What are some tips for being a good teenage mom?
I think that the hardest thing for a teenage mom to do, is to realize how dependent on her the baby is for absolutely everything. Even with a helpful grandma or good support network, I think it's hard for young moms to sometimes realize the huge shoes they've stepped into. Do your very best to fill them, even if you have to sacrifice. It will be hard to say no to friends who want to go out, but you'll have to. I look at the groups of teen moms bopping around outside near the mall at 11 o'clock at night sometimes and feel so sad for their little ones. Don't let this be you! Those babies are dragged around in umbrella strollers, tired and unhappy. Treat your baby the way you would want to be treated, not like some accessory doll. Remember that the first three years of their life will determine much about how well they will develop into big people. They don't need much stuff, they just need you. Try to breastfeed your baby as long as possible. Get help from La Leche League (www.llli.org) support groups if you have trouble getting the hang of it (don't wait!!), or if family and friends tell you not to. It's one of the BEST things you can do for you and your baby. It's what your body was meant to do. The people are so nice at these support groups, and they will take your calls and help you any time. The other day a teenage mom asked me why my kids were always so well-behaved and weren't hyper. They certainly aren't always well-behaved, but the fact that they nurse as toddlers helps me SO much. It helps them stay calm in a crazy place, and I can always settle them down from a tantrum this way. Even if you need to do daycare, try to find a way to nurse them as best you can. Get a good breast pump or borrow one. It helps to sleep with your baby with a co-sleeper next to your bed. You might find that your mom's generation is freaked out by nursing or sleeping with your baby, but they grew up at a time when things were just different, and we know better now that babies do better on breastmilk and being close to their moms at night. Guess what? You will get more sleep this way too! Teenagers NEED lots of sleep just like babies. Sleep when your baby sleeps. Drop everything and nap together. :) Don't worry if you get stressed or upset from time to time. All moms do. Make sure your baby is in a safe place like a playpen, and that you don't yell or shout at your baby or shake them. Take a moment in a private place for yourself and just have a good cry! Wash your face, make a cup of hot cocoa or whatever makes you feel relaxed. Take a deep breath and go get your baby and snuggle for awhile. Make sure you have someone to call if you think you are going to lose it. Talk it through with them - it can be a good friend, a teacher or counselor you trust, a parent, etc. Just breathe! Being a mom is really hard work! Make sure you take good care of yourself and eat well. Surround yourself with a peaceful environment. Don't play really loud music around your baby. It's scary for them. Make them feel safe and nurtured. Carry them in a baby carrier if you can, like a Baby Bjorn or ErgoBaby. They should be facing you while they are tiny, not out - scary! Don't use front-facing strollers until your baby is much older. Use an infant seat that snaps onto a compact stroller with a basket. These are great for the bus too if you don't have a car and there is tons of room for your stuff below. Kolcraft and Baby Trend both make good ones that are inexpensive. Don't leave your baby in a carseat, swing or bouncer all the time. Hold them as much as possible. Try to avoid pacifiers if you can. Grandparents are big on these because many of them didn't nurse and babies need to suck all the time or they cry. It's their nursing instinct. Pacifiers inhibit proper growth of the jaw (cause crooked teeth) and mess with your milk production, and communicating with your baby. Don't use them. Put them to the breast instead. Or change their diaper, play with them for a little while, or just cuddle and sing to them. Those are the main things they want. Just go down the list when they cry instead of putting in the plug! Trust your instincts, even when older, more experienced people are giving you lots of advice. Mom's instincts are usually right! Do listen and smile and nod. Then do what you need to do. :) Being a mom is wonderful. It will be hard giving up parts of your special teenage years, but you will also gain some amazing experiences along the way, and have an opportunity to have a very long, loving relationship with your little one that many of us older moms don't have! Enjoy and good luck.
dont get pregnant...
I am a teacher, and I find that the age of my students' parents doesn't matter nearly half as much as whether or not their family values education. Teach your child. Spent more money on books than toys. Be a good role model and always remember that YOU are their first teacher :) Good luck in life.
