Generational Babymaking?

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.

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4 thoughts on “Generational Babymaking?

  1. I have to first start with a mother at 9 years old???!!! I’ve seen and heard a lot but damn that one got to even me!!

    Anyway, young mothers were extremely common in my graduating class. It started with one girl when we were all 14 and it seems like after that it was just a domino effect. Some of those same girls had a couple of kids by the time we graduated and sometimes there were cases of multiple girls having a baby by the same guy. GROSS!! Most of these folks were black. As far as the white people, I noticed the white (trash) girls were visibly pregnant but the rich white girls were not (even though I did hear word/rumor of abortions about some of them).

    I typed all that to comment that yes I do believe in the generational curse. Just like a few examples you used, some of the people in my class were children of young parents as well. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that their kids, who should be teenagers themselves now, are parents. It’s sad but true.

    I didn’t live that life (thank goodness) and don’t want to seem on the high horse but I honestly cannot imagine me in that position. Having that much responsibility at such a young age and then raising the kid only to have them turn around and make the same mistakes I did making me a a GRANDPARENT at the age of 31!!! GTFOH! I’m still not ready for my own yet.

  2. I think in general being rasied in poverty with a lack of education is cycle that has all too much repeated itself. And a by product of that is indeed young girls getting pregnant. When your mother is young and doesn’t know enough or doesn’t support her child then there’s a high chance that child will repeat the living conditions of being in poverty and uneducated.

    It’s very unfortunate that those living that cycle can’t see beyond their current conditions to support and guide their children differently.

    I have cousins that are repeating this very same cycle. And I’m adamant about reaching at least one of them to get them to go beyond and become more than their current predicaments.

  3. I heard of the generational curse before but I have yet to see any proof of it. Not that it doesn’t exist. I agree with Laughing808 about the vicious cycle of poverty and lack of education. That does repeat itself. The only way to break that cycle is for someone to want to get out of the circle. It just keeps going on and on.

  4. Generational curse? Maybe, but I’m more inclined to believe in choices. Life is a path full of choices. These young girls chose to lie down with the sperm donor, not use protection and make a baby. There was a choice to carry on with the pregnancy and become a young mother. We all have the same choices to make and, whether it’s based on what we know, our education or what we see around us, we still have those choices. We know the difference between right and wrong at a very young age. With some choices (like these) we know exactly what path will be laid before us.

    Rape, certainly, is not a choice these girls are making but I suspect that’s not what you’re talking about here; however, in incest cases, choices can be abruptly taken away and young women are left at the mercy of their (for lack of a better word) captors. In those situations, I shake my head. I would hope that being a neighbor, friend, family member, I would take notice to such a situation and help someone regain her choices.

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