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Archive for the ‘Teen Pregnancy’ Category

This weekend was certainly an eye-opener for me regarding teen activities when parents aren’t around.  I work with youth all of the time, I am the parent of 6 children-three of which are adults and three are under the age of 18.  I took my younger three children, plus 3 ten year old girls to the movies with my husband to celebrate the 10th birthday of my youngest child.  I took them to a family movie-a PG movie.  It should have been safe right?  Wrong!

The movie was fine…don’t get me wrong here…the problem was a couple of audience members.  We were seated in the back of the small theater because of the size of our group…there were 8 of us.  We were spread out because the teens didnt want to sit with mom and dad (of course) and the girls didn’t want to sit with the teen boys (of course) and so we took up the end seats of three rows.  A group of three teens approached my  teen boys, who happened to be in the last row in the back, and asked them if they would mind moving down to the end the line.   They did move with no fuss.  There were two girls and a boy; no parental guidance, I might add.

As the movie began, so did the engines of one of those girls and the boy.   Right from the get go, it was obvious why they wanted my sons to move farther down the line and to the inside wall of the theater.  They were not interested in the movie shall we say.  They were there for one reason only…even though they had a chaperone…a female of about the same age.  What age is that, you may ask?  Well, they appeared to be all of about 12 or 13…at the most 14 years of age.   Understand what I am saying here…they were approximately two to four years older than the birthday girl and her friends. (more…)

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       Minnesota has had a couple of miserable examples of appropriate teenaged behaviors.  First, there is the case of Nicole Beecroft who was 17 years old in April 2007 when she gave birth to a live baby girl, on the floor of the laundry room, in the home that she shared with her parents.  They did not know that she was pregnant.  Not only did she hide her pregnancy; but, prosecutors alleged that she planned the death of her baby before it was born.  She stabbed her newborn daughter 135 times in the abdomen, chest and neck.  The baby bled to death; and that is when, Nicole Beecroft disposed of her child in the garbage can outside of her home. 

       A judge ruled on December 1, 2008 that Nicole Beecroft was guilty of 1st degree murder and will spend the rest of her life in prison without the possibility of parole.  What would possess a woman to not only kill her child but to do so in such an extremely violent way?  Why not give the child up for adoption?  Why not let the father raise the child?  Why not reach out to a parent, a teacher, clergy, counselor, neighbor or a friend? What was the reason behind stabbing an innocent, straight out of the womb infant? 

        Then today, there are reports that 8 Minnesota teenagers are facing charges of terrorizing and abusing nursing home patients.  The nursing home patients suffer from dementia and alzheimers disease.  The accused are minors, except for two young women, they all worked as part time aides at the nursing home.  They are accused of crimes such as spitting on the patients, physical assault, poking at them, and sexual contact with vulnerable adults.  These are serious charges and yet, they may only face 1 year in prison, and or, a fine of up to $300,000 if they are actually convicted.  I am sure that those who had alleged sexual contact will also have to register as sexual offenders for the rest of their lives.  Do you think those punishments are appropriate; if indeed, they are convicted of the crimes?  Are the punishments severe enough for the alleged behaviors?

         Where is the respect for children or for our elderly citizens?  Where is the respect for life?  In general, society has allowed our nation’s children to do what they want, with very little consequences.  When things go awry; many people find others to blame…there is very little accountability for those who go the wrong way. 

        Minnesota does not have a monopoly on violent or abusive teens; every state has such horror stories; that doesn’t make it ok.  Who is going to be the next vulnerable person?  What kind of depraved behavior is going to surface next?   We are raising a whole generation of human beings who have individuals who are either are unwilling, or incapable, of caring about other people in any normal kind of compassionate way! 

        The question is…what are we as a society going to do about it?  We had better figure out a way to understand these type of situations and change the course of these behaviors…otherwise, those most vulnerable, the elderly and the children, will be at substantial risk.  Those people at risk could be your loved ones; or possibly, even yourself! 

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       Baby don’t cry…it is not your fault.  When you are old enough to know your story…know that it is not your fault.  It has happened for generations…people abandon their children.   It is wrong, but they do it for many reasons…all sad reasons, all heartbreaking…but, what it comes down to is a lacking.

        A lacking of something that is required to parent you little one.  Some parents are lacking money, some are lacking appropriate housing or clothing, some are lacking parenting skills.  Even worse, some are lacking a very basic, important connection…a bonding of parent to child; it is called love.  This is not normal.  This is not your fault.  The lacking is theirs and theirs alone; don’t let it define you.  Their failure to provide what you need does not wipe away your right to have those things that children need to grow and be whole.   You deserve to have what every child should have…love and acceptance. 

