Whatever Happened to the ‘Village’? #RRBC

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I’m writing today because I’d like your opinion on something.  Recently, while speaking to a mom of a teen-age daughter, I found myself embroiled in a discussion which caused me great angst. I mean, the conversation literally caused me to go into full migraine headache mode (my poor head).

This mom of a 15 year old who delivered a baby a few months ago, shared with me how her daughter’s newborn son, accompanies his teen-age mother to school every day.  Confused, I asked, “Well, how can she focus on her schoolwork if she has to care for the baby at the same time?”  This mom then shared that the entire school district where her daughter attends school, has a nursery/daycare on the campus of every high school in the district to accommodate teen moms.  After hearing this, I went completely numb.  Hence the beginning of our discussion (debate).  I  mean, if your conversation is going to cause me to go numb, then you can bet your bottom dollar, we’re gonna talk  about it!

I shared with her my disappointment in hearing this, and how I  whole-heartedly disagree with the idea of daycare centers on high school campuses.  I said, “If a school district has to have daycare centers on EVERY HIGH SCHOOL CAMPUS in their district, then they have a major problem with teen-age pregnancies.  The focus then, in my opinion, should not be on adding daycare centers to school campuses and accommodating these teenagers, but on how to rectify the major problem…that of the number of teen pregnancies of their female student body.”

In my opinion (and as you can see, I have lots of these), having daycare centers on these school campuses is like slapping a band-aid on an open sore…it’s not going to heal the real problem, just cover it up, so to speak.  Instead of spending that money on campus daycare centers, how about putting it to even greater use…like educating these girls in a different manner on how these poor decisions will impact their lives and their entire futures.  How about we put that money into special programs to teach these girls how NOT TO become teen-age moms?  I mean, since the school is offering free childcare for these teenage moms, what’s going to keep them from repeating the act?  What’s going to keep them from going off having another…and another, and yet another?  Who’s policing these possible serial teenage moms?

Here is where we should all begin to miss “the villages” of old…the ones that it took to raise a child;  the ones that cared enough to go above and beyond, to do whatever it took to ensure that not only their kids, but all the kids around them, excelled at life?  What happened to those?

I often hear people say “Times have changed,” but you know what, just because the world is changing in every arena, doesn’t mean you have to.  I know you saw this one coming, but if all the world decides to one day drink poison and lay down on the ground and die, are you going to join them?  What about that cliff ahead?  I see they’re all getting ready to jump…have you suddenly sprouted wings, too?  I would like to think that you have your own mind, you think with your own mind, and you would make up your own mind to do the right thing if you were ever faced with either of these situations.  Just because some feel as if it’s ‘old fashioned’ and “no one does that anymore,” doesn’t mean you have to buy into that common mentality.

Stand for something, or you will fall for anything.  Remember having that drilled into your head as a child?  I do.  Again, I ask, where have those villages gone?

I’d like to hear from you.  What are your thoughts on these high-school campus daycare centers?  Are they encouraging more of the same or, are they meeting a very serious problem head on?

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(During a recent phone conversation with an old friend of mine, she asked:  “You’re not a grandma yet?”  I replied:  “Have you received a wedding invitation from us?”  She said, “No.”  I responded, “Well, if you haven’t received a wedding invite first, then you shouldn’t be expecting a baby announcement.”  You see, in our home, the cart doesn’t go before the horse.)

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57 thoughts on “Whatever Happened to the ‘Village’? #RRBC

  1. Wow… just wow!

    This is the first I’ve heard of there being an in-school daycare. To say I’m shocked is an understatement. I certainly appreciate you opening my eyes to this. I’ve lived in the South my whole life, and I’m a preacher’s kid, so I’m truly having a hard time wrapping my head around this idea. I suppose I’m old-fashioned, too!

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  2. Hi NJ – missed the last RRBC day due to helping my son move his house yesterday – no internet in the new digs yet – Thanks so very much for organizing the RRBC back to school Blog tour – it was a blast – MikeL

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  3. Hi Nonnie! Interesting topic. I think some of what you’re seeing may be a regional issue. Here is what I just pulled from the CDC:

    In 2014, almost 250,000 babies were born to women aged 15–19 years, for a birth rate of 24.2 per 1,000 women in this age group. This is another historic low, and a drop of 9% from 2013. Birth rates fell 11% for women aged 15–17 years, and 7% for women aged 18–19 years. While reasons for the declines are not clear, teens seem to be less sexually active, and more of those who are sexually active seem to be using birth control than in previous years.

    I’m guessing this means the village is still alive and kicking and education is happening somewhere along the line for [at least most] teens. It’s such a loaded issue, though, with so many variables. There are many communities in which teenaged parenthood goes back generations. If it worked for Grandma, Mom, the neighbor, the neighbor’s daughter…why wouldn’t it work out for me? There is the issue of drug addiction – much of which we have big pharma to thank, as they have unscrupulously thrown opiates at us and created an absolute MONSTER of a problem (complete with branch-off issues, such as unintended pregnancies). There’s the problem of sexual abuse. I will never forget when I was a senior in high school and a 10th grade friend of mine came to me crying, saying she was pregnant. I asked her if her boyfriend knew, and she said she couldn’t possibly tell him…because she was not sexually active with him…and the baby was either her father’s OR HER UNCLE’S!

