Teenage Dad: The Forgotten Half In Parenthood

When people talk about teenage pregnancy, what do they usually picture? Most of the time, they pertain to the young mother who just lost her great future – the 18-year-old girl who struggles with taking care of a baby, going to school, and therapy to keep herself insane amidst the changes in her life. They visualize a young mom carrying her baby or pushing her in a stroller and having a hard time feeding and putting her to sleep. Whatever she may be doing, people probably imagine a teenage mother when they start talking about being a teen parent. Is that correct?

Through the years, society has influenced people, including me, to think this way, especially the media. We interchangeably use teenage parent and teenage mother or vice versa because we see teen pregnancy is typically a girl problem. Today, there are two popular television shows that center on the troubles of teen motherhood – but what about the young dad who got the girl pregnant? Where do we fit him into this? Isn’t there a show focused entirely on his experiences and the things he has to give up to be a responsible father?

Occasionally, the teen dads are given cameo roles where they get to appear on the show just to add drama to it. The situation can be an argument with the teenage mom about child support or custody, or the young mom shouting at him because he gives so little time and money to support the baby. Obviously, the heroes are the teen mothers and the babies who have been portrayed as thriving despite living without a normal family – without a good father.

But really, would there even be a baby if it were not for both the male and the female? So why do the teenage moms get all the praises?

The Forgotten Half

This is the reality in almost all cultures – the teenage father is often the forgotten one. His role frequently goes unnoticed, especially when the sides are picked and the mother gets to take care of the baby alone – and separated with the teen dad. He is just there to pay for child support and make occasional visits and takes the baby to the park or something. He is typically painted as an irresponsible guy who doesn’t worry much while the teen mom is so exhausted taking care of their baby the whole day.

Teenage fathers didn’t just get this rude tag because of the power of media. Two groups, the Pittsburg Youth Study and the Rochester Youth Development Study, proved that there is a strong connection between negligence and teenage fathers. A teenage boy’s past involvement in negligent behavior increases the likelihood that he will be a teenage father and will also become an irresponsible one. It has been deemed as a vicious cycle that has tremendously affected the perception of the society about teenage fatherhood.

This is not universal, though, as a lot of teenage fathers want so much to be a part of their baby’s life and future. However, this perception may also be a hindrance to the teen dad, preventing him from trying his best to prove the society wrong because he has already been judged.

Teen Fathers Deserve Support

If and when young dads are given equal opportunities and equal standing with the young moms, they are truly capable of making appropriate decisions for the betterment of his child and the child’s mother. He can make healthy suggestions with regards to his baby’s welfare.

Antonio Luciano’s Story

Antonio was only 19 when he became a father and a single father at that. He had his mother and sister to help him with his child. He has been working five days in a week with two jobs and no time to do what other 19-year-olds would be doing, which is going to school, going out with friends, and enjoying time as a teenager without major responsibilities.

Antonio got his girlfriend, Joanne, pregnant, who was barely 16 that time. After she delivered their baby, she decided to move to another state and leave the baby with Antonio because she wanted to build a future for herself and taking care of the baby would prevent her from doing that. So once or twice a month, she visits their son.

Antonio’s story is one that society would probably wish would be about the struggle and success of a teenage mom, but no. It is a rather touching chapter of a young dad who managed to be responsible for his actions despite instances when he would not be able to buy everything they needed.

There are perhaps more stories like this one out there that only need to be known and publicized. This is not to defend their mistakes but to shed some positivity on teenage fatherhood. Ultimately, stories like this should be put out there so that people will understand that teen parenting does not only mean motherhood but also fatherhood as well.

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New York’s Juvenile Justice System

When the department of justice found a tremendous impact on the culture of violence involving teenagers, the reform in New York’s juvenile justice system became an option. The process primarily aims to immediately create changes including the transfer of criminally-involved kids to juvenile detentions and centers. Meaning, these particular kids will end up in solitary confinement with inmates’ ages from 18 to 22. However, some people see the reform as a slow-paced resolution since the policy came too late for the underage kids who are currently waiting for years for their trial.

Juvenile Justice System

However, even though there’s an argument on the new juvenile justice system, some are still in favor of the new law. That’s because, in New York alone, the justice system includes local and state law enforcement where duties and responsibilities in providing security services are achievable. The handling of kids follows significant protocols that supervise their condition. There’s also a successful rehabilitation due to the contribution of probation departments. The role of the department is to address a sizeable juvenile issue involving in a particular community. The division is responsible for keeping children from becoming a criminal and helps them become a productive member of society. The justice system also includes juvenile detention. It keeps children who have committed crimes away from the majority of people. It becomes beneficial for the justice system as prisons represent punishment to those kids who are under conflict with the law. Then there are family courts that decide matters concerning family law. These include the decision of custody of children, the requirement of disciplinary actions, and community services as well.

