Having sexual intercourse and posting it online for everyone to watch and critique is ok for some teen girls. Many teenagers could care less about what the future holds for them, or the pain their destructive behaviors may cause.
By the time teenagers reach their senior year in high school, over 65% will have had sexual intercourse. Almost 55% will have used some illicit drug. Over 70% of high school students and 54% of middle school students admit to cheating during the prior 12 months. There is an increasing number of young girls walking around pushing baby strollers. The main thing that stands out is the absence of a male figure walking with them. It’s disturbing to see these young mothers pushing strollers and many of them are even proud that they have maybe one or two children and are only 17 to 19 years old.
These young girls are falling victim everyday. They are falling for young boys and the lies they tell them just to sleep with them or take advantage of them some other way. The internet is currently going crazy about a 14 year old girl named Amber Cole. Amber Cole was caught on tape performing sexual acts on a young boy in which one boy was watching while another boy taped it.
This is a prime example of our young girls not standing up for themselves, not caring and giving into pressure. What ever happened to the young girls that went to school with their homework prepared ready for class? It’s obviously the total opposite especially after hearing Amber Cole’s story. Forget the books, some of these young girls are being educated by friends, guys and celebrities.
Many of the celebrities these young girls look up to are women such as Nicki Minaj who puts herself out there as being a life size Barbie. Our young girls are not looking up to REAL women such as Queen Latifah, Jill Scott or Mary J. Blige. I remember growing up listening to Queen Latifah’s “Ladies First” or “All Hail the Queen” and thinking that this sister is deep, and I was immediately inspired by the messages in her songs.
Nowadays the young girls have broken away and it seems as though they are going down hill at top speed. There is even another situation in Memphis, Tennessee with girls that are still babies getting pregnant. According to straightfromthea.com, a reported 90 teens are either pregnant now or have had a baby this school year. A whopping 20% percent of the school’s female population are already in the throes of parenthood. They also go on to mention that last year, more than 2,100 girls ages 10 to 19 gave birth in Shelby County.
Whenever you hear stories like this, it makes you ask, what are these young girls thinking? A teenager’s brain is still developing, so most of the information they are given flies right out of the other ear.
According to associatedcontent.com, the brains of teenagers are not completely matured. The prefrontal cortex won’t be mature until early- to mid- twenties. This contributes to mood problems, bad choices, and misinterpreting “where parents and others are coming from.”
Another reason is that many teens especially young women may be looking for love. Some young women may have grown up without a father for most of half of their life. For young girls of color, especially little Black girls, a father plays a huge role in the development of a young girl. With so many negative representations of black women on television, a father is needed to shed light on the positives of being a black woman and to never settle for less. According to Helium.com, young black girls whose father’s are absent from their lives suffer the most. Most look for that fatherly figure in the men they date. They usually want to date very young and become sexually active very early. Some even become very promiscuous using sex to get love from men as a substitution for the unconditional love they long for from a father. Many suffer from self-esteem issues; the term “daddy’s little girl” doesn’t come from no where. There isn’t a better feeling to a girl than hearing how beautiful she is from her father; because she knows it is genuine.
There needs to be more positive men and women stepping up and mentoring a child. Women who are successful in their careers can help give guidance to a young girl who is looking to have a similar career someday.Many young girls just need someone to talk to that can give them positive advice that will last with them, instead of advice from friends that will end up steering them in the wrong direction.
To make sound decisions, children, like adults, need good information. They also need to be tuned in to their own and other people’s feelings, say Drs. John Clabby and Maurice Elias, authors of Teach Your Children Decision Making (Doubleday).
The Center For Parent/ Youth Understanding, list ways we can help our youth start making healthy decisions:
- Because I said so!” isn’t a reason we can give them as we make their decisions for them. Instead, we’ve got to go beyond words to tap into the incredible power of example. Invite them into your decision-making process by allowing them to watch you struggle with, process and come to some resolution on the difficult decisions you need to make.
- The power of example and positive guidance increases as we act on the resolve to spend time with our kids. Lack of time is interpreted by them as rejection. Rejection can quickly grow into resentment. Resentment is the seed bed of rebellion. Teenage rebellion is often a deliberate effort to do the exact opposite of a parent’s desire and can be at the root of many unhealthy decisions.
- When they face a point of decision, create an atmosphere for openness so that they will seek your advice.
- One of the best ways to help our kids consider the consequences and implications of their decisions is by pointing them to others who have reaped the benefits of good choices and the painful agony of bad choices.
It’s tough when a teen has such a huge influence when it comes to what is seen on television, in schools, in the streets and what is taught by peers. The best way for parents to help guide teens in the right direction, is to help keep teens grounded and for other role models to step in and share their wisdom and story to help guide the next young person.
*Written for urbaneperspectivemag.com