Moms and Dads, you've talked to your teenager about sex, right? What have you said? Have you used the same old lines about how teen pregnancy will screw up their lives? Hey, at least you're talking about it. That's more than some parents are doing. But maybe there's a better way.
There's a series of new ads out in the subways of New York City now, all aimed at scaring teenagers out of becoming the next Jenelle Evanses and Amber Portwoods of the world. But it's not the message of NYC's Human Resources Administration's new campaign that parents need to hear; it's who is getting in their kids' faces.
NYC is using babies to scare teens out of getting pregnant. More specifically, they're having babies tell their side of the teen pregnancy.
Confused? Take the ad featuring an adorable cherub with ringlets on his head and tears streaming down his face. The little guy tells his future mama, "I'm twice as likely not to graduate from high school because you had me as a teen."
Ouch. Way harsh, kid!
And yet the ad is true ... and possibly, hopefully effective?
They already hear from us that having a kid could screw up their own lives, make it harder to go to college, get a real job, etc.
When is the last time we told them what will happen to that kid? How their decision stands to screw up someone else's life?
Teenagers tend to think about kids in the abstract. They're more like dolls than human beings. If they do think of parenting at all, they expect that they'll be wonderful parents to this perfect little pumpkin who will love them unconditionally. How many times have we seen one of the teenage girls on 16 & Pregnant talk about how their future baby is going to be their best friend?
When you have a headstrong teenager who believes they can do no wrong in their own lives, you can only get so far talking about what will happen to them. Start talking about someone else's life, however, and you might be able to catch them. No one wants to be the person who screwed up a child's life, do they?
Check out the various ads from the agency below and see if you think they'd work.
Have you talked to your child about this aspect of teen parenting? Do you think it would be effective?
Image via NYC Human Resources Administration