this child will face.

deni's avatar

@nicole29 Exactly what I was trying to say.

@Bellatrix I don’t know much about the laws either, but 4 months I believe is definitely not too far along. I think after a certain amount of weeks (16, I believe) they do change to a different method.

wundayatta's avatar

I do not have a problem with poverty and struggle in life. I think lives that contain those things are perfectly fine lives. I do not think economics is grounds to terminate a life.

What is important is love. If a mother truly loves the child, it doesn’t matter how base its conditions, it can have a wonderful life. A wonderful life is determined by how you feel about yourself, not what stuff you have.

I think in America we often mistake stuff for love. People who haven’t had love, think that even though they have lots of stuff, they are unhappy because stuff is inadequate, not because they weren’t loved.

What matters is not stuff, but love and care and focus on the child. A 16 year old can provide these things if she so chooses. She must give up most of what she wants to care for the baby, but that can be enough. Being a parent is a wonderful thing if you truly want to be one.

deni's avatar

@wundayatta That’s a nice and optimistic way to look at it. But there’s no reason she can’t wait until she’s in a better place, with a baby that will HAVE A FATHER and an educated mother. She is obviously obviously obviously unprepared. No 16 year old in this current world is ready or in an ideal spot to have a baby.

deni's avatar

Also, I didn’t read all the answers. But the question says “she found out this month” and @Bellatrix says that somewhere up there we find out that she is 4 months pregnant. Obviously she doesn’t know her body very well if it took four months to find out she was pregnant!!!!!!!!! This is a prime example of why sex education should be better in our schools (there was zero in my high school) and why young girls should not be brainwashed into thinking that abortion is an evil terrible option. Ugh.

wundayatta's avatar

You know, @deni, that I agree that children in older, two-parent families are going to be better off. And she could wait, of course. She has, however, decided not to, and so she must be prepared. Many girls aged 16 have a very unrealistic idea of what it takes to be a single parent. They may end up resenting the child and not taking proper care of it because they don’t realize how little freedom they will have when they have to take care of a baby.

So my focus is on taking her from where she is (she wants the baby) and trying to expand her awareness of what that involves. If people pound in this message of how hard it is over and over again, then perhaps she will have a chance of doing well by her child. I hope so.

Judi's avatar

Thanks Wundy. I am pro choice. I hate it when people make others feel guilty for choosing to have the baby as much as I hate it when people are made to feel guilty for having an abortion.

deni's avatar

@wundayatta That’s true, and a good way to look at it. I just think that maybe she didn’t even consider abortion as an option, that’s all I’m saying, is that she should, and if she seriously understands both options believes the best thing for everyone involved is to keep it, then that’s that I suppose.

Judi's avatar

@deni, some people’s spiritual beliefs won’t let them consider abortion.
When I had unprotected sex as a teenager I had already come to the conclusion that if I ended up pregnant the last thing I would do is have an abortion.
That is a really personal decision. Some people can handle it and others wouldn’t be able to live with themselves.
By the way, my daughter turned into a wonderful young woman has 4 kids of her own and is working on her masters in educational leadership. This single, impoverished mom managed to raise some pretty outstanding kids and I didn’t stay impoverished for long either.

JLeslie's avatar

@deni Since her parents want her to get an abortion, I suspect she knows it is a choice, even before she became pregnant bet she knew. Not knowing until already 3 or 4 mnths pregnant usually means, totally ignorant about how sex, her body, and pregnancy works, or denial. I don’t think she was ignorant if her parents are for having an abortion. I just think itis unlikely for people who are ok with abortion to be in denial about teens havi sex, but of course there are exceptions.

I just hope her parents come through and wind up helping her if she is willing to finish school. I would not want my teen daughter to have a baby, but if I wound up wth that situation I would sacrifice my life for a few years to do everything I could so my daughter has the education and career she had wanted. I would not want a baby to derail her; I would not be inclined to the thinking of you got yourself into this, your problem. Again, this is assuming she has goals and dreams and will work for them. Everyone talk about concern for the baby, and of course we all want all babies to have good lives in loving, safe environments. But, I really think most parents are freaked for their own teenage child more than anything. That they have drastically altered their own life and possibilities. Maybe I am wrong.

