If you tend to question the "reality" behind MTV's reality show 16 and Pregnant, this might change your mind. About 25 percent of teenage moms will get pregnant a second time within two years of giving birth. And one of the "stars" of the popular MTV series is proving that statistic right now.
Jordan Ward appeared back in April on the show's third season. It was an emotional roller coaster (aren't they all?) with Jordan's twin sister Jessica guilt tripping her, "baby daddy" Brian moving in, and of course the eventual birth of baby Noah. A lot of stress on a teen girl. And now she'll have more because ... she's pregnant. Again.
That the girl is now married to Noah's dad, Brian, may make this situation a bit different from the average teen mom. As she says on her Facebook wall:
Yes I'm pregnant again. I really do not care if you think it's wrong. I am married, we pay for everything , we aren't living off of family or anything. We pay rent , we own our car, for insurance, pay for food, pay for our cell phones, pay for clothes and whatever Noah needs. And we are moving in a house in august. && here's a kicker..... I AM THE ONE WHO TAKES CARE OF NOAH 24/7!
But that's just it. They're "mature" enough to own their car, pay for their food, etc., but obviously not mature enough to use birth control ... or at least use it properly. It's a common fallacy when dealing with pregnant teens.
We say that they're forced to grow up, almost overnight, and it's true. But that doesn't mean they're "grown up." They grow up. To a point. But the fact that someone has a child doesn't make them a responsible adult. An involved parent still needs to stress birth control, still needs to explain the realities of having to parent not just one kid but two, including the financial implications.
Only one third of teen moms complete high school. By age 30, less than 2 percent of teen moms have a college degree. Those factors alone make it hard for them to support one kid. Now try paying for two. Jordan and Brian may be paying their bills now, but they'll see the costs double when their daughter comes along in November.
For every kid who comes out of a teen pregnancy with a newfound maturity -- and there are plenty of them who do -- there are the 25 percent who are either too cocky or too stupid to avoid hamstringing themselves with a second baby right away. The teen brain can play a big role here -- look at how often kids think "it can't happen to me." With a pregnant teen, that's often what got them there in the first place. Now that they're a new parent, they're instead thinking "it can't happen to me twice."
But as 16 and Pregnant is proving once again, it can and it will. One pregnancy does not make a teenager wise. They may be parents, but they still NEED parents to keep them from becoming statistics.
Do you know any teen parents? How has it changed their lives?
Image via MTV