Lesson on parenting: you can’t teach what you don’t know
Disclaimer: there are some people that became parents as teenagers and they have a done a great job raising their children…
However, the reality is that most teenagers that are getting pregnant and fathering babies today don’t know anything about the world and even less about themselves. Yes, that is tragic for their lives but it is even more tragic for the children they are creating.
When I was in my early 20s, my brother started bugging me about having a baby. He feared that I was getting too old to have children. Because of the alarming rate of teenage pregnancy in our area at the time, he believed that most children were the result of high school pregnancies. Here’s what I told him:
I can not be a good parent until I have learned something about the world and about myself. I need to make a few mistakes and learn from them so that I will have something to teach my children. If I don’t know anything about my self or about the world around me, what life lessons will I have to pass on to someone else, aside from “don’t grow up to be like me”. My goal as a parent is to be an example for my child.
The part of being a parent that sucks most is being able to foresee the problems that your children are going to have in the future based on the decisions they are making today. When I was younger, I could not understand how my parents and grandparents were almost like psychics. They seemed to always be able to predict what was coming next. *If you ____________, then ____________ is going to happen.* I couldn’t figure out where they were getting all of this from but sure enough, when I did “X”, “Y” was soon to follow. Once I began a parent, in my late 20′s, I realized that it was because they had been there, done the same thing and had a scar/story to prove it.
I wish I could sprinkle fairy dust on our teenagers and help them to realize that yes, it is easy to conceive and birth a child. The hard part is being able to teach those kids something about themselves and about life because you can’t teach what you don’t know…