    As a side note, a few folks have mentioned alternative schools that teen moms are forced to go to as part of the “consequence of their actions” (isolation from friends, etc.). So what program are the teen dads being shipped off to? How are they being “held accountable”?Are there alternative schools for them that include work programs so they can pay their child support in an effort to keep the moms off of welfare?

    Anyway, I am encouraged by the numbers from the CDC, and hope that communities continue to grow, learn, teach, and support in an effort to become an ever-healthier village.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree with John and Marlena. In the 50′-60′ three things kept kids from getting pregnant–4 if you consider not having sex. First the school would expel a pregnant student, second their parents would literally throw them out of the house and the one that deterred me–God would strike them down with a bolt of lightning. I taught my kids, be both God-loving and God-fearing, yet some of them got pregnant or had sex before marriage. So we can’t blame all the parents. The schools want the best for the whole problem by having daycare so that those unwed mothers can get an education. If they have to care for their babies that won’t happen. But we haven’t discussed those poor babies. I was pushed into daycare when my mother divorced my father and had to work to support us. I was neglected, abused sexually, physically and emotionally, leaving me scarred for life. The unwed mothers made their bed so to speak but my primary concern is for those poor unplanned babies. Having them in daycare in or near the schools, paid by whoever can and will, gives those babies enough food–I got rickets from malnutrition, close proximity to their moms and hopefully a bond will form between mother and child that will give the incentive to the unwed mom to make something of herself, but more for her child. That is the innocent one who does not deserve to be neglected by unfit babysitters or supposed good day care centers. Nonnie, in a perfect world, I’d agree 100% with you but we don’t live in a perfect world and sometimes we have to take the path that will do the most good for all parties concerned.

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    • Hi, Micki! My heart goes out to you for the upbringing you suffered. But, I’m not speaking about the babies that are here…I’m speaking about the prevention of babies being born to unwed teen mothers in the first place.

      Many are focusing on that, the babies that are here, but there is nothing we can do about that now, but love them and serve as “the village” they’ll need. Again, those babies are not the topic that I wrote about.

      My concern is the fact that when we have these daycares on campuses, other impressionables are witnessing it and all the attention the pregnant teens/new teen moms are receiving, they are glorifying it and because they are impressionable, they may be thinking: “Hmmm, maybe I should have a baby, too.” Sound shallow? Of course, but these are children we’re speaking of.

      Let’s start at the beginning, at home, with the way we parent. And try as everyone might, my mind will not be changed simply because I hear someone say: “I told my kids this, and I stressed that.” Even that isn’t enough. It is only when you TEACH IT CONSISTENTLY, LIVE IT, walk the talk and drive it home, that it sticks. And, I’m standing by that. Why? Because the proof is always in the pudding and in my world, my proof walks out my door every day on her way to her 2nd Master’s Degree…and all of her babies have four legs.

      I don’t want anyone to think that I am some self-righteous mom or a perfect mom. I’ve said many times before that my daughters would probably quickly share that I am definitely an imperfect mother, but a truly good one. You see, I’m not the parent who would “eventually” give in. I had/have rules and expectations and there was nothing they could do or say to deter me from straying away from those rules and expectations and that is why they turned out the way they did and the reason they have remained on track. You see, I always stressed how boys could come later, after every dream had been realized.

      Again, many who have shared here today have commented on the fact that we don’t live in a perfect world. Well, you know, it would be a little less imperfect if everyone stopped making excuses and worked a little harder at making it so.

      I appreciate everyone’s feedback but it’s time for us to stop making those excuses and trying to justify what is clearly not OK.

      Thanks for dropping by, sharing, Micki 🙂

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  5. it is almost a damned if you do, damned if you don’t, situation… eliminate the HS daycares, and teen moms drop out, while the boys have sex with someone else… keep them, and run the risk of giving a nod of approval that early pregnancy is now an accepted life choice… but what we have here are kids… and I am talking about the teens… we need to find a way to keep them in school, help them when the reason sex at an early age has popped up might be something no one wants to talk about (though sometimes it is hormones and lack of supervision, which can be a problem in its self with a high right of single parent households), and shake some sense into those that think we shouldn’t educate our kids… and that is what they are… kids… and we need to find ways to let them remain young and innocent, and carefree for as long as possible…

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  6. Great discussion everyone. I would only warn: things haven’t really “changed” all that much. I’m over sixty, and I remember people wailing and railing about how “the pill” had changed everything and suddenly there were no morals, and families had broken down, and everything was oh so much better “when we were young.” It wasn’t. This is a perennial problem — which doesn’t make it any less important. On the contrary, it remains a problem that we need to address in the elusive search for a better solution.

