If I hear this cry one more time on the radio... well I'll just complain at the radio... not a lot else I can do. News resources (I use the term loosely when referring to the likes of The Sun and Fox News) have been reporting a lot on 'children' having children recently. The most recent story is that Alfie, the 13 year old father, is not actually a father. I'd say lucky him... but then I don't want kids, never did.
I don't understand the complaints though. First of all, it is physically impossible for children to reproduce. If you've gone through enough of puberty to allow you to have children, you're no longer a child. But that's just semantics.
It is not the teenagers having babies that are the problem, it is our culture, our society. It seems to think it knows better than Mother Nature in this aspect, and for the most part it really doesn't. Way back when, women got pregnant as soon as their bodies were ready for it. This was a good thing, not a bad thing.
The female human body is at its peak, in terms of reproduction, between the ages of 14 and 25 (depending on the individual). This is the best time for a woman to give birth if you're merely thinking of her physical safety. The pelvic bones are still flexible, the muscles strong, the heart fresh. Birthing in your teenage years is sooo much easier than it is in later life, especially when you're running through your thirties and even fourties. The menopause is there for a reason.
One of the main complaints I hear about teenage births is that the teens are not financially secure. This should not be an issue. They say that it takes a village to raise a child and while it may not require an entire village, it does require more than two people. Young parents relying on their own parents for financial as well as emotional support while bringing up children should be the norm. It should be perfectly reasonable and even expected. What an utter waste of resources to not bring in your parents and your grandparents, who have the experience and free income to provide so much help. If a couple have their children in their thirties, not only will their kids miss out on many years with their grandparents, but the couple will lose out on a vital source of support.
If a woman has her child at 16, by the time the little blighter has reached those difficult teenage years she will still be young enough to remember them herself. Understanding a teenager's emotional state is the best tool for any good parent. If a woman has her first child at 30, she's already well into middle aged when the child reaches its teens. Her own difficult years are well behind her and probably quite difficult to recall.
Teenage bodies WANT to have children. That's what all those hormones are about; its the body's way of saying "okay, this is the best time for you to get pregnant, it'll be a breeze. Go on, get yourself a mate and have a baby!" Why should we be yelling against this? It's not like those other ancient instincts that just cause trouble like tribalism and greed.
Well... there's that whole school thing. That career thing. That having a life thing. Honestly though, why are we saying that having children is not a worhtwhile choice? Can it not be counted as a career? We shouldn't be telling young women "having babies is a bad choice, you should have a proper job." That's like saying "only stupid people with no chance at anything great in life have children," or "we're all just the result of a woman too lazy/stupid to do anything better with her life."
Sure, almost anyone can have a baby. That's not the end of it though; that baby has to be brought into adulthood. And that's a full time job, right there. A job that shouldn't be relegated to "well, if you can't leave your mark any other way." If a girl, if a woman, makes the decision to have a child instead of a paying job, who are we to say "that's not good enough"?
Yeah, I don't want kids. Yeah, I want to leave my mark in some other way. Yeah, I don't understand why any woman would want to even think about giving birth. That doesn't mean I'm going to go around saying that women shouldn't want children (except jokingly... mostly).
And no, I'm not saying that teenagers should all go out and have babies. That's just plain dumb. What I'm saying is; stop villifying the teens that do have children. Sure, they did something dumb (though I know of girls that got pregnant on purpose because they wanted children at that age), but that's not their fault. When you live in a culture that says "sex is bad" at teenagers and says nothing else, what do you expect them to do? Telling a teen not to have sex because "sex is bad m'kay" is like telling a starving man not to eat the steak dinner you left in front of him without telling him it's poisoned.
Ain't gonna work. No way, no how.
We shouldn't be encouraging teens to make children their 'career' (because very few of us really know what we want to do with our lives at that age). However, when a girl does get pregnant there should be NOTHING but support and well wishing. NOTHING else, at all. No "babies shouldn't have babies!" That helps no one. And frankly, having that baby in her teens is probably a lot better than waiting till she's thirty.