Bellatrix's avatar

Thankfully she isn’t reading this but I’m not sure castigating her for not being wise enough to not get pregnant or the choices she has made since she found out is useful to the kid. She is pregnant. She has decided to keep it. There are still other options than her then choosing to look after the child after it’s born. She can have the child adopted. If she does want to keep it that may be a good option if she can organise a good support system. Her parents, who may be struggling to deal with the problem right now, may come around. Teenage mothers have raised healthy, happy children.

JLeslie's avatar

My intention is not to castigate the girl if it came out that way. She is just 16. I have absolute empathy for her. I remember 16. It is totally understandable when a teen makes this sort of “mistake.” This is why I hope her parents come through in the end.

nicole29's avatar

@wundayatta Love is not enough. Children require food, and clothing, and a place to live, and hopefully money for an education. Who is going to pay for that? Not love…

Probably myself, and the other tax-payers.. and those who chose to WAIT to have children so that we could go to college, start careers, and give a third of it to those who couldn’t make good decisions. So many girls think that they are the exception – but they are the rule.

Might just be a mood I’m in – but I am so sick of this sense of entitlement. Just because you get knocked up doesn’t mean you should be a mother. Just because you have a child doesn’t mean that you should be taken care of. It’s easy to pretend to be grown up, but at sixteen, it’s hardly possible.

deni's avatar

@JLeslie Of course she knows it’s an option, but through my thorough research on the internet when I decided to have one myself a few months ago it was VERY difficult to find even one positive story from a girl who’d had one. Mostly the internet (and for a 16 year old I wonder if she even realizes how misleading the internet is) consists of horror stories and extreme exaggerations about abortions (I had a blood clot the size of a grapefruit. I had a period for 3 months straight after my abortion. I cried every night for the next 4 years. I regretted it immediately. It ruined my life. I made the wrong choice. etc. etc. etc.) That is what the internet leads girls to believe abortions are. Mine literally had nothing unpleasant about it and to this day I feel absolutely no remorse and know it was the right choice. I only wish somehow I could share that with other girls who find themselves in the same predicament….it’s not only bad news. Literally the only positive story I read of one was here on Fluther! Amazing!!!

@Judi Of course it doesn’t always turn out terribly, my gram was 17 when she had my mom and my mom is literally the most amazing person ever! But in her case, she realizes that her mom wasn’t ready to have her when she was that age. She still went out on dates and even though my mom was really young she remembers it and it did upset her especially when she was a little girl that just wanted a mom or a dad. There was never a dad in the picture and my grama was rarely there either. So, I’m glad it turned out well for you. I hope if she has it it turns out well for her too. But, all I’m saying, is there are options and already the odds are stacked very much against her and the baby.

JLeslie's avatar

@deni Got it. That makes sense. I didn’t understand exactly where you were coming from, thanks for clarifying. Maybe link your Q about your pregnancy/abortion for her. That was a good Q.

wundayatta's avatar

@deni You were much more effective with your message when you told your story about your personal experience than all those times you were advocating for abortion as an option. It’s usually that way, I find. You can say many things by telling a story that you get a lot of shit for if you just offer advice straight out. Humans are funny that way. Anyway, I recommend that strategy in the future. I had no idea you’d had an abortion. I hope you write more about it in the future.

@nicole29 I guess you didn’t read the thread. If you’ll read my post above, you’ll see I made the same point you make, only at much greater length.

As to paying for other people’s children—I’m afraid I think you have the wrong attitude. We should want to help care for children and see they grow up well with good educations. We are all better off when children are educated, and we all suffer when there are kids growing up in poverty.

