I remember my sophomore year of High School, there was this girl named Tara. She was a cheerleader, she was popular, she was witty, and really just beautiful. I’m pretty sure she was a senior that year and I sat two chairs down from her in our computer class. Days of Excel & Powerpoint were endless and sooo boring… so as I finished my work I couldn’t help but wonder what Tara could possibly be doing.
It had been a week and there was no sign of her.
It turns out she never came back or maybe she did, but not to that class. She was pregnant and nobody knew. I couldn’t tell. There was no tummy, but she wore an over sized Letterman Jacket that her boyfriend let her borrow. That was the cool thing you know. Wearing your guys Letterman Jacket.
It really threw me back after I found out the rumors WERE true. She DID have a baby. The thing is, I saw her YEARS later at a Dairy Queen with her daughter, who had to be at least 4. She was all smiles, but I can never fathom the pain she went through in High School, having to tell her parents, withstanding ridicule, deciding to keep the baby, and whether or not her boyfriend would take responsibility. So many decisions and so many life altering pathways.
That Sophomore year came back to me when ABC Family launched their new Original Series The Secret Life of the American Teenager. After watching the first episode I could tell right away that this will hit home for LOTS of American Families. This describes my High School life perfectly. The characters were real for me as I remember at least 5 girls in my High School getting pregnant and keeping the baby.
For those who haven’t seen it, here’s a short summary:
Good-girl band geek Amy is smart, talented…and pregnant. Super-Christian cheerleader Grace wants to wait until she’s married. As their secrets start to spread to the parents and to friends like bad-boy Ricky and wild-child Adrian, everyone’s secrets and stories start to come to the surface.
The Pregnancy Pact really brought me to tears when I first saw it on the news because these girls have NO IDEA what they are getting themselves into, how hard mothering can be, and the responsibility it brings.
After this story broke, it only seems fit to talk to your teen about sex,pregnancy, abortion, responsibility, and self respect. I’m no expert because my children are still so young (ages 6 and under), but I feel this new ABC Family Series will open up the dialogue for many parents out there struggling to talk to their teens or vice versa.
Check out their website for more information on the show and to watch full length episodes. While their website is full of useful information please be aware that there is a forum there as well. When I browsed this forum there were teenagers there asking for pointers on how to kiss or do more. Be aware if you’re letting your teen/pre-teen look at this website.
I also want to note a great Teen Pregnancy Resource featured at the end of the show:
Content: Wonderful and Important topic for both parents and teens, but a I’d say keep it out of the room of little ones. It seems these teenagers know more about sex than the average teenager. I mean, I don’t remember those topics being discussed in High School, but that was ten years ago.
Acting: Molly Ringwald and Shailene Woodley are so cute in my personal opinion and although a lot of the acting seems awkward, like bad acting, it defines the awkwardness that teenagers go through in high school.
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