A place of empowerment and encouragment for teen mothers

Monthly Archives: September 2013

  • Safety First

    • Your baby's safety is your top priority. Your baby’s safety is your top priority.

      Teenage mothers must think of their babies with almost every choice they make. The baby’s health and safety must be her top priority, and the list of precautions is long. Leaving the baby with an acquaintance whom she knows only casually is unacceptable—only long-time friends and family who have proved themselves to be reliable and safe should be trusted to babysit. Teenage mothers must not smoke or use drugs or alcohol around the baby—the effects could be deadly. She should bring her baby to all physical check-ups and follow her doctor’s advice.


    • Mothering can be stressful---call a friend or a parenting hotline. Mothering can be stressful—call a friend or a parenting hotline.

      Parenting isn’t always fun. Sometimes children cry and act in ways we don’t like. Teenage moms must learn skills for coping with the frustration that these moments bring. Taking a deep breath and counting to 10, taking the baby or child for a walk in the stroller, turning on soothing music or calling a trusted friend or a parenting hotline are all acceptable ways of dealing with a child whose behavior pushes us to the limit. Hitting, shaking or otherwise abusing a child is never okay.


    • Teach children to make good choices. Teach children to make good choices.

      Teen mothers can teach toddlers and preschool-age children to make choices—it empowers young children to discover the consequences of their actions, and it minimizes power struggles between mother and child. For example, when a small child shows signs of throwing a tantrum in a store or public place, give the child a choice: stop fussing and visit a favorite part of the store or stop at the park to play on the way home, or continue the bad behavior and take a time-out in the store or go straight home for a nap. Mothers must be willing to modify their plans to take care of a tired or fussy child and take advantage of these teachable moments.

    Together Time

    • Use eye contact to strengthen the bond with your child. Use eye contact to strengthen the bond with your child.

      A teen mother must make time for one-to-one bonding with her baby or child. These activities should be nurturing and interactive. Read a story to your child and discuss the pictures on the pages, play patty-cake while looking into the baby’s eyes, stack blocks together, sit in the sandbox and talk and dig together, make hand prints with paint on paper, or cook together. Passive activities—watching television together or talking on the phone while your child sits beside you doing something else—do not strengthen the mother-child connection.

    Alone Time

    • Every mother needs at least a few minutes alone each day. Every mother needs at least a few minutes alone each day.

      Every mother needs time alone—even if it’s just a few minutes each day. This can be difficult for the mother of a newborn, but alone time is important for a mom’s emotional and psychological well-being. Take at least 10 to 30 minutes for a regenerating activity—meditate, pray, walk, stretch, take a bath—while your child is napping, in daycare or with a trusted babysitter.

Read more: http://www.ehow.com/info_7981335_tips-parenting-skills-teenage-mothers.html#ixzz2g6KFOREL

One of Milwaukee’s biggest public health concerns is its high teen pregnancy rate.

A number of years ago, after a report showed Milwaukee among the top cities for teen pregnancies, Mayor Tom Barrett and Health Commissioner Bevan Baker announced a citywide goal to reduce the rate by 46 percent by 2015. In the fall of last year, the city reported the rate had dropped from 52 per 1,000 in 2006 to 33.4 per 1,000 girls in 2011.  

While these efforts show progress is being made toward the goal, there are other efforts to help and support the teen moms already out there. That includes Rosalie Manor Community & Family Services. It is targeting a number of resources to help teen mothers through its Positive Parenting Program.  The program pairs caseworkers with local teen moms to teach them parenting skills, provide financial and emotional support, encourage educational and career goals and offer guidance toward becoming contributors to the community

Anna Hammernik is a graduate of the program who has become a teacher and school leader, working in several different countries. But 18 years ago, she had just given birth to her daughter Olivia as a teenage mother. Although a happy time, it was also a period of adjustment that she emerged from with the help of the Positive Parenting Program and her supportive family.   

Hammernik recounts her own experience as initially being engulfed in shock. After the initial surprise, the preparations were on their way for a new baby. Hammernik became acquainted with the program right after giving birth and was immediately receptive to the idea, because any form of support she could get would be helpful.

The Positive Parenting Program provided her with financial support and resources, but Hammernik says the biggest and most important things provided were the emotional connection and comfort. They would talk to her as a peer and guide her through her journey with the encouragement she needed.  

Hammernik says the program is “critical because it offers so much of what teen parents in Milwaukee don’t get” – a venue of help for girls that do not know where to turn. Life “doesn’t stop” because of life circumstance, she points out.


One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport.  We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us.  My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! 

The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us.  My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy.  And I mean, he was really friendly.  So I asked, ‘Why did you just do that?  This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!’  This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, ‘The Law of the Garbage Truck.’


He explained that many people are like garbage trucks.  They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment.  As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they’ll dump it on you.  Don’t take it personally.


He explained that many people are like garbage trucks.  They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment.  As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they’ll dump it on you.  Don’t take it personally.

Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on.  Don’t take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.  The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day.  Life’s too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so …. Love the people who treat you right.  Pray for the ones who don’t.

Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it!  Have a garbage-free day!

“Faith is not believing God can, it is knowing that God will.”


