I have a lot of friends who are teachers, and over the weekend I was talking to one of them who has a 15-year old student in one of her classes. This student had a baby at 13 years old and is currently pregnant. My friend wasn’t shocked to hear the girl’s news. Apparently this is all too common in her line of work. She’s taught in several different schools, in different areas, across socio-economic lines, across racial lines, and the problem is still the same. That particular girl was born to a 14-year old mother, and she (the girl) has 4 sisters who have had similar life experiences. All of them had children before the age of 16, and only one of them managed to graduate from high school.
My mother, a former Labor & Delivery nurse, told me countless stories of 9-year olds and teenagers giving birth. Usually the girls would be accompanied by their families. Occasionally she’d see the fathers who were typically much older than the girls. And of course the girls’ mothers would be there, usually around 30 years old herself. Grandma was never older than 45 or 50. Once the baby was born, there’d be 4 generations of women all under the age of 50. Sad indeed.
All of this gets me thinking about what some call the generational curse. Are girls born to very young parents doomed to repeat the same? I’ve read a lot that seems to indicate the difficulties in breaking that kind of cycle. Very young girl impregnanted by much older man (sometimes her father unfortunately), has several children who also become very young parents. Is it because that’s all the kids know, despite people around them doing different? Or is it a conscious choice to put themselves in a precarious parenting position?
There is a lot that can be said about this issue, and a lot of research has been done. I’d go into it, but I’m curious as to what some of you think and I’d like to open up some discussion. I have my own opinions and I’ve made my own observations, but I’d like to read/hear what some of you have to say. Do you believe in the generational curse? Have you witnessed it? Are you living it? Have your say in the comment box. I’m hoping to turn this into a larger discussion topic, so I really appreciate your feedback.