Young Parents This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Young parents - it sounds like a bad idea and at times it is a bad idea, because teenagers should be in school studying so they can have a good job and then have kids. If you are having sex, use some kind of protection. For those who think they want to have kids, wait until you've read what I'm going to tell you; you just might change your mind.

I am a young parent and in a way it's great, but in another way it's a pain. Kids are very cute when they are first born. Everyone wants to play with them, but as they get older, things get harder. It's not just showing off to your friends.

I have a kid. At night she wakes up a lot and cries. When you have to get up for school, it's a pain. Don't get me wrong, kids are amazing. I remember when my daughter, Latisha, was only two-months-old, I would wake up and give her a bottle and talk to her. She would smile at me. She started to grow so fast, crawl, pick up things like pens, my homework, and dangerous things like detergents, and things I didn't want her to touch that could hurt her. Protecting her is part of being a parent

At times it is very hard, because I wanted to play school basketball or just sit back and watch TV but I can't I have to watch my daughter because at times her mom is out, taking a shower, cooking or doing her own homework.

In a lot of ways it is fun to raise a kid, because you see them go through changes, you get to watch them walk, get their first teeth and start to say, "Mama, Papa!" I love that, and it is a reason for me to be alive - to watch her grow. Now, we even have conversations. We read books together, especially her favorite. She loves dogs. I say to her, "Hi, baby girl," and she says, "Hi," right back. If she wants something she calls to me, "Papa! Give this to me." I like it. I want her to follow the right steps. She is a very smart girl. If you say no, she'll listen. I ask her to get my sneakers and she gets them. She understands. It's really good to be a good listener at a young age, so in the future, she will pay attention in school.

On the bad side, there are times when you want to do things with your girlfriend and you can't, because the baby is in the way.

Let's say you are a girl who gets pregnant and your man leaves you. Now, I'm not trying to get some young parents mad, but you know that it happens. That's wrong but ladies, you can't always depend on your mom to help you because it was your fault for not being more careful. It's your kid, not theirs. It's not easy having kids. Like I said, it sucks at times, plus welfare ain't going to help you enough either. It is good to have kids if you have a steady job, a good responsible father by your side, and a good education, because as the future gets near things get worse. If you are poor and have nobody to help you, it's really going to be awful.

Listen. If you are feeling lonely and depressed, don't bring a baby into this world. Life is hard enough taking care of yourself, and with all the worries in this world imagine worrying about someone else or taking care of someone else. It doesn't make life better or easier. I know from experience. Listen. c


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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