What a great question! I'm glad to see there are several answers, I just hope they are helpful. I'm not going to read them 'til I give my response, as I don't want to be biased. As someone with experience relating to this question, I would say the most important part would be to LOVE. If you are or are going to be a teenage mom (or a mom at any age), you are blessed with bringing a child into this world who will love you unconditionally. Take advantage of the opportunity to grow and teach this child better than you may have received. Try to strike a balance between the upbringing you received, the upbringing you think your child deserves, and what you can realistically give them. Understand you are going to make mistakes (we all do), just make sure they are the kind you can live with. Grow with your child into a better adult than you may have been without them. Being young, you're (for the most part) still open minded enough to let your child teach you a few things. Find the good in being a young mother, don't let the stereotypes eat you up. Be the role model that you may not have had, and that your child deserves. Let your child be the fire that drives you to succeed, to get up out of bed every day, to change each stinky diaper, to be a parent worthy of such a blessing. Create wonderful memories or your own traditions. Take LOADS of pictures. Enjoy every precious moment, because you'll both grow up quickly. Regardless of the side glances and uncalled for remarks you'll get , you have just as much ability to be a great parent as any other mother. You will just have to work that much harder. And it is well worth it.
Understand that there will be hard times, long nights and even longer minutes. Never run out of patience (As parents, we do the most damage when we run out of patience.)
Read everything you can get your hands on and encourage your child to as well.
Learn CPR and basic first aid.
Wear your motherhood as a badge of honor.
Put your child first...ALWAYS. Baby > Men, Baby > Partying, Baby > Friends
The TV is not a babysitter, soda is not a treat, and giving your child something not meant for children (alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, etc) is NOT cute.
Parenting never ends, it just evolves.
Being responsible doesn't mean you can't have fun, it just means life is no longer JUST fun and games.
Be strong enough to help your child to end any cycles of dysfunction that may run through your family. Don't pass judgement on your own child there are plenty who will do that anyway. (but that comes later).
You won't truly know that you've been a good parent until you send them out into the world and they display all that you have taught them. (You'll get hints at just how great they are along the way, so be on the lookout and reinforce the positive.)
Last and certainly not least, for your own sanity, I would suggest becoming better acquainted with various kinds of music. Music can change a mood in an instant, it also helps to broaden ones views of the world.
By becoming a teenage mom you have entered the realm of adulthood, you now have to make grown up decisions, and expect people to treat you a bit harshly. Though there is nothing more harsh than not doing your best or giving the best of you to your child. As long as you can do that, then you'll know you've done right by your baby.
There are so many other tips to offer but you can't give every bit of advice away in one instance just like you can't become a good parent over night. It's all earned.
Good Luck, Keep the Faith, and Stay Strong!
Don't let anyone look down on you. My fiancé an I are both young, and we look younger. My oldest son is from a previous relationship (I was 19 when he was born) and Matt has two daughters, that were born before he turned twenty. We had taken all three kids to the Smithsonian and I will never forget the absolute horror I felt when I was changing Aidan's diaper in the restroom and his daughters had just finished washing up, and a much older woman looked at me and said, You are too young to have any children, by God, how many do you have? I was twenty, and completely embarrassed. My fiancé was getting ready to leave for Afghanistan in less than a week and this was our last family outing. Her comment nearly reduced me to tears.
When Matt questioned why I was upset, he had some very straightforward advice that I have lived by as a young mom. He simply said, you are a good mom, so what does it matter what they think or say?
Age does not determine whether a mother will be good or bad. The mother does. I live for my sons and would lay down my life for them without a second thought. People look at me and in an instant decide that I can't parent (really bugs me with my second).
Never let them convince you that you are anything other than the best mother for your child. For the entire time you carry them, their hearts beat for you. For the rest of your life, let your heart beat for them. Every day strive to make the most of your time, and to love your child or children and always look to their well being, and you will be the best mother you can be.
Hold your head high and love your baby. That is the only thing that any young mother can do.
Complete your education!! Also, your child is a whole human being, just like you, so treat him or her with the respect and dignity we all deserve.
Being patient is key.
Hi always put your child first over anyone including boyfriends. Have a routine little kids like routines. Just be there for them even when there horror teenagers and do stupid things.
OMG!!!!!!!!! DON "T HAVE SEX IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!!!!!!!!!!! What is wrong with you young girls today? You should be in school learning, not changing diapers. Be a teenager, go to parties, hang out with your friends.
