Teenage pregnancy is a growing epidemic in the United States. Almost half the federal funds collected for welfare goes to single, unwed mothers. I think the problem starts at home. If you don't talk to your children about sex and all of the responsibilities that go with it before children hit puberty, then there's no way that they are going to know about sexually transmitted diseases or that you can get pregnant the first time that you have sex. Parents have to set examples for their children to follow. If your mother and father, for example, were both alcoholics, then you would have to have a lot of will-power to fight falling into the same web.
Another thing that teenagers have to realize if they do choose to have sex - they have to use protection. No matter how much a guy or a girl says that they love you, the best alternative would be to practice safe sex. We as a society need to wise up and help these teenagers. How do we expect teenagers not to fall into the deadly trap of an early pregnancy if we can't even learn about sex in the school system. Ignoring the problem won't solve it and trying to preach abstinence won't mask the problem either. This is a new world filled with all types of temptations and we have to prepare our young people for the future.
Basically, here is a list of things that we all can do to end this ever-growing epidemic:
1. Parents need to talk to their children about sex before they reach puberty.
2. We need to have some type of sex education courses in our school system.
3. Parents need to give their children positive examples.
4. If you are a pregnant teen, make sure that your boyfriend stays with you.
5. If you are the father of a baby, don't run away from your responsibility. It is the worse thing you can do to a mother and a child.
6. Last but not least, if you are an expectant parent, take some parenting classes. ?
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.