Monday, September 27, 2010

Teens and Boredom

I recently read our local newspaper where it stated that our county in New Hampshire has the highest amount of teen pregnancies in the state, they said something like 49.1 per 1000 teen girls between 15 and 19 is pregnant or expecting. That is a sad number to me, not because they are going to give birth to a little one but because they are going to lose the chance to be teens. I think being a teen is an important part of growing up.

During the teen years you are so into yourself it isn't even funny! I remember those days, I was the queen, I wanted to do what I wanted to do and I wasn't about to listen to anyone. Although most of what my elders told me was true, I would not believe it. Something about teens and the need to find out for themselves, which is great if the teen actually finds out in a safe way. Becoming a parent is not the end of the world I have seen many teen parents struggle to survive but they did it. I have seen other teen parents hand their child off to their parents to raise, and I have also seen those "grandparents" complain that they were not ready to be parents and due to that they are unable to be real grandparents.

It is sad but we can all work together to change this situation, to make it so more teens in our county can have a chance to be a kid and grow up at the age they are suppose to be grown ups. I recall growing up too fast, really I feel I like I raised my sister being home alone all the time. I am surprised I didn't get pregnant at a young age because I am the child of teen parents. I think being a child of teen parents made me see what my parents lost by having my sister and me at such a young age. My mother was 15 and then 19 when I was born and then my youngest sister, can you imagine? I couldn't and that is why when I was young, at the ripe old age of 14 and started having sex I got on birth control pill.

Most people I know started having sexual encounters at age 14, it's rare that I find anyone who says another age. I think teens in my county are bored and due to the economic situation of most families both parents need to work full and are unable to pay for daycare. I am not making excuses, but this is just what I feel and have seen. Young children walking the streets because even though we have a great rec center and other teen programs it seems the programs are not "fun" or "exciting" enough to capture the teens interest for long. We also need programs to educate parents on how most programs that are offered through the community have scholarship programs so that no kid is left out.

If I were to have it my way I would create a fun, exciting and "cool" place for teens to hang out. We had a "dance club" here in town once but honestly it got so run down that most people there were either high or drunk. That is what people do in this town, I have heard it all along growing up "there's nothing to do but do drugs and drink". To me that is a sad statement, truly sad! To think our teens in this area feel there is nothing better to do than get wasted and risk ruining the rest of their lives with crimes on their records or even worse felonies?!

I know that some day I will make more money than I need and when that day comes, no matter where I live I plan to give back to my hometown. I was born and raised here, I don't like to see it run down but money talks and without money or funding there isn't going to be the cool, fun place for teens to hang out and be themselves yet be drug free and safe.  I wish I could snap my fingers and have someone build a cool teen hang out where the kids have soda and fun, they could even paint the rooms to their likings. I don't want some dorky hang out place, I was a cool teen once, I know that teens want an exciting place to hang out where they can have fun and the parents want it to be safe. Someday I will help create a place like this, you just wait!
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