While the incidence of teen parenting has decreased, there are still many teens who choose to keep their babies and raise them. Some of them have visions of marrying the young man who fathered the baby and in rare cases, this is exactly what happens. Unfortunately, more young men stay only peripherally in the baby’s life or disappear altogether. This leaves the teen mother with the need to learn how to parent their child and grow up at the same time.
Teen parenting classes through the county help many teen mothers learn the basics of parenting their baby. They learn about child development, ways to avoid child abuse, issues around trying to have relationships while raising a baby. The basics of caring for the baby are also discussed and teen moms often develop a sort of support group where they help each other overcome the challenges of dealing with raising a baby as a teen.
Teen parenting often goes much better when the teen mom has plenty of support from their family. A supportive family will often babysit for the teen mom and often raises the baby along with the teen. A supportive family can often allow the teen to continue going to school or have a job that will ultimately help her support herself and the child. Supportive families often make the difference between a successful teen pregnancy and one that doesn’t go as well.
Teen parenting programs in schools go a long way toward helping teen moms get an education as well as learning about parenting. The school often has a daycare in school and the teen can spend some time learning and the rest of the time learning how to parent their baby. It is a wonderful way for the teen to get a high school education while also learning how to become a teen mom.
There are teen parenting classes offered through hospitals or through community educations classes. Teen parenting classes focus specifically on issues of teen parenting and on how a teen can effectively be a good parent while still not fully grown themselves.
Teen parenting classes for teen fathers are rare but, in fact, a small number of teen males choose to take on the responsibility of parenting a child with or without the mother. Teen fathers need to learn much the same things as teen mothers, including issues around child development and child abuse. It is an unfortunate statistic, but more than the expected amount of teen fathers—many of whom don’t understand childhood development—ultimately abuse their babies. Issues of shaken baby syndrome must be addressed as teen fathers and some teen mothers will shake their baby to get them to stop crying. Infants can become brain damaged or die as a result of being shaken.
Teen parenting is very difficult. Too many teen parents drop out and go on some form of welfare. Some teen parents become parents again, effectively doubling the stresses on the teen parent. Sex education in school addresses issues that hopefully would avoid teen pregnancies; however, some teens don’t feel it applies to them or have an overwhelming need to have a baby. It’s these teens that need the most help in getting at the underlying cause of getting pregnant in the first place.