       There are many who would adopt you; love you and give you everything you need to be successful in life.  It is sad that your birth parents could not for whatever reason of lacking, be the people to give you what you need.  However, when you are able to read and understand it all…hopefully, you will have been adopted and cared for appropriately.  I hope that you received that love; and, now know that you are part of a family who wanted you, and needed you to be part of them.  The parts of you that feel empty or unfulfilled, because of the unknowns about your birth family, probably will never be fully satisfied.  Let it be enough to know that the circumstances that lead to your being abandonned are not a statement of anything that was wrong with you as a person.

         A small newborn child was abandoned in Charlotte, North Carolina in the last few days.  Children are being abandoned all around the world.  There are many who would love these children were they to enter into the foster/adoptive legal system in the right kind of way.  Why are parents dumping their children?

        When you are able to read this, or some other piece that addresses such issues…and  you have learned about your abandonment; don’t try to seek further information.  It will only hurt you more.  There are no answers that will satisfy your heart’s desire to be loved and accepted by the people who gave you up.  For each answer that is given to justify such actions will just trigger another “what if you had done this or that…could you have kept me then” question.  It is a never ending circle of emotional hurt.   

        It is not a reflection upon you…babies and children are easy to love.  You have done nothing wrong to be rejected…it is a fault inside of that person that by some miracle was able to give you life.  Unfortunately, abortion (infant death) is an option in today’s world..so, choosing life was a very positive thing.   Maybe that is the most that they had to give you; LIFE, it IS an important gift. 

       Your true source of life comes from God above.  You are here in this world because he values you…you are here for a purpose.  Discover what your purpose is and live it to the fullest…do not be destroyed by feelings of rejection or inferority.  You are worthy of all the best that life has to give you.   Your beginnings do not have to set a  negative standard for the rest of your life.  Take your gift and all that you have been able to receive and enjoy since the time of your birth and make something of yourself.  Be a giver, be an encourager…be the embodiement of what your birth parents lacked.  Be a giver and a receiver of Love.  Do you think that the impact of your birth can make a positive difference in the world?   I do, every life has value to offer the world.  Reader, do you know someone who has been rejected or abandoned…were they able to turn their difficult beginnings into a positive, productive life?

      

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       Every year in the United States approximately 2,500 babies die of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).  Even though those numbers have come down substantially over the years…even one death a year from SIDS is one infant death too many.  So, research on ways of preventing those deaths is very important.

       A new study is suggesting that having a fan, in the room of an infant, can greatly reduce the possibility of death by SIDS by up to 72% according to the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine.  Check it out here: http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/   Invited to a baby shower?  Show your love and concern by gifting the new parents with a fan and a printout of the reasons of the importance of the gift regarding the health of their baby!  Educate parents, first time parents or teenaged parents, grandparents of the new research; empower them with the newest safety information. 

        While the understanding of the role of the fan, in the prevention of deaths of infants from SIDS, is not clearly understood…it was found that rooms that were heated to above 69 degrees benefitted by the use of a fan in the prevention of death from SIDS.  It is thought that overly warm temperatures increase the potential of death by SIDS. 

         Another possible benefit of using a fan in the infant’s room is that the fan helps to circulate the air flow around the baby.  Babies who are put to sleep on their backs do better as well, because babies who sleep on their stomachs have less airflow in the early months of life; when their necks are too weak to lift their heads if the airflow is not sufficient for healthy breathing.  There has been a big campaign to educate parents to use the BACK TO SLEEP plan for this reason.  Babies who sleep on their stomachs also have a larger incidence of rebreathing in carbon dioxide that they have exhaled.  A fan can help to circulate the air around babies.  Still, putting an infant to sleep on their back is a better solution to keeping the airflow open around baby.  Important:  Just remember that when using a fan…keep the cords away from small hands that could pull the fan down and cause injury. 

         What else can a parent do to keep their newborn infants safe from SIDS?  First of all, putting a baby to sleep on their backs in a crib with a firm mattress is an important part of the equasion.    The crib must have the side rail bars or slats spaced 2 3/8 inches apart or less; so that a baby does not get trapped between the bars.   Next, comes the idea of dressing the baby with adequate clothing to keep the baby warm; but, not so many articles of clothing as to overheat the baby.  Keep the crib free from toys, from blankets or pillows or even bumper pads that cannot be firmly attached to the side of the crib.  It is important to keep all items away from an infant that doesn’t have the ability to turn it’s head or to push away from anything that can block it’s airflow.

