Monday, January 24, 2011

Teen moms, twentysomething grandparents?

I love to read the UK's Daily Mail website. (I even recently read an article about local blogger Mamapundit!) Today, I read a headline that didn't just catch my attention; it reached out and slapped me on the forehead and yelled "Read me!!"

29-year old to become Britain's youngest grandfather


It doesn't seem possible, does it? But it turns out he was 14 when he fathered his daughter, who is now also 14 and 11 weeks pregnant with a baby of her own. Sadly, the article gives the impression he is wanting to add to our already way-too-large world population of people who want to be famous by any means necessary and is milking this for all he can. Neither the father/grandfather or daughter/mother are being identified but thankfully she does plan to return to school after the baby is born.

The article got me thinking, though - what about in our country? I have heard the "friend of a friend of my cousin talked to lady in doctor's waiting room" story about a 26 year old grandmother who had her daughter at 13, who was now 13 and pregnant herself. I found a list of the youngest mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers in the world (not surprised to see repeat names - youngest mothers also later in the grandmother, and sometimes great-grandmother, categories) and found a 29 year old grandmother (in 2007) in Illinois. She had her daughter at age 13, in seventh grade. In the article she says she talked to her daughter about birth control, but when they went to the doctor's office to get it she was already pregnant. Now her 15 year old has a baby.

Last week, I read a posting in the "Parenting Tweens to Teens" forum on Babycenter. The mother posting was asking opinions about putting tweens on Depo-provera. Her daughter had started her period at age 10 and she was, in short, freaking out because she knows 'how teens are these days.' For the most part the other mothers had good advice for her, but some could more easily identify with her side of thinking. I wonder how many of them were teen moms themselves?

I have a preteen (soon to be "teen") of my own. E is in seventh grade and almost 13, and has started her period. Do I want to go out and get her on birth control? No way! She hasn't even had a boyfriend! But am I more aware now of the importance of open communication with her? You bet your life I am.
I am WAY too young to be a grandmother.

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