With all the unseen positive things about the reformed juvenile justice system, it continues to thrive. That’s because they believe that the degree of contact of the youth has with the criminality is often influenced by significant factors. These include the lack of education, emotional and psychological abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, family problems, sociological issues, and a lot more. That’s the reason why there’s a focus on community standards where punishment and rehabilitation cater broad terms to include promotion of health and wellness for the kids who get in conflict with the law.  Aside from that, there also an issued policy for local reporting practices where comparable global information gets gathered. It regulates the system to follow the world standard regarding children punishment and rehabilitation. By this enhancement, the process allows an opportunity to risk potential contribution to the overall justice system.

What Contributes To The Improvement?

New York’s juvenile justice system now focuses on expanding support services as alternatives to placements. The incarceration gets restricted to youth who poses a comprehensible risk to public safety. Though there is still a continued disparity in the race, changes in types of placements become an option. That’s where the reformed juvenile justice system imposed a close to the home initiative. It is the process of putting kids in small, homelike facilities that is close to the community as much as possible. That is to avoid them from isolation and still to allow them to understand their roles for society. This evolution in addressing criminal youth liabilities, detention went down, and community involvement went up.

The Recommendations

New York’s juvenile justice system knows that their policy is not at all stable. There are still loopholes to what they are currently doing. These include the continuous involvement of children in drug-related cases. Therefore, some things require consideration. The idea that needs modification is perhaps the limitation of eligibility for correctional placements. That instead of investing in creating incarceration facilities, the system should look for alternatives that allow youth to participate in societal issues. Of course, there should be an imposed best practice on proper handling and supervision of delinquents as well. And also include the establishment of a small, treatment-oriented facility for those juveniles who are under the influence of drugs.

The changes in the juvenile justice system in New York alone show a tremendous impact on the rest of the states of the US. Yes, some people may agree, and some may not be in favor of some punishments and rehabilitation procedures, and that’s okay. That’s because the system believes that they will never know how to address the youth issue if they do not act on it little by little.

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Why Social Media Mental Health Campaigns Are Helpful For Teenagers With Depression

Believe it or not, mental health is now becoming a global issue. Data have shown that more and more people, especially teenagers, are experiencing mental health problems recently. With that, these individuals look for ways to cope up with these. Some look for the comfort of their family while others prefer getting medical treatment from professionals. However, there is an emerging strategy on how to address these problems, and that is through social media mental health campaigns.

Brands are now becoming more creative and dedicated to increasing their campaigns when it comes to mental health. Because of the issue’s relevance to young people around the world, most of the groups that create these initiatives rely on the intelligent use of data to develop an effective campaign.

The Role Of Mental Health Campaigns On Teenage Depression

Mental health campaigns on various social media platforms are now slowly emerging because of the positive effect it gives to teenage depression. Below are some of the benefits of mental health campaigns on young people.

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  • Mental Health Campaigns Break The Stigma

Despite mental health becoming the talk of the town at times, there are still some public “outings” on this topic. Whenever people tell others that they have a bipolar disorder, the image of a crazy person who is going nuts usually appears in their minds. They also view those with depression as a hopeless case—always sad, never happy.

Mental health campaigns usually break this stigma. These initiatives show that there are more things behind having bipolar disorder and depression. This move results in more people knowing the depths of these illnesses.

  • Mental Health Campaigns Give Support

Although there is an increase in awareness about mental health, it is still awkward for individuals to provide help for those in need since they do not know what to do. They are not aware of the proper approach whenever someone is talking about their depression, and they also do not know what kind of help to give for those who are experiencing mental health problems.

The emergence of social media mental health campaigns gives these people a little bit of background on how to offer support to those in need. These provide a wider range of proper support to people with mental health problems.

Source: afrc.af.mil

  • Mental Health Campaigns Inspire People

Mental health campaigns usually feature people who have mental health disorders. Stories of hope and words of encouragement supplement these. Such initiatives show individuals that other people experience the same thing as them. This gives them the idea that they are not alone. It also inspires them that they can overcome such challenges.

The Best Social Media Mental Health Campaigns

The best social media mental health campaigns are those that deliver messages that resonate. Here are some of the best ones which adequately addressed the issue and started real conversations on mental health.