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  7. I haven’t read the other opinions, so I might be repeating what someone else said. But I think the h.s. day care centers can be a good idea, especially in poorer neighborhoods. However, that should be balanced with proper sex education, which in the past several years has been eliminated from many schools because many consider that sex education actually encourages teenage sex. And *that* IMO is ridiculous–just the opposite in fact!

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    • Hi, Linda! I’m just curious as to why daycare centers would be best placed in the “poorer neighborhoods?” You know, IMO (In My Opinion), the kids in the poorer neighborhoods aren’t the ones getting pregnant, it’s the kids in the affluent neighborhoods, that live on the “better side of the tracks” that have it easier and IMO again, have less parenting going on.

      It really bothers me when people think that all of the ills of the world are caused by and are suffered by the “poor.” Those that don’t live in great neighborhoods, those that don’t have easy lives and those that are so often considered “less than” because of their zip codes, are some of THE most genuine, decent, hard-working people I know. And, the icing on that cake, is that their kids are better disciplined and more respectful and driven, than those whose parents care more about the size of their homes and the cost of their cars.

      Are there exceptions to this rule, yes, because my daughters live a FINE life, in a very affluent neighborhood, they live in a nice home and cars are decent, but we care more about them as opposed to the “stuff” that tends to rule the lives of others.

      I watch more LifeTime television than the law allows, and in 95% of these movies (based on real life stories), the stories are about teenage Caucasian babies being pregnant, not black babies, therefore, I’d like for us to leave out the fact that these daycare centers are best served in certain kinds of neighborhoods, because my facts say otherwise.

      Now, that’s just my humble opinion.

      Thanks for your take on it, Linda 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Just my opinion but …. I think before these teen moms can pick their kid at the end of the day, they should prove they can put a condom on a banana. Just saying ….

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: the end is Nigh … #RRBC | Finder's Keepers – Author Tracey Clark

  10. Hi, Nonnie. I’m so glad that teenage pregnancy rates have fallen dramatically here in Australia. I think perhaps that all though we are a sophisticated nation, we are, purely because of our location, a nation still comforted by our ‘Village” mentality. That’s not to say that the tragedy of teenage pregnancy has disappeared, it hasn’t. BUT sex education is a large part of our curriculum. It’s sad that that is necessary, as it should be the parents providing those guidelines and examples, unfortunately not all parents care enough to do so. It’s a complex issue, but it shouldn’t be.

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  11. I hear ya, Nonnie! In our area, we don’t have a daycare at every high school campus, but they are located at the alternative schools for those who have been unable to continue at a regular high school for one reason or another. The organization I work for provides work experience funds for youth (who are low income and have another barrier) to which our contractors have placed young women and a few young men at the daycare to work with these children. The teen mothers can also bring their own child(ren). I don’t think they’re is a cut off limit for how many either. For those young women or young men who haven’t given birth or fathered a baby, perhaps it could teach or scare them into not going that route. I don’t know. I think it would scare me.

    I’m not sure if they do any of the other things you mentioned. The school doesn’t provide the daycare but they are located on the alternative school campus. A charitable organization runs the daycare.

    I believe the schools are more focused on doing anything they can to make sure these young teenagers get an education no matter what mistakes they’ve made. While I agree that they should have the same opportunities and not be punished for making a mistake, I agree they should also focus on preventing future mistakes, helping these teens make better choices and preventing pregnancy in the first place.

    Also, a lot of these teens do not have the family support system that I was blessed with growing up. Many are homeless and couch surfing or worse.

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  12. A fine article, Nonnie. I am on board with the prevention part. This whole notion that “times have changed” is just garbage! Time has been changing since time first began. That doesn’t mean we just chuck our morals into the trash can. Pregnancy has a cause. Address the cause. We went centuries in this country without this epidemic leading us to daycare centers in our schools. Now, that’s the norm. I agree with Bruce’s comment above: those in charge don’t really want to solve the problem; they’re making a career from it. Daycare centers in schools add to the budget, which means other areas lose funding. We hear all about lack of funding for public schools. This is one of the reasons why. We no longer operate under common sense in the United States. And we are failing because of it.

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  13. Hi Nonnie,

    I think you make some good points, but the pressures on these kids is unbelievable these days. I have a 23 year old and a 20 year old (both girls), so maybe my perspective is different. Neither is a mom yet, but many of their friends over the years did become young mothers. I see how these young people struggle and not everyone has a supportive family who will help them when they find themselves pregnant at a young age.

    Ideally, we would prevent the teen pregnancies through education, but they’ve been doing that in schools for years and it isn’t working – at all. Young people tend to think things won’t happen to them and make decisions that impact their life in big ways. I also think a lot of parents really struggle to talk to their children about this issue. I was always very blunt with my girls about the consequences of their actions, prevention, etc. Not sure if that is the right approach or not, but it is my approach.

    Anyway, I think that they do need to accommodate these girls, not to encourage them to get pregnant but because they probably will anyway and how much worse will it be on a young mother and on her baby if she isn’t able to complete her education?

    That is my perspective on it. In an ideal world, teen pregnancies would be reduced and this wouldn’t even be a discussion. Unfortunately, the schools don’t seem to be accomplishing that very well.