For the Teen Mother;
We know who we are.
We are individuals, each with our own story and our own dreams.
We are women who had our babies in our teens.
We know who we are.

But do you?

We hear people talk about us on the street, in the store.
We read about “teen mothers” in the paper.
We wonder–“Who are they talking about?”

This is what we hear and read:

“Babies having babies.
“I hope you’re babysitting!”
“Your life is over now.”
“How old was she when she had him?”
“They just think their babies are dolls to dress up and show off!”
“They will be welfare mums forever.”

They don’t know us. Do you?
If you did, this is what you would learn…

We are individuals, and our lives are not over.
Many of us stay in our high schools, vocational schools, and colleges, and we intend to finish.
We are confident that we can reach our goals.
We look upon parenting as a challenge, not an obstacle; we are committed to our children and don’t take the job of parenting for granted. We seek information and help when we need it. Of course, we like to show our babies off (What parent doesn’t?). We are rightfully proud of them, not ashamed, and we know they are not dolls. We love the individuals they are, and we are excited and pleased to see them grow and develop.

We are excellent role models for our children because we are working hard to attain our goals. And… our children are not doomed or deprived because we are young. They are happy and smart and loved and cared for very much. You’d see that if you really took the time to observe before you judged us because of our age.

So–please don’t talk about us as we pass. If you are so concerned, talk with us and listen.

If you are a parent, you’ll find we share many of the same concerns, joys, and challenges.

Be role models for us–save your negative comments and your unasked-for advice.

Give us information and good access to birth control. But remember that a high percentage of all pregnancies are unplanned, and some of these will be teen pregnancies. All the posters in the world will not make us go away.

You can help us do our best by continuing to provide us with emotional and educational support–peer support groups and programs that help us stay in school make a difference in our lives.

Support quality subsidized child care programs so that we can work and/or go to school. Support parent education and family recreation programs that are affordable, with child care onsite.

Support temporary shelters for women with children ­as we struggle to become independent we sometimes need a safe place to stay for awhile.

And most of all, acknowledge and appreciate us for our commitment to the challenging job of parenting.

We know who we are.

We are building good lives for ourselves and our children.
We can struggle and do it alone, or you can lend us your confidence and assistance.

You can continue to view us as statistics or as part of an epidemic social problem, or you can look beyond the stereotypes and know us for who we are…

We are young mothers, each of us with our own story and our own dreams.



Mentors are people that can provide a great wealth of knowledge to our lives. They challenge us to reach for the stars and to not give up until we get there. We do have to be careful of the people we allow to mentor us. We would like to think that most people will have our best interest at heart but unfortunately that is not always the case. Some people want us to fail. Some people do not want us to recover from bad decisions we have made. They would rather see us struggle than to see us succeed. Beware of these individuals.


Many people feel that being a mentor requires special skills, but mentors are simply people who have the qualities of good role models.

Mentors listen. They maintain eye contact and give mentees their full attention. 
Mentors guide. Mentors are there to help their mentees find life direction, never to push them. 
Mentors are practical. They give insights about keeping on task and setting goals and priorities. 
Mentors educate. Mentors educate about life and their own careers. 
Mentors provide insight. Mentors use their personal experience to help their mentees avoid mistakes and learn from good decisions. 
Mentors are accessible. Mentors are available as a resource and a sounding board. 
Mentors criticize constructively. When necessary, mentors point out areas that need improvement, always focusing on the mentee’s behavior, never his/her character. 
Mentors are supportive. No matter how painful the mentee’s experience, mentors continue to encourage them to learn and improve. 
Mentors are specific. Mentors give specific advice on what was done well or could be corrected, what was achieved and the benefits of various actions. 
Mentors care. Mentors care about their mentees’ progress in school and career planning, as well as their personal development. 
Mentors succeed. Mentors not only are successful themselves, but they also foster success in others. 
Mentors are admirable. Mentors are usually well respected in their organizations and in the community. 


This week we will discuss the importance of mentors in your life. If you are just joining us, please go back to the beginning of this series dated September 3, 2013. It will bless you richly.



What are mentors? They are people in our lives that can lead us in the right direction. They offer encouragement when we need it. They offer discipline when we need it. They remind us that we have choices to make and encourage us to dream big. They can assist us in reaching our goals or point us to someone who can help us. They are vital to our success in life. We can not be successful all by ourselves. There are people who have been where we are and can give us great wisdom so that we don’t make the same mistakes they made.



As teen mothers it is imperative that you hook up with an older mother if not your mother who can really teach you how to be a mother. You can not shut yourself off from the world and decide to go at this alone. You need help and you need help now! Don’t waste another minute. You need that guidance and support. Being a mother is not easy and its even harder when you are a teen mom mainly because you are still trying to figure out who you are along with finishing school if you haven’t already done so. That extra push will benefit you more than you will ever realize.



Father, show me who my mentors are and help me to listen to them as they try to help me along my journey. In Jesus name, amen!


Proverbs 27:17 (NLT)
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.

What kind of friends do you have? Do they add value to your life? The people we surround ourselves with say a lot about us whether we know it or not. We shouldn’t just seek friends just for the sake of having them. Friends are suppose to help make us better people. We are suppose to learn from each other. It’s time for us to do a friend inventory.

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