Teen moms face challenges not experienced by most older moms. They're more likely to drop out of school, live below the poverty level, experience unemployment and jail time, and have significant health problems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1. Statistics from the Child Welfare Information Gateway and Childhelp suggest that teen moms are also more likely to be victims of abuse and to abuse their children. Appropriate activities and support can help teen moms beat those statistics and create a better future for themselves and their children.
Many teen moms drop out of school when pregnant, so activities and programs that keep them in school are vital. However, a high-school education isn't the only kind of educational activities teen moms need. They benefit from childbirth and parenting education to prepare for the birth and taking care of the baby. Parenting education provides valuable information and tools that might keep their children from experiencing abuse and avoid the need for Child Protective Services intervention. Financial education provides valuable budgeting and planning tools that help these moms make the best use of their economic resources. Any mom who enrolls in these educational activities sees benefits that far exceed the amount of time spent in class.
- Many teen moms drop out of school when pregnant, so activities and programs that keep them in school are vital.
- Parenting education provides valuable information and tools that might keep their children from experiencing abuse and avoid the need for Child Protective Services intervention.
Resources for Teen Mothers
Spending time with a mentor teaches a teen mom how to succeed as a parent and as an individual. Mentors who are parents provide valuable, firsthand experience on raising children, while those who have had or currently have successful business careers demonstrate appropriate conduct in the workplace and how to dress for success, and pass on valuable skills that employers value. The mentor can also be a valuable listener and adviser for the mom, helping her talk out difficult situations, problem-solve, gain confidence and stay in school.
Teen moms often receive little or no financial and emotional support from the teen father. Activities that provide job skills like computer education, interview tips and office skills might increase her earning potential. Activities that simulate job interviews or how to interact with co-workers help her approach the work environment with confidence and valuable experience that could successfully place her in a job. Companies that offer internships and on-the-job training to teen moms benefit from more-skilled employees who might feel a strong sense of loyalty to the employer.
- Teen moms often receive little or no financial and emotional support from the teen father.
- Activities that simulate job interviews or how to interact with co-workers help her approach the work environment with confidence and valuable experience that could successfully place her in a job.
Mentoring Activities for Youth
All work and no education makes for a tired and dispirited teen mom. These young women need time to bond and play with their children in a safe environment. Teen-mom support groups can offer playgroups that benefit moms and kids by providing socialization, community support and mutual sharing and learning. The group could offer workshops for the moms on nutrition and other valuable topics, fun crafts and interaction with the children, and joint outings to parks, the zoo or other enjoyable places. Group sponsors work with the families to intervene early when signs of significant stress appear that could lead to abuse, and to offer resources and information on programs that benefit group members.
- All work and no education makes for a tired and dispirited teen mom.
- Teen-mom support groups can offer playgroups that benefit moms and kids by providing socialization, community support and mutual sharing and learning.
Resources for Teen Mothers
Mentoring Activities for Youth
How to Heal From Controlling and Mentally Abusive Relationship
Scholarships for Youth Sports
Benefits of Cheerleading for Girls
How to Build Self-Esteem After a Verbally Abusive Relationship
Does Playing Sports Help Improve Grades?
Programs for Teen Moms
Making Catechism Classes Fun for Teenagers
Epstein's Six Types of Parent Involvement
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: About Teen Pregnancy
- Teach Teen Parents: Lessons
- Alley’s House: Programs
- SocialWork Today: Keeping Teen Moms in School
- Kinnunen U, Rantanen J, de Bloom J, Mauno S, Feldt T, Korpela K. The role of work–nonwork boundary management in work stress recovery. Int J Stress Manag. 2016;23(2):99–123. doi:10.1037/a0039730
- Hsin A, Felfe C. When does time matter? Maternal employment, children’s time with parents, and child development. Demography. 2014;51:1867–1894. doi:10.1007/s13524-014-0334-5
- Choi DW, Chun SY, Lee SA, Han KT, Park EC. Association between sleep duration and perceived stress: Salaried worker in circumstances of high workload. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018;15(4):796. doi:10.3390/ijerph15040796
- Goyal M, Singh S, Sibinga EM, et al. Meditation programs for psychological stress and well-being: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(3):357–368. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.13018
- Ozbay F, Johnson DC, Dimoulas E, Morgan CA, Charney D, Southwick S. Social support and resilience to stress: from neurobiology to clinical practice. Psychiatry (Edgmont). 2007;4(5):35–40.
Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.