The best way to eliminate teen pregnancy is by providing better education. You don’t get that by complaining about programs that help kids grow up with more advantages. I think we need to take a long term view about teen pregnancy prevention. Getting pissed about paying for assistance programs is counter-productive. We end up with more poverty and more teen pregnancy your way.

deni's avatar

@wundayatta It was only a couple months ago and the topic really hasn’t come up as much since it happened. (I only kind of wish it was before the election since I think there were a lot of questions around that time regarding abortion. But it was right after) Anyhow even right after I had it I thought “man, I wish I could share this experience somewhere!” But didn’t really know where to do that. So, I guess I’ll just do it here when I have the chance. I do think girls should know the stories aren’t all bad. I’m just not sure how to go about spreading the word though. There’s no Yelp for abortions, lol

wundayatta's avatar

No, but the question will come up here over and over, so you’ll have other chances. And you could be like me, and relate it to just about anything, like I relate mental illness to a lot of things. Of course, I’m sure people get tired of that, but fuck it. If it’s what’s on your mind, then fucking talk about it.

nicole29's avatar

@wundayatta I wish I had a better view on the subject. But I wish people would quit with this argument that young people don’t know how to prevent pregnancy. I’m a young person. It’s absolutely an excuse, and a way for us to avoid accepting that the problem is with the mentality of society – not it’s education system. Education can be fixed, social norms and mentality cannot. and I hardly buy into the poverty = low sex education = pregnancies dogma. I went to a high school, where we weren’t taught sex education AT ALL. We still knew what pregnancy was, and how to prevent it. (We had some pregnancies however. Knowing someo of the girls, I know that it was because they were careless, not uneducated) With all of the social media, internet resources, safe sex campaigns, and availability of free contraceptives (from many organizations) .. not to mention how open we are about sex in our society.. I just don’t buy it.

I have no problem helping people out who get in a bad situation and trying to change it.. I’ve just seen too many people who allow themselves to get into a bad situation, give up, and expect others to fix the problem. By this girl dropping out of high school due to fear of people finding out – I think that is a huge testament to her level of immaturity, and a good indication of how this situation will end up. Instead of facing a bad situation and working extra hard to rectify it – she hides from it. I’m sorry, I just can’t see the positive in this.

wundayatta's avatar

@nicole29 The way I look at things is to see where we are, and ask how we can make them better. Blaming people for stupid decisions never helps anyone. Blame makes people hide. You can say that people should be able to stand up to blame, but we can’t. Social pressure is a very powerful force in humanity.

Sure, people know, intellectually, how to prevent pregnancy. But that doesn’t help them when they are in the throws of passion and they don’t have a condom. Worse, they don’t want to use a condom because it feels wrong. Even worse, they may not care if they get pregnant, because a baby would make them feel a hell of a lot more important than they feel now. There are a lot of reasons why young women may want to be pregnant.

So calling them stupid because they get pregnant doesn’t help. It makes them feel bad and misunderstood, and then they don’t want to talk to you, and this is bad because you can’t help people who avoid you.

You act as if you’re taking it personally. Like they get pregnant in order to attack you. You accuse them of expecting you to care for them, which means they have to deny that, and to prove it, they have to stay away on their own. This is the opposite of what is good for them and for us. But it is the culture of blaming the poor or the stupid or whoever.

They may be immature, but that’s just name calling. You may be immature for not understanding that there is a framework where this decision makes a lot of sense. How does that feel to be called immature? I don’t actually believe it, but it shows you what it’s like. I don’t think it’s good to call other people names when you don’t know what their lives are like. For you, it’s so logical. But your logic is nonsense to people in different situations.

Have you never been shamed? I have. I know that when people shame me, I want to do anything other than what they want. What makes me work hard and shine is for people to tell me they love me. I’ll do anything for love. I’ll make the world change its orbit if my love tells me that’s what they want me to do.