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    • Hi, Lori! I have an adult daughter who’s closer to 30 than she is 25…and, she is also still a virgin. Some may say “So what, no big deal,” but it’s a huge deal and if it isn’t to some, it should be. Being as beautiful as my daughter is, as intelligent as she is, it’s a big deal because everyone can’t do it. I didn’t do it, but again, I wasn’t the mom of me. You know, I’m not from the school of moms who want to know that every Tom, Darrin and Harry have had relations with my daughters…that’s just not me, but I know that some moms are un-phased by this knowledge and could care less. It sickens my stomach every time I think about it. I also think we spend too much time making excuses for these kids, and for these parents. I’m sure that there are many among us who didn’t have ideal childhoods, but we didn’t make these decisions. And then when we say that parents today are busy…I’M SO BUSY that I forget my name at times and have to call someone to ask, but, that didn’t prohibit me from raising my kids properly.

      Anyone who gets pregnant today, wants to be pregnant in my opinion, because there are just too many methods out there that can keep it from happening…if you want that. And, before someone pops up and says: “But maybe their religion prohibits them from using birth control,” then I’m sure their religion also SHOULD prohibit them from having sex in the first place.

      I love the idea of these kids continuing to get their education after their mistakes, but do we need to parade and glorify these mistakes on school campuses, where other kids might be impressionable and think this glamorous? That’s the problem I have with it. Everyone makes mistakes, but you know what, we don’t have to build monuments around those mistakes. Especially when those erected monuments invite more of the same.

      Thanks for stopping by contributing, Lori! 🙂

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    • Ooh! To say that they “probably will anyway” is a cop out. I understand some of what you’ve said here, Lori, but that statement is just…nope! I agree with you that the education isn’t working. However, take a look at what this “education” entails in some districts. It’s almost a how-to course. I’ve seen some of this as almost encouraging activity. Then you have those who fight tooth and nail to get rid of the abstinence-only topic. When I was a kid in the early to mid 1970s, the sex ed classes gave the very basics. What goes where and the end result. I have grandchildren now. What some districts teach is almost pornographic compared to the “olden days” of my youth. Incidentally, there weren’t any pregnant teens in my junior high school (zero!), and there were maybe three pregnant girls in my high school (1500+ students) that I can remember. One girl got married just before our senior year because she had a child. It sounds like you’ve done well with your daughters, Lori. In today’s world, that’s to be commended.

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  14. I’m of the ‘prevention is better (and usually less expensive) than the cure’ brigade. I’m also the survivor of a all girls school Catholic upbringing – where girls regularly disappeared for months on end, to have their children and then get them adopted, before returning to their desks, but the one girl who had an abortion got expelled… A little extreme that example, but it does illustrate the point of how poorly some educational establishments do in preparing teenagers of both genders for the real facts of adult life.
    It’s usual in the UK for colleges and universities to have creche facilities, but having them in schools seems completely crazy – schools should NOT be enabling young people to learn life skills before their time, but teaching them how to grow healthily and morally.

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  15. I’m proud to say that I’m a bit old fashioned in my thinking, too, and that is a good thing. Every thing is so open and “free” nowadays that there is no accountability, no morals, no ethics, and no responsibility. As a consequence, we all wind up paying for it in the end. Your conversation is a perfect example of that.

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  16. You know what? I agree with you Nonnie. I was employed at a Catholic church in the inner city and as most Catholics know, they have a food pantry and means to help the poor and disabled people. One day a young woman called in asking for help to get clothing for her six (6) kids. I said “You have six kids? What were you thinking?” I could tell that she was a little embarrassed that I reacted that way. And I was a little shocked that I blurted that out before I thought. She was the perfect example of someone who had low self esteem and did not know how to say no! She was a young desperate woman. And I think the welfare system in our country and the notion that black men need not be present in order to get help for the needy family is what led to this crisis in our social structure in the United States.

    But there is no excuse in turning the tide around now. I feel like this generation is being deprived of knowing how it feels to fall in love because they are doing grownup things before they are ready. Their future is over and they are having a rough time trying to support their families. There is no village anymore to help. I don’t think putting daycare centers in schools is the right answer. “It takes a village to raise a child” is an African proverb. They took care of their families. If a husband died, the brother would take over family that is left behind. I remember growing up in a community that helped each other out. Sometimes families stayed with families to get back on their feet. I remember my family taking in strangers. That doesn’t happen today.

    Going back to the basics of raising children with examples of a mother and a father and being taught how to say no will go a long ways in reversing this damaging trend. I don’t know what is happening in other communities but I do know what is happening in the black community.

