I have thought deep and hard (no pun intended) today on how to address this issue. At first, I felt that it was necessary to address it from a general perspective rather than being specific. Coming from a mother’s point of view will but sound like an MP4 playing one bad track, again and again. Besides, I am sure Lynn Spears may have had the conversation with her 16 year old teenager and her boyfriend about the importance of the rubbers. But, Im digressing here. On the other hand, what better way to address this head on but from a parent’s.
So, what do we learn from here? I have four counts :
The media is hyping that it is OK and have even glamourised a teen’s pregnancy. (try hitting Google under Jamie Spiers pregnant and you will see 183,000 results).
A 16 year old girl, as much as she thinks, or we the parents think she is matured beyond her age, will still remain that – a semi grown up with a 16 year old thinking. (she waited two weeks before telling her mother).
You have no idea what your kids really do.
You start to think- where did things go wrong, was it you or was it your teenager who got carried away?
According to the latest US National Center for Health Statistics, teen birthrate has increased for the first time in 14 years. I am not so sure what is the latest statistics for Malaysia but from what I could gather, as of 2002, Malaysia had 18 incidences of teenage pregnancies per 1,000 women who were aged between 15-19 years of age. (I will post the latest stats when I could retrieve it). Considering the current Malaysia’s estimated population of close to 25 million, I hate to think of the stats if proven true.
It also seems that Jamie Lynn Spears says that she plans to raise the baby in her home state of Louisiana — “so it can have a normal family life.”
In my thinking, there will be no reasonable normal upbringing for a 16 year old to raise a child, as she is a child herself. Where does the father steps in? Would the father be playing a central role in the upbringing of the child? Now, we all know that the Spears family are already blessed with fortune more than the average Joes and Janes thus bringing the issue of proper education, medical and other worldly enjoyment a mere far thoughts away.
What about those teenagers who have to raise their baby in a squalid condition? Left with no money, work or worse still, a family to back her up, and all the while trying to defend for herself and her child?
I did discussed this with a few friends who themselves have teenagers of their own, age ranging from 12 to 19 and I was in for an enlightenment myself. Out of the six friends, five agreed that teenagers in Malaysia should be taught sex education properly and a proper syllabus should be created to cater to the age range instead of giving these kids a surprise element at one go. I recall with fondness (insert cynical smiley here) how when I was 15 the teacher who was teaching our Health Education class went red the minute she opened the human reproductive organs chapter, and asked us whether would it be ok if she skipped it. Our school was an all girls school.
I also realised that the traditional and laid back society of Malaysians and the Malays in general are gradually changing in this perspective and I am delighted with this progress. On the other hand, there are also certain quarters who think that sex education will not work but instead will back fire as such it will expose the young minds to some things they are not ready off.
I beg to differ.
In my last post, I did address the issue of teenagers learning about the birds and the birds through the graphic walls of public toilets.
What say you?