I am saddened by some of the more judgmental answers on this thread. A teenage mother also needs to be treated like a human being and with respect. If she is not shown respect, how is she supposed to know how to practice giving respect to her own child. Teenaged mother need supper,respect and lots and lots of help. I had my first son at 17, the second at and my daughter at 37/. My children grew up happy, healthy, responsible and respectful. They are smart, hard workers that had a the added busrden of a mother who had to work twice as hard because I wanted to give them every chance and opportunity that every other child they knew.. I am now 43 and very proud of.my twenty-somthing sons. They also do not begrudge their sister's. "Easy ride" because. I learned how to be a mom. By parenting them. Tmy beautiful sons have been the best support of my life. I would move mountians for them, an I have no doubt that they would do the same for me. Give teen or young moms respect, love, help, props and oppertunity to take classes to help them developed as a person, woman and mother. Give them every chance to do right by their children, and be genwrouse with theprops when they are doing well. No one knows how important it is to hear "your a good mom!" Or "that baby sure is loved!" Be good to her and love her like you want to see her love her baby. Make her feel like she is worthy, even when the situations seems bad. You learn to parent and become an adult by example. Be the ex.ample!
One of the most crucial thing when being a teenagers mother is the fact that you make them feel that their voice is heard their opinion matters they are important and they need your respect
I have 2 teenager and I never had a problem with them.
Everyone tells me it's a hard thing raising teenagers
I have put it to the test. If you do those things you are sure for positive results
i am a teenage mum i had my 1st son at 16 i had been with the father for over 2 years my daughter at 18 at my youngest son at 20 the best thing you can do is be there for our child yes u do need a break every parent needs a break regardless of age.
i dislike how ppl look down on teenage mums we can do just as a good job of raising our children has older mother the age is pointless as long as you love care and protect and show your child right from wrong then you are a good mum/parent.
Having a good support network helps alot.
i aways get complimented on how well behaved my children are when out in public and it shocks some people that a teenage mum can actually raise well behaved children
Im a mom of Teens not a Teenage Mom but I see alot of negative on here and telling someone not to have sex when they obviously already have ....hence someone being a Teenage Parent.
I also think mom's of all ages need to remember that and to show one another a little kindness. We all have a difficult job to raise our children up to the best of our abilities.
I would hope some have a enough common sense to share helpful tips without judgement.
One of the more popular beliefs out there is how difficult it is for a teenager to take care of a baby. Yes, it's difficult. But raising a baby is difficult for any mother, regardless of the age. It's also super doable. If you're a teenage mother, my advice to you is to stop focusing on all your limitations because of your age, and instead focus on all the things you CAN do. You can love this child. You can give them their basic needs. You can guide them as they grow. You can surround them with all the people who you have looked up to in your life, and who can be a positive force in your child's too. Sure, you will likely need to rely on the support of your family much more heavily than an older mom might have to. But in a way, this only gives more opportunity for your child to have a village of people to look up to and depend on as they grow.
My Tip: Believe that you CAN do this, and surround yourself with those who will support and guide you and your child.
I opened this thread bc I thought it was about how to be a good mom TO teenagers. But, per BEING a teenage mom, here is my take. Your child needs YOU more than anything else -- especially before they are three years old -- spend all the time with your child that you can! Make friends with other teenage moms who have children so you can all hang out and have a good time and your children can play together. Try to figure out what kind of support you can get to continue your education. And -- good luck! No one loves you like your baby!
This is such a touchy subject, but I'm glad it's being addressed. The main thing is, you HAVE to put the child above anything & anyone. Being a teen mom myself (I was 19, but out of HS), I know the temptations that come along with it. You are invited out by friends, or a boyfriend, & you want to go. But you can't. Even if you have a great support system that is willing to take on YOUR responsibilites for even just one night, you shouldn't give in. It just really shows how truly immature you are & not ready to be the mother you are supposed to be. Also, please, for the love of God, DO NOT drag your child all over hell's half acre to show him/her off!! It doesn't look "cool", & it doesn't make you look like a good parent either! Also, a huge issue I see with teen moms, is that they let just any man step into their's & their child's life. Please, please, please don't do this. Being a mother, you need to not think of what makes you happy, but what is best for your child. Is this guy responsible? Does he have a job (if he's old enough, usually 15 is the legal age)? Does he treat your child well? Does he treat you well? Is he willing to step up to the plate as a father, evne if he's not the biological father? Does he have future goals for his life/career? Would you & a child fit into those goals? Is he into anything illegal? These are all questions that EVERY teen mom should be asking herself.
is this by choice, or accident?