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  17. Wow that is really shocking – of course there are times when teen pregnancies happen but that should be the rare occasion – not the norm! It really should be a case of concentrating on prevention shouldn’t it.. It’s just rather sad if no one seems concerned about preventing the pregnancies in the first place

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  18. I wholeheartedly agree.
    First, why is it that the knee-jerk reaction to solve problems and challenges always to deal with the symptoms and NOT the illness. Not that pregnancy is a “problem”, but you know what I mean. High School girls who are getting pregnant is not ideal; and it says something about the low self esteem of young girls that they, in so many numbers in some areas, are so sexually active. I could go on about this but will refrain. (For now.)
    Second, I believe the closer you get to home, the closer you get to solving the problems. Nonnie, in different words you addressed this. Nobody needs yet ANOTHER program, (Especially another federal or local one) to manage their life. Not only have I seen the greater benefits of solving problems in a smaller community atmosphere, it works. The solution is more personal, and having people you know work with you thru life events keeps one accountable.
    This is one of those subjects that is a reflection of our degraded culture. I can see me talking for hours about this over tea or coffee!
    Great comments by Harmony above me, by the way.

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  19. Thank you for such a thought provoking post, Nons. This is both a sad and complex issue with no quick or easy fixes. I agree wholeheartedly about the loss of “the village”. Unfortunately, so much of modern media undermines any alternative messages that schools and parents might try to send. Some of the things I see on billboards or TV or magazines just have me shaking my head in dismay…so not the message that teenagers need. As with so many things, I believe that much of this comes down to self-worth. Perhaps, it might be more helpful to have a big focus on that area for teenagers? The more they value themselves, the less likely they would be to engage in such destructive/devaluing behaviours. The fact that we no longer have the social deterrents we once had seems to me to be both blessing and curse. On the one hand, they kept teenage pregnancies down. On the other, though, some truly barbaric consequences could be brought to bear on the poor girl and her child. I’m glad that we live in more enlightened times, but also feel something needs to give. Okay, that’s me stepping off my little soap box now, lols. Thanks for getting me to think about this, Nons! 🙂

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  20. What a conundrum! I agree on many parts. I agree that it does take a village to raise a child. That said, do you know how this part of the school campus was funded? If funded in part through the government and our school systems, then that takes away money for school books, etc. that schools need. however, if they are funded through organizations, then it becomes a whole new situation. Example: Imagine a head start daycare business next to a high school. They are separate entities and separately funded. Would the close proximity make it a bad influence on those kids who attend high school? Would it be better to have the daycare preschool a few blocks away? Now lets look at a daycare preschool on the same grounds as the high school. I believe that we, as parents, must teach our children about this kind of situation. The school is responsible in teaching sex education as well. Having a child care preschool on the property of the high school doesn’t make a girl want to have sex. Hormones do that. Peep pressure causes part of it. Hormones and pressures will exist regardless of day care on the school premises. The daycare doesn’t increase the rate of babies being born, but it does certainly increase the probability of the young mother to finish her schooling. That is preferable to the mother dropping out to raise her child as she can’t afford a babysitter and usually there isn’t a family member who doesn’t work these days.

    In summation, I first placed sex education on the parents and the school, followed by (yes I am writing this and pleased don’t be offended) but the school nurses office should have someone who can help determined teenagers. It’s not wrong to have on hand free condoms for the kids. It’s not promoting sex; it is promoting safe ex for those determined to have sex.

    As a parents, we taught our kids right and wrong, and we spoke of sex education. We spoke openly and when our daughter was a senior, she fell in love with a high school crush. We knew we couldn’t separate them, so the next best thing was done. I took her to our doctor to have her first pap smear, and to obtain birth control pills. Then we had a screening done to see if she was a carrier of Hemophilia, and she is. This was in 2004. Today she is happily married to a nice man and her first child is almost one year old. She was age 26 when she became pregnant and they planned this pregnancy. Our son was educated in the same way, and he used condoms his senior year and no, we didn’t approve of his relationship with girls in this manner, but we wanted to protect him as well. He never once impregnated a girl thankfully.

    I guess I have many points and I could go on and on. Such a topic!

    Liked by 5 people

  21. Good Morning Nonnie! You have given us a great subject this morning. I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s thoughts and to include anything else would be redundant. But here goes … Sex confronts these students everywhere. Advertisers use sex freely because sex sells. Movie stars and entertainers walk the red carpet, Naked!
    Many girls have begun to see themselves as sexual beings. The sexier the better. A pickup line at the school where I taught was, “Girl, I want you to have my baby.” Which was pitiful coming from a little boy who didn’t have a pot to pee in or a window to pour it out! Some girls however fell for that declaration of love because they weren’t getting it anywhere else (love).
    Parents aren’t parenting. They’re at work; on drugs; or out on dates themselves because THEY had these kids when they were 15 and 16. Kids don’t all have parents or role models to emulate.
    My thoughts may be a little disjointed, but as John said earlier, thanks for giving me this soapbox!

