Give teen moms another chance

I was having a conversation with lady who is a cleaner. She had her first born son while doing Grade 11 and her mom told her to stay at home and quit school because she was now a mother. She said her mom was angry and also told her that she had no time to look after her son. This is very sad indeed and I think that as parents we sometimes don't think of the future of our kids.

My late mom had me when she was still at school and I thank my grandparents from both sides as they looked after me and that allowed her to go back to school after she had me. If they didn't do that, I'm not sure whether I would be where I am today. I am where I am because she managed to finish her teacher’s diploma and afforded me a better life.

'Step up, mom'
I have friends who were teenage mothers and their parents offered to raise their kids and one is now a chartered accountant, another a doctor. The parents made sure that what had happened did not kill their child's future. Mistakes happen. I think as parents we get so angry and consumed by the present situation that we forget about the future. 

The cleaner lady says that she gets angry when she thinks of the decision her mom made because she could have been far in life had she stepped in as a grandmother and helped her. When her mom now asks her for money it just gets to her because she now has to help her when she could not come through for her. Her teachers also came to beg her mother to allow her to go back to school because she was a brilliant child but she refused – the child's paternal grandmother was not willing to help either. She knows it was wrong to have a baby while still at school but all she needed was someone to give her a second chance.

Women suffer the most

A male friend, who is a businessman, made a girl pregnant while they were at a rural boarding school and he then left, going back home in the city and he says he's not sure what happened to the lady. He was from another city and never followed up the matter because he was also scared of what he had done, the girl did not have his information either.

Recently, he got quite a shock when one of the ladies selling fruit on the side of the road greeted him. This was the girl he made pregnant back in boarding school. She had to leave school and was now a hawker and their son had finished matric but did not have money to pursue his studies further. This just shows how we as women suffer the most in these situations.

Don't give in, parents!

I urge parents not to throw in the towel and think about the future of their children. Yes, you are angry and disappointed because you sent a child to school or varsity but instead of a matric certificate or diploma they brought back a baby. They are still your children and they need you. Help where you can and don't throw in the towel. So many people with great potential saw their future crumbling in front of them because of their mistakes, as long as they learn from their mistakes. Please see beyond their mistakes, they are still your children.

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

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