11 And Pregnant: Just Another Thing I Can’t Wrap My Brain Around

I watched an episode of Dr. Phil last week called Pregnant at 11. When she was 11 years old, Hope became pregnant with her then 13-year-old boyfriend Bailey’s child. Hope and Bailey seemed like normal and very immature kids (Dr. Phil interviewed them, but didn’t show their faces.)

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The baby was born prematurely but survived. Ashlynn is now 7 months old, and living with Hope’s aunt. Hope sees the baby a couple of times a week.

Dr. Phil also had on Hope and Bailey’s parents. They all seemed like nice middle class people, although all the parents kept doing was pointing fingers at each other. And throughout the whole hour, I just kept thinking: How in the hell did this happen?

I’m not naive, I know it happens far too often all over the world. I know that some parents don’t care and let their kids run wild. I know kids can be very sneaky and get away with a lot of things without their parents knowing. But it was still shocking to me to hear how it all unfolded.

Part of what was so shocking was that the parents were arguing over whose fault it was. Hope’s mother was arguing with her ex-husband’s new girlfriend about who knew Hope was pregnant first and didn’t do anything about it. Too late at that point, folks. You are way past that making a difference now. Where were you when your little girl was getting busy?

The bigger question to me is how in the hell did an 11 year old that had a boyfriend – and whose parents knew about – even have the opportunity to be alone with him so that she could be in a position to get pregnant?

Apparently Hope was friends with Bailey’s sister and would be alone with him while there. Did everybody just think it was a little-kid crush? Nobody took it seriously? Ethan tells me the little girl down the street is his girlfriend, but I know that he doesn’t even understand what that really means. I don’t think it’s time for me to have “the sex talk” with him.

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Here are some other things that made my head spin…

When talking to Dr. Phil, Hope said she hadn’t been worried about getting pregnant because she didn’t think she was old enough to get pregnant. Of course she didn’t! She probably didn’t even know what sex was. I can’t even say that her parents aren’t wrong for not having “the sex talk” with her. But Bailey was 13. He should have at least known what they were doing and the potential consequences.

They said that they did it 6 times, under a bridge near Bailey’s home. They didn’t use any protection, though Bailey knew what it was and had been told about protection. Dr. Phil did mention Bailey is autistic, but then maybe they should have been supervising him more if they were worried he was unable to make proper decisions, care for himself, etc.

They are not together anymore. The whirlwind romance puttered out after the baby was born. 

And I just keep thinking that my girls will be 11 in seven.frickin.years. I have a niece who is 12 and nowhere near mature enough to be considering having sex. These thoughts disgust me.

From this show I learned that as a mom, I need to constantly be on my game. I need to make sure the kids all understand at a very young age what sex is, and its consequences. That they shouldn’t be doing it. That they aren’t old enough to be considering it even. I need to be realistic about the world they are growing up in, and make sure that I am helping them develop strong morals and values and self worth.

Sometimes, this whole parenting thing is really scary.

After writing this post, I wrote 5 Tips for Talking To Kids About Sex. It will help with children of all ages, and includes what topics to discuss at what ages.

photo source: blmurch via flickr

Comments

  1. What an eye opener! I really need to take a look at when I’m considering having “the talk” with my daughter.
    Leighann recently posted..Where Allergy Education BeginsMy Profile

  2. wow that is so scary! my daughter is 10! She is so innocent, and sweet. This world is just getting crazier and scarier. I have already had to talk about things to my daughter that I didnt even know about till late high school! And not because she is asking, but because other people have put us in the situation to have to talk to her about things, to prepare or caution her… We must always be on guard. :( Its sad that our children cannot just be children anymore… That they must know about adult things just to be prepared for the world/life/school at this age. So sad. :(
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  3. This makes me sad, and outraged at the same time. Sigh.
    Alison recently posted..More/ LessMy Profile

  4. We should not have to try to wrap our brains around this kind of thing! Holy hell.
    Jennifer Hall recently posted..I Am FierceMy Profile

  5. I didn’t see the episode but it is hard to believe the parents weren’t in-bred.
    Poppy recently posted..Butternut Squash Soup Recipe is Gord-geousMy Profile

  6. Wow, glad I missed that one. That is just awful. I don’t understand why the parents are even concerned with “fault” since it’s over and done with. Someone should really tell them that it takes two people to make a baby since that is clearly missing from their knowledge. I hate how quickly kids are growing up these days. Yesterday I watched Katie and she was talking about sexual cyber bullying. It made me sad for the kids but happy that social media didn’t exist when I was in high school.
    Twingle Mommy recently posted..How to Get Your Preschooler to NapMy Profile

  7. I can’t imagine… I simply can’t do it. My youngest daughter is 11….
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  8. Gad! I have an 11 year old girl now! And a 13 year old! They both agree that having a baby now is a bad idea (thank goodness!). They have been watching Honey Boo Boo where they got the idea that being a child aged mom is a bad idea.
    Pragmaticmom recently posted..After School Snacks for Teenagers to MakeMy Profile

  9. WOW. This is scary and so very, very sad.
    anna whiston-donaldson recently posted..Sunshine after the Storm: A Survival Guide for the Grieving MotherMy Profile

  10. I look at my near 13-year-old and realize that she could become a mother. NOW. And yet, it’s my job to make sure that does not happen. It’s my job to protect her, to teach her, to show her and guide her. To explain the process and the world and sex and love and babies and birth and periods and protection and feelings and probably lots of other stuff I might think she’s not ready to hear but she NEEDS TO HEAR.
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  11. REALLY scary! Ugh! The scariest thing is that I know a lot of people who started having sex at 14. Like that is normal. 14 year olds are still children!

    I’m going to keep my kids little forever. K?

  12. I dated a guy whose parents were 13 when they had him. He was adopted into another family, but the fact that he knew his parents were children was an eye opener for me. As a result, my children get the sex talk on a regular basis, because let’s face it, they block out a lot of what they don’t understand or want to hear. When my son was 12 and had a “girlfriend” I made sure that they were not alone if I had anything to do with it, and in addition he got a lot of lectures about keeping things appropriate physical-wise. We have frank talks about babies and what it means to raise them. This is not to say that my son or daughter will not become parents as children; the world is a strange place, and anything can happen. But I will do my best to try and educate them. My heart goes out to these families; their children’s lives were advanced way too early, and they all learned a very hard lesson about sexuality, communication, and parenting..
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    • What was so shocking to me was that nobody seemed to be watching the kids, though the parents all said they knew they were a “couple”. I know kids will find a way to do whatever they want to, but it seems to me that when they are that age and you know the possibilities, that you would stay all over them like white on rice. Crazy.
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  14. When my girl turns 11in 5years she will never and i mean never be left a long with a boy even when she is 16 she will always have some one with her even my boys wonr every be aloud to be alone with girls never never ever,

  15. When my girl turns 11in 5years she will never and i mean never be left a long with a boy even when she is 16 she will always have some one with her even my boys wont every be aloud to be alone with girls never never ever,

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