    Liked by 3 people

  22. It does take a village to raise a child. That being said, teenage girls who become pregnant have no idea what is involved in taking care of a child – the sacrifices that must be made. They can’t know, because they are still children.
    I can understand the system wanting these children with children to continue with an education, but they need to be segregated in a completely separate environment to do so. Daycare centers should not be the norm for any school system.
    Having raised two daughters I know the challenges parents face. Thankfully neither of my girls had children until they were married and into their mid to late twenties.
    There is another issue that goes hand-in-hand with teenage pregnancies and that is the welfare system. I worked for the State of Texas welfare system for 21 years and I can’t tell you the number of teenage girls that sat across the desk from me, applying for assistance, proudly declaring they were going to have a baby. It always made me sad, because they saw the child as a way to get something from the system.
    I don’t know what the solution is. The entire education and welfare systems are broken and band-aids do nothing to help. Great subject, Nonnie.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. Awesome post! I don’t have any children yet, and I’m terrified of the idea of having daughters! You do a great job of bringing up sensitive topics without making them aggressive or off-putting! Thanks so much for the blog tour and all of this support!

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  24. This was a thought provoking post. I agree with a lot of the comments, it is a matter of balance. Our children need to be educated about the consequences of their actions by their schools and their parents. Realistically, there will always be teenage pregnancies, so having a safety net in place that allows these girls to complete their education is really important. Interestingly enough there was a story in the media this week or so about how the fake baby exercise has been linked to increased teenage pregnancy – http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/health/ct-robot-babies-teen-pregnancy-20160830-story.html.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. I agree with so many points you and others have made. I would like to know the WHOLE story behind these daycares, who started them, who funded them, etc?? Was prevention just not working? Do you remember several years ago hearing on the news about some teen girls making a pact to GET pregnant? I can’t remember where it was. In a case like that is would seem a reward, so to speak, to offer free daycare. It would also seem to be a reward for the parents of those teens, I mean FREE daycare? Where were these parents when their teen was having unprotected sex?

    I will however say that I’m happy to see that girls that find themselves in these situations could still get educated and graduate. This is better for society as a whole. I know many parents have to work odd shifts, take on two or more jobs just so the family has a roof over their head and food on the table. Is it possible they just rarely see their kids and therefore don’t discuss such topics?
    It does seems that if a districts can afford free daycare, they should be able to afford a very comprehensive class on sex, pregnancy and sexual transmitted diseases. In addition money should go towards free birth control and condoms. A daycare must cost a fortune for these districts! Surely that money could be used better.

    I will say that schools here talk about puberty, sex and disease in very technical terms. My boys have come home with questions (thankfully), and we discuss it. We discuss it in terms they understand, which may seem vulgar or crude in a class setting… I guess? But the hope is that they REALLY understand it and I try very hard not to judge their questions or ‘freak-out’ about such topics. I know my mom talked to me about this growing up, but, my sex education really came from friends. My mom was technical and unrealistic.

    Lastly, I wonder if there are measures taken to take that free daycare away if they become pregnant again, or get bad grades, or cause trouble? While taking advantage of this luxury, are they given more comprehensive education on sex? Are they given birth control? Do they include the fathers in any of this? Do they pass out free condoms?

    That district must have loads of extra money so I sure hope the answers to the above questions are ‘yes’.

    This could be debated for days. Thanks for bringing the discussion to us Nonnie.

    Liked by 3 people

  26. Children are growing up and dealing with adult issues far too fast and that is not an old fashioned idea, that is a statement about their developmental stage. They are dealing with choices about sex, drugs, etc., as early as the 6th grade. The problem though is far more complicated than just educating them, it is about how children are being raised and our surrounding cultural atmosphere. I have raised three children and one thing I know, love and support within the family unit is far more powerful than a class taken by a teenager at school. I love the idea of it takes a village and hope that we all can rally around our youth with love and support.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. I heartily agree that just because the world changes, doesn’t mean individuals have to change their personal beliefs to mimic the trend. So often today it’s easier to to duct tape a problem (like day care centers in schools) rather than address the true issue. And I won’t even get started on tax-payer dollars going for something like that…

    Liked by 1 person

  28. This is a terribly complex issue. I’m pretty sure the high school daycare service was instituted to keep those teen moms in school – and that’s a good thing for them and for their babies. Otherwise, we’re facing even higher dropout rates, more single parent families mired in poverty – which can lead to more crime. I vehemently disagree with the notion that these solutions are applied in school districts by people whose only motive is to further their own careers. That’s trite and unfair.

    On the other hand, applying a deterrent to teen girls can’t be done without harming their babies – and that is not only grossly unfair, but counter-productive. There is a huge need for preventative measures and that starts with good, strict parenting which is fully supported by the rest of the “Village” – from the immediate neighbors to civil and religious authorities. Of course, in all of this, parenting is the key.

    During my lifetime I’ve watched governments throw money at all sorts of social problems and often with little impact. Nonnie’s mention of the “Village” concept is the real solution. Until parents, religious and civil authorities speak with one voice to our young people, there will be no substantial change.

    I was raised in the 50s and 60s when teens didn’t openly have sex. People of any age did not openly live together unless they were married first. Why not? IT WAS NOT ACCEPTABLE to the “Village”. Your reputation would go down the drain and that would have social and economic ramifications in terms of lost jobs or job opportunities. So, if the adults feel justified in openly having sexual relationships outside of marriage, why on earth would we be surprised when the teens decide they can do it too. Of course they aren’t ready for the responsibilities of parenthood. I see we aren’t convincing them of that truth!