I would hope as a teenager you'd be thinking of other things than having a baby.
either way - being a good mom is the same no matter the age. Take responsibility for your baby. Accept help, but don't use people. Love your baby. Spend quality time with baby. Give the best nutrition you can. Research your options on raising techniques. Do what feels good. Give lots of supervised and unsupervised time for baby to play (this applied to when they're a little older, toddler age)
Put your baby first! No matter what! I was a teen mom four times over, and although I wouldn't change the kids I have I would change when I had them. I have had to give up many manty things a teen enjoys including school, friends, parties ( I have been to a total of 3), and even my eyesight has been sacrificed for my children to a degree, I wore the same glasses for 11 years because I couldn't afford to replace them AND provide for my children.To this day we still struggle to provide the kind of life for my kids that they deserve, even the basics are hard to come by at times. My husband is now in college at 38 years old and after he graduates next year I will be returning to school as well I will be 33. We now have eight children and while that does cause some of the financial issues, if we had had our educations completed and our careers intact before having our children, we could have given them all the life they deserve and need.
Put your child before yourself, stay in school and make use of any resources available in your area. Take time for yourself- but not too often. Have a support network, but try not to rely on them. Do not blame your child for the things you give up. Don't let others bully you into making choices. If your friends leave you for having a kid- let them. You will find more. Don't focus on finding or keeping a boyfriend. Eventually the right man will come along and he will love you AND your child.
I think being a teen mom can be the most challenging thing in the world! My sister in law gave birth to my niece when she just turned seventeen. She still graduated but couldn't attend the ceremony because she went in to pre-term labor and didn't receive the proper pre-natal care because I think she was so shell shocked when she found out and so scared that she went into denial. She didn't even tell our family untill she was almost seven months pregnant and when she did finally admit it you still could barely tell! She gave birth 2 weeks later!!! My niece is a smart, beautiful, precocious child who lets nothing get in her way of doing what she wants despite the fact that shortly after she was born she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and can't use her left side very well. My sister in law worked so hard to educate herself and get her daughter the necessary services, therapies, and medical equipment she needed and I am very proud of her jumping into motherhood unlike some teenage moms who drop they're kids off to go party with friends and practically ignore their children and some even resent their kids because they still have things they want to do and they put their needs and wants above those of their kids and that disgusts me. When you become a mother- teenage or otherwise- your kids come first no matter what! I think shows like Teen Mom on MTV almost glorifies teenage pregnancy and that does not help! Those teenage girls are getting paid to have their pregnancies recorded for tv-and to me that is not an accurate portrayal of pregnancy or becoming a Mom! These girls act like celebrities after being on the show and want to be treated like celebrities! It's a crazy, messed up world we live in and I give ALOT of credit to the teenage mothers out there who are doing right for their babies! It is NOT easy! I had my 1st child at 21 and was still scared that I wasn't ready and I had a husband and family for support so all you teen moms out there that put your childs needs first- keep up the good work. Your kids will grow up repecting you for all you did for them!
Abstinence is THE BEST form of birth control. Having premarital sex is how those teens get pregnant. There is NO accident about it, just thoughtlessness and selfishness, because they chose to have sex. The Lord gave us our bodies and we need to honor and cherish that gift, not take it for granted. We are free to choose our own choices, but always remember that there are ALWAYS consequences for every choice we make, whether they be good consequences or bad. The choices we make today will affect our lives tomorrow... (and sometimes the lives of other people)...Choose wisely.....and if you are a teen age mom, then you have chosen to live with your decision. Whatever you do, NEVER get an abortion. Those are precious souls on those tiny bodies. They deserve a chance at a good life. And if you cannot provide that, then consider all of the couples out there who would love to have a child but for whatever reason cannot have one. They may be in a better position to offer your baby a better life. Think about it. You were selfish once, is being selfish again the best decision? (Remember, your actions affect the lives of others)...May God be with you.
remember to always be kind, understanding and be a friend to them.
