DEAR CHRISTINE: Take your time, teenagers
I’ll like to respond to the letter written in Monday’s paper by a 15-year-old who wanted to know if she was too young to have a serious relationship. I want to agree with you Christine, but I’ll also like some space to share my own experience with this young girl.
I was 16 years old when I had my first child. I am now the mother of two. I started my relationship with the father of my first child when I was 14 years old. Having a child at 16 was hard for me, as I was not emotionally or physically able to care for my daughter.
Her dad was already in a relationship and so he was not around to help me raise my daughter. I had to depend on my parents and siblings.
Christine, I am not going to tell you that I got smarter after my mistake and my life turned out beautiful; that would be a lie.
I tried to make up for the lost years of missing out on my education, but the pressure of being a single mother never allowed me to. I tried doing everything, sometimes being dishonest in my quest to make ends meet for the sake of my child.
Christine, today I am still feeling the effects of my early pregnancy. I have had to settle for low paying jobs and at times, not working at all for long periods. With no real skills, finding a decent job has never happened.
I do not want that 15-year-old or other young people like her to miss out on getting a proper education because of engaging in sex at an early age. Life is not fair.
If that young boy she says she loves gets her pregnant, he would be free to continue his education, while she may probably not be able to return to school.
Take my advice young girl, stick to your education and leave out the young men until you are financially secured.
– Gail B
Dear Gail B,
Thanks for sharing your experience. I cannot add anything more to what you’ve said, but hope that you’ve gotten through to this teenager and others like her.