  • Project Semicolon – Amy Bleuel, founder of the Project Semicolon, spearheaded placing a semicolon tattoo. This semicolon shows support to those who are battling self-harm, addiction, depression, and suicide. As stated in the initiative’s website, “a semicolon is used when an author could have chosen to end their sentence but chose not to. The author is you, and the sentence is your life.” This project made waves in the online world. Many people with mental health problems showed their appreciation for the cause.

Source: deviantart.com

  • #IDEFY – Planned Parenthood launched a social media campaign called #IDEFY which encouraged individuals to share to the whole world what they defy—homophobia, racism, and other stigmas—through posting on social media. This project enabled them to avoid keeping these issues within themselves and minimize the possibility of depression.
  • UOKM8 – In September 2017, TheLADBible Group came up with a social content campaign which lasted for three months. Raising awareness on the mental health problems among men is its goal. To achieve this, they released a series of documentaries. They featured influential men talking about their experiences on depression. The drive was so useful that it was able to attract almost four million views on Facebook.
  • People Like Us – Harrow, one of the most diverse communities in England and Wales, spearheaded this campaign. People Like Us focused on raising awareness on Black and Minorities Ethnic (BME) communities on the mental health services present in their places. This project helped them familiarize themselves with these opportunities and eventually increase their engagement in these programs. Results showed that the campaign reached almost 75,000 people from the targeted BME communities.

These four social media mental health campaigns prove that the digital platform is one of the best media to spread awareness and start conversations about these issues—specifically teenage depression. Hence, it is essential to create an impactful mental health initiative that is both effective and captivating to drum up the advocacy bring awareness to society.

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Teenage Moms And Their Mental Health Issues

The National Institute of Mental Health evaluates that for every five children and teen in the United States will either have a severe mental health issue at some point in their lives or is already suffering from it in a constant basis.

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Alleviating The Symptoms Of ADHD Through Lucky Charms

The symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or ADHD are restlessness, compulsiveness, and inability to concentrate. It disrupts a person’s focus, making him jump from one activity to another. It influences a person’s motor skills thus affecting his daily tasks and relationships. There are some ways you can alleviate the symptoms of ADHD, and among those is the use of “lucky charms.”

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When Children Get Depressed

Source: livewellmagazine.org

It is sometimes hard for parents to detect and accept the fact that children can get depressed in a major way. At times, this will not be taken seriously because of denial. Thus, the condition can be blown out of proportion when it is already discovered.

As with adults, this can result from physical health like suffering from a chronic illness such as cancer or diabetes. Sustaining a severe injury that can result in physical disability and even biochemical disturbance in the brain may possibly cause depression. Certain life events like the death of a loved one or a pet are also predisposing factors to depression. For the most part, having a family history and genetic vulnerability to the mental state is considered a primary cause of depression in children. Other risks will include environmental and situational factors such as homelessness, poverty, and bullying.

Depression is significantly more common in boys under age 10. But by age 16, girls have a greater incidence of depression.

What Should Parents Do?

Awareness of the condition. Be mindful of your children’s activities. If previously they were usually hyperactive or energetic and just all of a sudden there is a noticeable change on the activities like showing disinterest or withdrawal from doing the usual stuff, then that is a cause for worry. Their performance and grades in school are also affected – having low grades and getting involved in trouble. Sometimes you can detect depression and a gloomy mood on how they dress and present themselves. Selection of dark-colored clothes or those with monochromatic tones is a critical indicator that they are emotionally disturbed. This can also be true of the type of music they listen to.

Source: posttraumainstitute.com

Look out for hidden clues. You can start by watching their social media behavior. If you are able to monitor their social media posts (which is highly recommended), try to examine the pattern of their tweets or Facebook posts. Children nowadays are very fond of the internet and have considered this as their resounding wall for all their inner demons. The messages that they post online are silent screams and some statements can give out hints of their true feelings and the current state of mind they are in. There is a significant number of cases where the child has posted a message online before committing suicide. As always, prevention is better than a pound of cure. In this case, recognizing your children’s actions is the best way to detect depression and its adverse effect which is suicide.

Talk to your child. This is the basic and essential thing that you should do once you notice that there is something wrong or off with your child. As parents, we know this for sure. We have this in our gut feeling that something is not right. But we don’t want to assume forever and just wait for the turn of events. Do not try to rationalize everything that is going on with your child. Establish a trusting relationship and try to know what’s the real problem that they are facing.

Tell your child’s doctor. The first medical professional that you can rely on is the pediatrician. Several tests will be done in order to evaluate if the child has clinical depression and may need a referral to a child psychologist or psychiatrist for that matter.

