Whenever we talk about teenage pregnancy, we almost immediately look down on the teenage parents. We usually assume that all young people are incapable of raising children. Yes, even I thought that it was practically impossible for teens to raise a child properly (mainly because of who I live with). However, I heard a different perspective, so I felt the need to reconsider. After all, much of the country’s perception of young parents comes from years of brainwashing by the media.
Did you know that it’s actually possible for teens to actually give a damn about their kids? If I told you that there do exist teen couples who are actually competent parents, maybe even good ones, you probably wouldn’t believe me. If so, then you’ve probably been brainwashed by the media, which depicts all teenagers as brainless yobs who f**k too early.
Pushy moralists will generally claim that the rise in teenage pregnancy is due to the “increasing permissiveness” of modern society. For me, the rise is teenage pregnancy is an issue, but permissiveness is not the whole of the problem. In the case of the teen couples who are bad parents, this mainly comes from poor education and zero sense of responsibility. Therefore, the teens who are good parents will most likely have enough of a sense of responsibility and good moral character to raise their kid (at least in my opinion, but that doesn’t automatically make them complete saints).
However, we’re not shown the responsible young couple of parents. Instead, we get Vicky Pollard.
In recent years, Vicky Pollard (from the god-awful Little Britain) became the media’s stereotype for teenage parents. She’s irresponsible, she’s bad-tempered, has a bad fashion sense, and seems to be a big fan of gossip. I think that there is no-one in the real world who is like that (though if there are, they’re very rare).
Yes, I still think that the right age to start being a parent (with all the planning) is around the age of 26 or 27, but one thing I’ve come to learn is that your age is in no way indicative of whether or not you’re a good parent. For all I know, there are plenty of bad parents who are middle-aged, and we don’t treat them the way we treat teen parents. There’s some kind of double standard lurking around that only exists to enforce the idea of “traditional family values”.
If you’re a young parent and you’re reading this, then I think I’ve got something to say. If ever anyone tries to put you down because you’re a young parent, stand your ground. In my opinion, as long as you don’t spoil the baby, or christen the baby into a religion he/she couldn’t choose, or shout at the baby three or more times a day, then you are a good parent.
As for everyone else reading this, remember, the Vicky Pollard stereotype we’re used to was only created for shock value. It’s not what most teen parents are like. Also, the news outlets and the tabloids taking a moralistic stance against teen parents because they’re out to brainwash people into accepting the old and flawed traditional values.
In retrospect, this does sound like another way of saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but that’s really the overall message of this article.