This girl is soon going to have a love in her life who will be completely dependent on her. She may never have had that kind of relationship before. That’s powerful stuff. When you’re nothing, you’ll do anything to be something. Even stuff that everyone else thinks is stupid.

If we can’t make people think they are something before they get pregnant, hopefully we can help them bring up their children so they think they are something and they won’t need to get pregnant to be something.

nicole29's avatar

@wundayatta I completely understand the logic of wanting someone to love them – but brining children into broken homes is a factor in perpetuating this need for stability and love, which is not being fulfilled. It’s a cycle. I understand that name-calling is useless. I understand that there is no way for to change people. I understand that not everyone is in the same category.

And yes – I’ve been shamed. Everyone has.. Saying that we can’t hold people accountable for their actions, and their impact on society, is not the solution. I remember my mother catching me fooling around in high school – not sex, but still awkward. She told me, “I will not raise your bastard children. If you want to screw around, get out of my house.” That was enough for me to know she was serious, and for me to change my behavior, or prevent it from going any further.

IMO, and in my experience – people do not change, or grow up, or accept responsibility until they are held accountable and forced to do so. There is no solution to this problem… just something that really irks me. I’ve worked hard my entire life, and am suffering through 6+ years of college and a 2+ year residency. As if I don’t want a family, or a baby, or to have someone unconditionally love/support me.. But I’ve made the choice to put that on hold until I’m able to accept the responsibility. When I give away 33+% of my pay to social programs, I can’t say that I won’t be bitter.

Bellatrix's avatar

@nicole29 how is your discussion helping the original poster? She is not pregnant. She is simply looking for advice as to how to support her pregnant friend. I’m sorry providing assistance to her pregnant friend may use up some of the taxes you pay but I can’t see how you lambasting us with your opinions on teenage pregnancy and people who don’t take responsibility for their actions or the wastefulness of social welfare programs answers the question being asked.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Bellatrix Uh…actually, the OP is asking for advice for her pregnant friend, not for herself.

Bellatrix's avatar

@livelaughlove21 I said ”@nicole29 how is your discussion helping the original poster? She is not pregnant. She is simply looking for advice as to how to support her pregnant friend.” How do you know this is coming from the girl? She doesn’t say – my friend asked me to ask… and even if she was asking on behalf of her friend, how the hell does beating her with a stick help?

So I ask again, how are all these side issues with people jumping on their soap boxes helping answer her question?

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Bellatrix Is this not in Social? If not, the unhelpful answers would be modded. I’m pretty sure a high percentage of all Social answers are unhelpful or off topic, so there’s nothing out of the ordinary here.

And I’m under the assumption she wants advice for her friend because she asked “Do you have any advice for a teenage mom?”

Bellatrix's avatar

Yes it is in social, but I am pretty certain the poster did not ask for people to advise her to tell her friend she is stupid and selfish for getting pregnant, is a drain on the system etc. etc. How does any of that help the poster to support her friend or act as advice for the young woman herself? What practical purpose do any of these side judgements have? Regardless of the section the question is we should still try to assist the person asking the question (or the person in need) rather than attacking them. There is some really good, helpful advice up there ^ but there are also a lot of people passing judgement after after the horse has bolted.

Social requires us to ensure our answers “relate to the discussion”. She is already pregnant and has no control over social welfare regulations. Side opinions about teen pregnancy and the welfare system generally do not qualify as ‘advice’. We should “be respectful; you can disagree without being disagreeable.” and they should be “helpful”. Suggesting the young woman is selfish and stupid is neither helpful nor respectful.

We are talking about a 16 year old girl who has made a mistake. She will probably make many more along the way. Her friend is trying to help. Judging her does not help at this point. That has no value for this woman. In my opinion it’s also pretty callous.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I find it interesting that so many people are coming to the rescue here and yet, I’ve been attacked for simply asking a question and no one seems to think that is uncalled for or unhelpful if it is posted in social. Or when certain questions are answered with nothing but sarcastic, belittling comments meant to be witty but are, in fact, pretty insulting, that’s all good. But a debate about teen pregnancy on a question asking about teen pregnancy is “callous” because @nicole29 isn’t babying a girl that made the choice to have sex without a condom and, surprise surprise, it ended in an unwanted pregnancy.