    When the “Village” gets its collective heads on straight, cleans up its own act, and can speak authoritatively in a single voice, then we will reduce the epidemic of teen pregnancies to the odd rare occurrence.

    Thanks for the soapbox, Nonnie!

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Nonnie, I have way too much to say on this topic after being in the field of fostering and working with at risk families. The problem is complex and will not get better if peoples morals do not change. One fact I try to bring home in my novel is that we have begun to accept everything as okay. The daycare at schools seems necessary in some areas of the country but, is certainly not the solution. High expectations need to start early on for kids and even then it does not always yield perfect results. Great post.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Great question and right-on comments. Responsible parents teach their children what is right and wrong. I’m glad there are programs to help educate children who unfortunately come from broken homes. Education is key to breaking the vicious cycle.

    Liked by 3 people

  31. Excellent post, Nonnie. Ditto to all the comments, and a special underscore to Bruce’s comment that folks don’t want to solve the problem! Band-aids are expedient, and funding is available for such projects.

    Hummmm, I just had a hopeful thought! I think you should run for office, Nonnie. I will help with your campaign! 😄

    Liked by 3 people

  32. Nonnie, I just remembered that you are in LA (I have serious memory issues). I hope you and your family are all okay after all of that horrible flooding a week or so ago. It broke my heart to see the Louisiana strong having to deal with losing their homes AGAIN after Katrina. 😥

    As for your topic, I taught at a high school for 20 years here in Miami. My high school (and several in the area) have early childhood centers in the school, but they are there to teach students about becoming early childhood teachers. The little ones who attend are children of the teachers and other adults in the area, and the parents PAY for the day care. Back in the day when we had Health classes (they were closed due to budget cuts), the students had to carry a fake baby with them for 24 hours. This fake baby was programmed to cry randomly throughout the full 24 hours for hunger, wetness, sleepiness, etc. and the student had to use “keys” to figure out why the baby was crying. For many, it was a great deterrent to poor choices because it showed them was having a baby was REALLY about.

    If a student becomes pregnant, they are sent to a school called COPE (it stands for something but my memory fails me again). There, they are taught their high school subject as well as how to properly take care of their child when it is born. I do believe that COPE also has a day care for the kids once the teens give birth so that they can finish their education.

    But the students, for the most part, are not allowed to stay in their home school with their friends. They are dealt consequences for their actions and segregated from those who don’t make the mistake of getting pregnant. It also shows those who are thinking that having a baby is “so cute” that there are consequences to their actions and that their life as they know it will forever be changed.

    Did it curb the pregnancy rate because we removed the pregnant teen from their regular school? I would like to think so, but I guess we won’t ever really know. I believe that if the pregnant girls are able to strut their “cute bellies” and get all of the attention, then other girls who are lacking that attention and are having problems in their lives may think that having a baby would solve things, especially if the school system made it so easy for them to then bring the baby to school with them and have the baby taken care of for free! Crazy! It would be interesting to compare the teen pregnancy rate in that woman’s district with those around the rest of the nation.

    Liked by 3 people

  33. I would love to know more about who in the school system came up with this solution and whether or not they made any previous efforts (and what were the results of those efforts).

    Liked by 1 person

  34. I hear you Nonnie, but you know that our modern families are broken! The problem always begins from the homes. I taught in this country, and I saw, first hand, how children are coming to school from prisons, shelters, and who knows where else. I sometimes wondered where this country is going with the kind of kids I was teaching. Sad as it is, the repairs must begin from the homes, I must say.

    Liked by 4 people

  35. Growing up, my Mum made sure I understood exactly what raising a child would entail, and how I would be giving up my life to raise another. She also educated me on safe sex. I totally agree with you that the money would be better spent on educating teenage girls, but I also think the parents should play their part.

    Liked by 5 people

  36. I’ve heard many a heart-broken story from the ‘old days’. Girls sent away from home, only allowed to return, baby-less, so as not to embarrass their families. A baby doesn’t have to mean all chances of a future for the mother is over. I’m all for education and prevention, but some of these girls are victims of abuse and their families are broken. There needs to be a balanced approach. I agree more emphasis on prevention would be better than dealing with unplanned pregnancies. Prevention methods aren’t as clear cut as “don’t have sex” and can be controversial – handing out condoms and pills without parental involvement. Yes, a sad cycle of kids giving birth to kids.
    I’ve read Nonnie’s book the Good Mommie’s guide and highly recommend for all mothers.

    Liked by 3 people

    • You are right about that Wendy, after reading your comment, it reminded me of a friend my mom grew up with. She had a teen pregnancy and was shipped away. They are still friends today and I can tell you that my mom’s friend was forever changed and it really screwed her up mentally. This also reminds me of a recent movie about teens in Ireland having their babies taken from them. Anyway, this is a tough subject.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Wendy, thanks for sharing. I never personally knew any girls who were sent away for being pregnant, but I did hear about these stories from television, and they were sad.