          Never lay an infant to sleep on an adult bed or extremely soft or conforming surface.  Cuddle time is important…but, doing so in an adult bed could allow the adult to fall asleep.  It is not worth the risk of falling asleep with your infant beside you, when you are not awake enough to keep watch over your young infant.  No one wants to live with regrets on a tragedy that could be avoided by remembering that safety comes first regarding your baby.

          If you are leaving your child in the care of a grandparent or a caregiver…it is wise to include this new information on the best way to keep your baby safe.  Take the small fan with you when you are entrusting others to care for your small child.  Make sure that they follow your direction in the way that you wish your child to be cared for.  It may be different than they have previously cared for other young babies…but, it is never too late to learn.  If they wish to care for your child…express the need for them to follow this guideline of using the fan and not bundling your child up with unneccessary blankets and clothing.

           Many years ago, i knew a young family that lost an infant daughter to SIDS.  It was a horrendous event in their family life.   In fact, their marriage didn’t survive more than another couple of years after the death of their child.   I can’t help but wonder, if this information was available then…would their child have lived?  How many babies can be saved with this new information?

          Here is a great site that can offer more tips on infant safety for parents of young infants regarding SIDS prevention:  http://sids.org/nprevent.htm  Did you learn anything new in this blog post that you felt was beneficial to you; or, someone that you know who has a young infant?

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        There is now a federal investigation into who allegedly stole personal, private pictures of Jamie Lynn Spears as she is breast feeding her young daughter.  A  man is suspected of stealing Jamie’s personal photos and trying to sell them.  A celebrity has a right to expect a certain level of privacy that every other person is afforded.  Photos such as these should never be purchased for publication, or for viewing by anyone outside of the bounds of a close personal relationship with the subject of the photo. 

         Even though the pictures are not pornographic…if they do indeed,show her breast as she feeds her infant…Jamie is not yet 18; so anyone who attempts to purchase, sell, or distribute those pictures is probably going to be prosecuted for selling or being in possession of pornographic materials involving a minor; when they are caught.

          Maybe the tide is turning in the world of buying and selling celebrity photos.  People are entitled to some kind of a personal life.  A young mother who is breastfeeding her infant should not have to worry that her photos are going to be sold to the highest bidder $$$ and published for the world to see.  This is a personal, private moment that should be respected.  What do you think celebrities should do to protect themselves from this kind of invasion of privacy?

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       There was a recent news story that did much to anger those who work with women who have been “date raped”.   Helen Mirren, a British actress, who won awards last year for her portrayal of the Queen, did an interview with GQ in which she claimed to have been raped several times, many years ago, when she was a student.  Helen is 63 years old now. 

         The reason some people have been upset with Helen, over that interview, is that she seemed to down play the experiences.  She said there was no extreme violence, she was not hit…but rather, was locked in a room and made to have sex.  She did not file charges in those incidents.  She also said that if a man and a woman were about to get intimate and the woman changed her mind, and the man continued; that was indeed rape.  However, in that circumstance; she didn’t feel that a woman could then turn around and take that man to court for it.  Those are highly controversial remarks when taken individually or out of context.  To some people…those comments smack of judgementalism…that those situations aren’t worthy of prosecution of a person who sexually assaults another.  Those comments appear inflammatory to many folks.

         Most people are clear that if a stranger attacks another person and forces sexual relations…then that is rape.  It is true enough…it is.  But there are other forms of rape as well that aren’t as clearly defined for some people. (more…)

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        This was a very sad state of parenthood to learn about.  It seems that a woman in Georgia found out that her teenaged son and his underaged girlfriend were expecting a baby.  Mom or grandmother decided that they weren’t ready for parenthood.  She took it upon herself to contact the girlfriend and convince her NOT to tell her parents about the pregnancy and to have an abortion.  She alienated the girls parents right to love, support, and guide their daughter during one of the most important decisions she would ever make in her lifetime. 

        The boys mother, Cindi Cook, forged a note saying she was the girls mother and gave consent for the abortion.  A judge said she was guilty of interferring with child custody and of breaking the parental notification law regarding abortion.  She will be in jail for a year now because of the guilty verdict.  There may be repercussions for the clinic involved as well; since they allegedly didn’t follow through and verify Cindi Cook’s claim of parentage of the teenaged girl.  (more…)

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