Great Advice for the teen moms from season moms but keeping perspective that the a child's mind is not fully developed until their early 20's. Their decision processing is not complete, hence is why they become pregnant at such a young age. It is about the moment. An adult decision was made by someone immature and young. Teen moms need support from their families or other positive influences. It takes a village to raise a child.
If parents would have more open communication about sex and stop feeling embarrass about the subject less teens will go out to experiment. The rumors on how you can get pregnant is still out there even in the 21st century. We as parents must be shock proof when they want to talk. If they want to talk about sex, don't automatically assume they are having sex or thinking about having sex.
Not that I want to come off sounding self righteous, but I don't think we should be giving advice to teenage moms. Their parents should be active in raising their children. They need to be talking about all the ramifications having unprotected teenage intercourse. My adivice would be use contraceptives. Even if young irls on on the pill use a condom also, even double up on the condom. Not that they should only worry about getting pregnant, they should worry STD's as well.
Being a mum at my age is hard i can't imagine what it's like to be a teenager with a toddler, the best advice i would suggest is to get a supportive network of family and friends around you, continue your education and enjoy your little one x
Love that little one and spend TIME holding them, playing with them, talking to them & listening to them and all else will fall into place
One of the best things to do is to remember how you personally acted as a teenager. I was an "A" student and trsused by my parents. However, I still snuck and bought cigarettes at age 16 and hid them in my drawer. One of my sisters found them and "turned me in" to my Mom.
Also at age 18 I got a fake ID and went to night clubs with a boy I was dating who was over 21. These are the kinds of actions that teens take to "become their own person" unique and different from Mom and Dad (or the single parent) that are rearing them.
My parents never tried to "be my friend", but rather stood in the role of parent. I would have liked a closer relationship with my Mom to be able to talk about boys and my feelings, but that was not something that happened as I respected the fact that my parents worked 40 (at the least) hours per week and had to commute to their jobs.
I would suggest that you put COMPASSION at the top of your "reaction" list when it comes to her trying her own ways, with or without your permission. I would also suggest that you keep a close eye on any "unusual" physical behavior to monitor for drug use as it is so common these days. That would include unusual sleepiness, red eyes, angry or sullen behavior that is continuous
(not the occasional that happens with all of the hormonal changes that occur). Be aware of unusual odors in her clothing that might point to smoking cigarettes,crack or any other such drugs. Keep in touch with the parents of close friends where she might go to spend the night or be picked up in car pools for her activities.
In general TRUST first and have a serious discussion if any real problems crop up. . But MOST OF ALL let every action, reaction, every thought and emotion you share with her be based on LOVE!!!
Just think about yourself and your kids first above anything else. Use your instincts and listen to advise even if it sounds harsh or annoys you just think about and take what you can out of it. Be proud and most of all know that you are not alone. The struggles dont last for ever, take advantage of all social service programs and finish school, even if its only High School you need a base to which you can be a role model for your children and remember anyone can make any situation bad or good it just takes courage and drive. So be good to yourself and your children thats the most important thing. Your not just a teen anymore now you are someones mom. If you get into another relationship protect your body, your mind and your heart, dont just follow him lead him as well. Take care of yourself and many blessings.
listening but not being to much of a friend.
Well I like to take some one on one time with my kids including my daughter. Spend some time doing something fun. Maybe go for a scoop of ice cream you can sit down in a booth and chat ask them what they have been learning in school. Ask them how things are going.
sometimes I have them ride with me when I go to the grocery store and we chat on the way.
Ask questions about their day without sounding nosey. Have them invite their friends over, this way you can see the type of kids they hang around.
Here's my ADVICE:
1) GOT $250,000.00, cause that's whatta BABY costs!!!!!!
2) BOTH MUST HAVE JOBS!!!!
3) BOTH MUST HAVE a PLACE to LIVE. (Not Parents place)
4) B Thankful for Churches, Family, Friends and Good Will for Hand-Me-Downs, Baby stuff ain't CHEAP!!!