      I understand that some kids are abused, but for the most part, I don’t think this is what’s happening. I think that kids are being allowed to be very “free” sexually, at an extremely early age, not understanding, or even caring about the consequences of their desires. That’s when I blame the parents. (Yes, I said it…I blame parents for an awful lot, because it all starts at home). I mean, it blows my mind to think that 13 year old girls are thinking about sex! But more than that, it is upsetting when I hear a mom of a 13 year old talk about her daughter’s “boyfriend.” Really? WOW!

      Here is my take on it:

      Get an education, as much education as you can, become independent and THEN get you a boyfriend!

      I’ve always and still do preach to my daughters, that boys can wait. Maybe more moms should take that approach and start using my Mantra.

      Liked by 2 people

  37. Wow! I have never heard of this before. I can understand trying to support someone in a difficult situation, but am not sure about this concept at all. It depends on every different set of circumstances with the pregnant mother, as I assume they are trying to reduce her stress levels. My best friend got pregnant as a teenager, although she was in her late teens. Luckily she had a supportive family, but I don’t know what would have happened if she didn’t. As it was, she had to give up her new job to stay at home and look after her son, as her parents both worked during the day and it was her responsibility. They did help as often as they could though and her son is a wonderful and much loved, young man.

    I don’t think having a creche at a school would solve much though. This gives out a really weird message to children.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lizzie, in my opinion, it sends the message that if you do “you’ll be fine because there is free daycare here for you to utilize.” I believe in consequences, because in those consequences, lessons will be taught. Sometimes those lessons are hard ones but they should still be taught.

      Thanks, Lizzie!

      Liked by 1 person

  38. This is a good topic.Where we live there is a separate campus like Rhani is talking about– where mothers go to finish school with a day care. It is not at the regular campus. I do believe that the girls should finish their education to take care of the children they now have. I do not believe it is old fashioned to not want your children, still in high school, to not have kids of their own. Telling them to wait until they are older or married, is the first step, but not always going to work all the time, Knowing how to prevent pregnancies and (all the other issues that go with it) is the next step. I feel like it is becoming more common for girls now to try to get pregnant while in high school. I have known a couple to do just that. Things happen, I understand that. I am the product of an unwanted pregnancy in high myself in the 60’s. I stood firm with my own daughters and son I did not want that to happen to them. They needed to get a good education to support themselves in life. I believe you make a valid point about making it more “normal” to have daycare in high schools and not tackling the problem at hand– how to prevent it. You can approach it from many sides and people won’t agree about how to handle it, but it is good it is being discussed here. Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

    • D.L., I know how I feel about this situation and I was just curious to find out how others felt about it. I didn’t know that it would spark such a debate and the comments that are coming in, really show how passionate we all feel about this issue, even if we differ in our views of it.

      Thanks for dropping by!

      Like

  39. I agree with you Nonnie, but this teenage pregnancy problem is not going to go away in any foreseeable future – moral standards have gone down the toilet as children are told that it’s okay to hook up and if you fall pregnant you can always get your own place ( here in the UK I think at 16), or go to school with the baby. For me the worst scenario would be to go for an abortion ( not wanting to get into a pro and con discussion here) but this last option is the worst of the lot in my opinion. You are right – children need to be educated, shown the effects of their actions, not just on themselves and families, but ultimately on the child who is born out of wedlock.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Nonnie, I absolutely agree with you. But it seems that these days everything has become so incredibly PC that every single person has to be accommodated, no matter how wrong or stupid their issue may be.
    I was a teen mother myself, and I took my pregnant butt to an Alternative high school that was specifically set up for students with children, or other issues that prevented them from attending a regular High School. We didn’t have a gym, we didn’t have a band or choir, and we didn’t have any kind of Athletics program. This may sound harsh, but even when I was young we knew her children were conceived, and how to prevent pregnancies. I felt that the school I went to was just desserts for my careless behavior and lack of responsibility. It’s just my opinion, but it seems that we are going out of our way to tell our children that they can act irresponsibly, with no accountability for their actions. And you’re right. It seems that the money spent to equip every school with a daycare might be better spent on preventing the need for one. Just my rather long and pinion. Thank you for a very thought-provoking post. I hope you get a lot of great feedback.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Rhani, my sister was a teen-age mom (because I wasn’t her mom) who also attended an alternative school, way back when. I do think that when we allow these kids to walk around campuses “pregnant” then it is glorified by the others, and in my eyes, that is a no-no. I don’t like hearing that any teenager is pregnant. I don’t like hearing that an un-married 20 yr old who is in college, is pregnant. But, those are obviously my ‘old-school’ ways of thinking, and you know what, I wouldn’t change one thing about my way of thinking. Parents spend more time caring about the size of the home they live in and the kind of car they drive, than they do caring about the kind of kids they are raising. And, I personally, think that’s sad.

      Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 2 people

  41. Hi Nonnie! I think you may be a bit old-fashioned in your thinking, which is a good thing! Seriously though, I don’t think anyone who is in charge of these things really wants to solve the problem. These days, I think people only want to use the problem to further their own careers. It seems they thrive on applying band-aids and if the problem were ever solved there’d be no more need for band-aids – or for those who apply them.

    Liked by 6 people

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