I’m not insinuating those comments are helpful, but there seems to only be a standard for that on particular questions. Just interesting, that’s all.

Bellatrix's avatar

Repeating and/or supporting the same behaviour you criticise elsewhere doesn’t help anyone. On this thread, the girl being discussed is 16 years old. Who here has not made mistakes in their lives? Furthermore, do we know that she didn’t use contraception? Perhaps they did and the condom broke? Perhaps she was on the pill but something went wrong and she ended up pregnant? If you have experienced belittling and sarcasm yourself, I would think you would be one of the first people to call it out when you see it. Yet you are complaining about the unfairness of it being called out here.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Bellatrix I’ve accepted it elsewhere. I have the understanding that almost any semi-related discussion is fair game in Social. I don’t see how her being 16 matters much. If it’s okay for people to brush it off as a little mistake, why is it not okay for someone else not to? So attacking the girl may not help, but the same can be said for 1) saying nothing or 2) excusing it because she’s young.

My sister-in-law got pregnant at 17 and the family babying her led her to quit school and accept the fact that she’s going to be an uneducated, unemployed teen mother and believe that it’s not her fault because “we all make mistakes.” We don’t all make mistakes that put a strain on society as a whole. And, if we do, there’s nothing wrong with being aware of the magnitude of such a mistake. If it’s not her fault, what reason does she have to improve her situation?

I think it’s unfair to attack @nicole29 because she doesn’t have the soft spot for pregnant teens as others might.

Bellatrix's avatar

Where is the evidence that this girl didn’t use contraception? Everyone has assumed that but we don’t know that’s true.

I also didn’t say we all get pregnant as teenagers, I said we all make mistakes. Perhaps you haven’t @livelaughlove21 but I have certainly made decisions and choices that weren’t necessarily the wisest. At 16 her brain isn’t even fully developed. There is plenty of research correlating reckless behaviour to brain development in teens. I also haven’t seen the original poster state that the young woman is blaming anyone or anything else for her situation. Rather she wants to have the baby and has decided she doesn’t want an abortion. It sounds to me, wisely or not, that she is taking responsibility for her actions.

There is no ‘soft spot for pregnant teens’ here. Just an expectation that we behave fairly and respectfully and give helpful responses.

Nobody ‘attacked’ @Nicole29. I did criticise her comments and I did ask her to justify how it helped the person asking the question or the young woman being discussed. You can call that attacking if you want to. If you really believe @Nicole29 was attacked, flag it. If people take a strong line on a topic, they have to be prepared to have their ideas challenged or questioned. That doesn’t mean they are being ‘attacked’.

I don’t think there is anything to be gained from continuing this discussion. I have said my piece and have nothing more to add.

livelaughlove21's avatar

My point, regardless of any of that, is that she wasn’t doing anything wrong. As stated in the guidelines:

“The Social Section of Fluther has relaxed guidelines for responding. Answerers are encouraged to express their opinions and flex their sense of humor. Social works best when you want to learn about people; hypothetical questions work well here.

Responses must:

-Relate to the discussion
-Be respectful; you can disagree without being disagreeable
-Adhere to the writing standards

Responses must not:

-Disrupt the discussion”

I didn’t find her responses any more disrespectful than the numerous others on Fluther. And you’re right, there’s no point in this going any further than that.

wundayatta's avatar

@livelaughlove21 There’s a difference between not breaking rules and doing the right thing. @Bellatrix and I are asking @nicole29 to take a constructive approach to this question instead of tearing the OP’s friend apart. That doesn’t mean anyone has to take a constructive approach. However, sometimes, positive social pressure is a better way to get a good outcome than using rules and regulations. What we want here is a culture of constructiveness, not a culture of shame.

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