5) KEEP and WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN. (Comes in Handy, TRUST ME)
6) KEEP ALL DOCTORS and ALL other APPOINTMENTS.
7) Always have 2 o 3 of everything, just in case.
8) Keep Line of Communications OPEN AT ALL TIMES!!!!
9) Find Any Young Parents Support Group and ATTEND as Many as POSSIBLE!!!!!!
10) Don't b ASHAMED o AFRAID to ASK 4 HELP!!!!
Good-Luck and GOD Bless!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I was a teen mom. My daughter turned 18 this year. Best tips I can give are these short ones. First, always remember that you are your child's parent, not her friend. Then, acting as the parent and not the friend, make every single decision with your child's best interest in mind. Spend as much time as possible with your kid, but don't be upset if you have to work. When your child grows up s/he is not going to remember presents, toys or lack thereof. Your child is going to remember how hard you tried to make her or him happy, healthy, safe and to feel unconditionally loved.
Develop a plan and focu,focus,focus. Educate yourself read books on child development and discipline. Learn how to handle children . Find a support person , your mom, gma, on here and talk with them when you just need support. Figure out who your mommy. Role model is... It could be your mom , gma or even a famous good mom and put her picture on your mirror to keep you focused on what's really important being a good mom. Above all, educating yourself is the most valuable thing you can do for yourself.
Never give up!! People will try to pull you down, or think you aren't capable. However, with enough hard work, determination, and the will to be a good mother, you will do what is necessary to make it happen. Sure, it can be hard to be left behind by friends, but if you put your job as a mom first, then it won't matter as much to you. Making sure that you are providing the best life for you child is all that will matter. Also know that you will make mistakes, but the key is to analyze them, learn from them, and not repeat them. You will also need to learn to forgive yourself. I've been there and done that. It's not easy, but it's not impossible to be a fantastic mother either. All of my kids are happy, well adjusted, and good students. One of the biggest keys to being a successful mom is to try to remember to let your kids have an innocent and (mostly) care free childhood. Don't put them into adult situations. :o)
Choosing to give the baby up for adoption. That's the best thing a teenager can do when she is pregnant.
dont act like your average teenager, even though your still a teen you still have your baby to think about, ive known some to have a baby and still do drink and drugs how many nights a week whilst nanny or boyfriend looks after baby. i just see it as if you dont want to stop those things then dont have a baby, obviously go out once in a while (if thats what you like to do as fun) but not asmuch as a teenager would.....everything else cant really say much other than still do your schooling if your still there...or college whatever and get your qualifications xx
First and foremost, love your child. If you love your child, you will do whatever is possible to take the best care of him/her. Second, put yourself in your child's shoes. Imagine his/her life. Would you want that life? If not, think how you could improve BOTH you are and your child's life. Lastly, patience. Patience is the most important quality of a parent. People without patience...well, are impatient. Children need patient parents.
I was a 19 year old mother. Not the same as a 15-16 year old mother, but still a young mother. My daughter is now 5 years old. She's smart, beautiful, and funny. We have had A LOT of challenges, but we are both thriving. I graduated from a community college with an Associate's in Arts and am now a Junior at UNC-Chapel Hill (top ten public university in the COUNTRY). All things are possible. No matter when you have a child. Just believe, and yes, have patience.
Thank you to the teen moms who are so mature and open!
Ask yourself every single day (sometimes several times) "am I being the mother that my child DESERVES?" If the answer is no, then examine what small things you can do differently that will add up to a whole-hearted YES answer to the question. If the answer to the question is YES, then you aren't being honest with yourself. It's that simple. If you can't find room for improvement, then you are saying that you are incapable of growing and learning. This same process can be used to gauge your own growth as well - after all, you are still growing up too! Ask yourself, "am I being the best ME that I can be?"
--- from a once upon a time teen mom. I was 17 when my son was born but now I'm an oldie - 33 years old! :) My son is 15 and he lives this same philosophy for his own life. He has his first job and is slated for management next year when he turns 16. Gets great grades and is the type of human being that people flock to. If you always push yourself to be a better person - even something as simple as making sure to smile at a stranger today or learning one new small thing today - you can't go wrong in life.