Source: alaskaflyfishinginfo.com

Provide safety and security. Together with depression is the high risk for suicide or self-harm. Make sure that all pointed and sharp objects, medications, household cleaning products, and alcohol are stored away and out of reach.

Help and support your child. Provide worthwhile and creative activities, and help your child relax. Make time to be with them and listen attentively when they are trying to communicate.

Do you need more advice on how to help your child? You can visit https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/depression/.

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Too Late For Regrets

(A Teen’s Realization on Peer Pressure and Making the Right Decisions)

Maureen and Marina are twins and they’ve been each other’s rock ever since they were born. The pair were inseparable up until high school when Maureen met a transferee named Dina. At one look, you’d never anticipate that Dina was trouble. She seemed innocent and was in fact very respectful to Maureen and Marina’s parents whenever she was at their home.


When the two became close, they went to parties and did some stuff – drinking, smoking, and some marijuana. Marina was always shut out because she wouldn’t join them and that’s how Dina liked it. If she can’t control her friend, she’d dump her. Maureen eventually chose Dina over her twin because Dina was a lot of fun to be with. Marina had to beg her sister to stay away from Dina but to no avail.


Peer pressure kicks in

Dina was sexually active and she decided it was time for Maureen to “belong” to the group. She pressured Maureen into seeing and giving in to this guy named Kip who was a chain smoker and a marijuana addict. In short, Maureen surrendered her virginity to Kip and a month later, her menses didn’t arrive as scheduled. Maureen got pregnant, but she didn’t know she was pregnant right away. She continued with her drinking, smoking and pot sessions which resulted in a complicated pregnancy.


Consequences of giving in to peer pressure


Maureen and Marina are 28 years old now and they lead very different lives. Marina is still unmarried and is beginning her career as a dental practitioner. You could say that Marina chose to stay away from vices like smoking, drinking, and drugs while she pursued a medical course which is dentistry. She thought of her future first and fun was limited to clean enjoyment. It wasn’t a boring life for Marina. She too experienced boys and parties, but she always had a dream – I want to live a comfortable life after I graduate from high school.


Marina envisioned herself to have her own house, fully paid car, a long-term successful career and eventually, a family. A husband who is equally professional with two kids; Marina dreamed for this and it was her driving force back then.


Maureen wasn’t as lucky as Marina and that was because of her choice – that one wrong move of giving in to peer pressure. She stopped high school the year she got pregnant and was only able to finish two years after that. Maureen’s baby had a heart condition because of her smoking and drug use. She wasn’t also able to proceed to college like Marina. Maureen had to take care of her child and do vocational courses on the side.


Regrets too late…


If you ask Maureen, she will tell you that her biggest regret was choosing to give in to peer pressure. Now that she is mature, she understands that it was her mistake all along. If she had said no to smoking, drinking and drugs like what Marina did, her life would have been different. Having the baby was not a mistake for her, but she feels awful all the time that she has to work many jobs just to support her disabled child. Her money is not enough and her time is very little. Maureen is always torn between the many things to do and her life is truly stressful.


Online Therapy


Marina, being single and who has achieved most of her dreams in life by the time she was 26, assisted her sister. First, she asked Maureen to speak with a therapist from this site. Maureen had to gain back her self-worth so she can fight her inner demons (depression and anxiety) and move on with her life.


Moving on with life

Speaking with a therapist has made Maureen a well-rounded person. She was able to forgive herself and has been very positive about life since then. While she works days, at nights Maureen goes to school and wants to finish a Family Counseling course. She aims to become a counselor someday. It has always been of interest to her and hopefully, she’ll be able to regain her life.

No one must suffer from past mistakes and the only way to go is onwards for the better, as Marina would say.

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When Teens Feel Like They’re Ready For The “S” Word

Would you shoo your teen away when he or she is talking to you about sex or will you be able to control panic?

My niece, Martha, was pacing back and forth the front lawn as I pulled up. She seemed nervous and was biting her nails. Something is up, I can feel it. Martha is my sister’s daughter and sadly, they are not close. She would open up to me more, which is fine with us – at least, we know what’s up with her since these days, teenagers opening up to their aunts are rare. She smiled so big, showing all her pearly whites as she called my name when I opened the car door, “Amy!”

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Peer Pressure On Teenage Pregnancy


Teenage pregnancy is a common problem in our society. Parents who have a teenage daughter will always be bothered by this issue. The rate of teenage pregnancy is high in America, and there have been studies that it can be linked to peer pressure.

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