Our next book entitled, I Am Still Somebody: Encouraging, Empowering & Equipping Teen Mothers, will be published in 2016. There will also be a workbook and prayer book companions. In anticipation of this release, we are doing our first Teen Mother program, where 5 teen moms will be chosen to review all three books. There is no fee to apply or participate in this program.
This program will take approximately 8 weeks to complete. We will have weekly conference calls where we will discuss the weekly reading assignment and also get feedback from the young ladies on the content of the materials. Their reviews will also be featured on the back of the book. There will be a confidentiality agreement that must be signed by the participant and their parent/guardian if under the age of 18 before they can participate in the program.
Upon completion of the program, the young ladies will receive a certificate along with a gift bag of goodies. They will also receive autographed copies of all books. Please see timeline below for program deadlines.
Our goal is to raise $1,500.00 to help offset the expenses. Your sponsorship will ensure that these young ladies are not only encouraged to overcome the statistics but equipped with the tools to do so. Any donation of $25 or more will include a free autographed copy of the book and a notation in the book acknowledgements.
Our anticipated expenses are as follows but not limited too:
- Certificate of completion
- Mailing print materials to the teen moms
- Autographed copies of each book
- Gift bag
- Faith Confession Cards
- Gift for their child/children
- Monthly Goals & Accountability Workbook
- Other gift items
What will you be doing with your child/children this summer? I know school age children are excited about summer break and that they get a break from going to school everyday. The learning should not stop just because they are not in school.
I encourage you to make sure you still give them “school work” to do even in the summer. They can read 2 books a month. Going to the library and getting a library card can be fun and enjoyable for them and not something that is dreaded. Make reading fun for them. Act out the characters and read it in funny voices. That’s one thing I wished that I had done with my child more in the younger years. They will be reading the rest of their lives so why not be good at it.
Teach them how to count money. When you go to the store, let them pay for an item where they have to count out change. Learning the importance of money and how to use it early will help as they grow. Teach them how to save money and not waste it. Give them money word problems to solve according to their age level. You can find all kind of free resources on the internet.
I enjoy having a good time more than anybody but don’t have so much fun that you leave out the learning. There are some things that our children can learn from us and then it can be enhanced by the schools. Don’t let all the learning happen in school and none at home. We have forgotten the important lessons are learned at home. Our children should know that at home they learn just as much as they do in school or anywhere else. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask. Show your children that it’s okay to ask for help so they won’t feel ashamed of it later in life.
Have safe, fun and learning summer! Remember there are no breaks from parenting.
Parenting can be a source of enormous pleasure over a lifetime. However, it’s also a time-consuming and demanding job. In addition to fulfilling their children’s basic physical needs, parents face the challenge of fostering the intellectual, emotional and social development of their progeny. Like every child, every parent is different. However, all good parents share some essential qualities that help their children develop into responsible adults.
Effective parents all teach their children both directly and indirectly, but especially by example. Model the traits you want your child to learn, including good manners, respect and friendliness. Set clear rules and enforce them. For example, have a set time for homework. Good parents praise good behavior, but have predetermined consequences for mistakes or negative actions, such as no television if a child didn’t finish her homework. Encourage learning by taking your child to age-appropriate educational activities, such as the zoo or concerts, and by filling your home with books, whether purchased or borrowed from the library. Children who are exposed to books from an early age start school with a distinct advantage because their vocabularies tend to be much larger and they’ve had a greater exposure to speech and the written word.
Having clear standards doesn’t mean good parents are rigid. As your child grows from infant to toddler to teen, her needs change along with her body. “KidsHealth” reports that parents shouldn’t compare one child to another, and that rules should shift to match the age, needs and development of your children. You might expect a child of 2 to throw a short temper tantrum, but not a preteen, as Dr. Sears states. However, an effective parent takes cues from her child, whether an infant’s cry or a teenager’s moods, to know what will work best in a particular situation. Stay tuned to your child’s evolving needs by keeping involved in her life.
A good parent is many things, but he is not perfect, according to Dr. Sears. He also reminds parents that it’s fine to be imperfect as long as you set a good example most of the time. In any case, even the most effective parent can’t control genetic traits or the outside environment. Trust your instincts as a parent, but don’t confuse effective parenting with perfection. Practice showing love and flexibility toward yourself, as well as toward your children.
By: Karen Farnen, Demand Media
To my sweet younger self,
I know that you are scared, but I want to start off by saying that it all turns out OK. Those overwhelming “OH MY GOSH This just got really real” feelings quickly subside and blossom into absolutely beautiful love. Those feelings will take over your whole life, and become the biggest factor in every decision you make from here on out. And you are completely fine with that.
You will continue to get dirty looks from complete strangers as they make snap decisions and judgements about you as a parent and a person. You will also continue to get confused “Is that your sister or daughter” looks, especially once she starts school. You will, however, quickly discover that their thoughts and opinions have no effect on your ability to love and parent that sweet little bundle you now hold in your arms. That is probably one of the best realizations that you come to; and fortunately it doesn’t take long, because to have let other’s judgments interfere with the mom you become would have been a major injustice to that precious little girl.
You don’t do it alone. Ever. You definitely found a keeper with Ryan. You two will weather some major storms. You will have ups and downs, just like any relationship, but you will end up stronger in the end — something that makes you incredibly proud. You will wake up one day at only 34 (trust me, you get to this age faster than you can blink — and it’s really not that old) and suddenly be getting ready to celebrate being together for 19 years — 11 of those married!
Jessie is a daddy’s girl from the beginning, but you will be the one she runs to when she needs advice about a friend or gets her first broken heart. (Yes, you will cry right along with her.)
Your families get over any disappointment pretty much the instant they see that tiny, delicate face. They are there for you every step of the way, and you would be very hard-pressed to find a better support system anywhere. Don’t worry because they will always have your backs. Jessie has an incredible relationship with her grandparents, aunts, and uncles. It’s tremendously special to see how much love your families have for the beautiful being you created.
You will endure many late-night feedings, and more diaper changes than you can count. You will survive ear infections, fevers, antibiotics being spit all over you, and one awful bout of pink eye. You will wash load after load of dirty clothes, all while wondering how it is possible for one tiny human to create so many laundry. Your group of friends from high school will fade away, simply because your priorities drastically change — as they should, now that you’re a mom.
You will hear your sweet girl say “I hate her!” when she is about 8 or 9, but don’t take it too personally; she’s just upset that she has to clean her room. There will be times when you want to scream and cry right along with her. But as you watch her learn and develop and move from one stage to the next, you will be amazed at not only her growth, but yours as well.
You will look back on the last 16 years with nothing but tender, heartfelt memories. From that first smile, to her first steps (you should wait a minute to use the restroom, because the little stinker decides to take that first walk while you’re in there!), to watching her drive away on her own for the first time — it is all filled with love. Is it always easy? Heck no. But does that have anything to do with your age? Absolutely not. Being a mom is tough, regardless of how old you are when you start out on your journey.
So hang in there and don’t let anyone get you down, because in spite of — or maybe it is BECAUSE of — your young age, you will flourish. Motherhood is a job you were born to do. And while you would never encourage anyone else to get pregnant while in high school, you would do it again in an instant. You’ve become the person you are today because you were a teen mom.
Your older (and slightly wiser) self
A Mother At 15
What Would They Say
Everyone Else Had The choice
But She Couldn’t Walk Away
The Father Said It Wasn’t His
Her Friends Just Said Goodbye
So Smart,So Beautiful
Yet Just Wanting To Die
Her Parents Wouldn’t Say A Word
Just Give Her That Blank Stare
Collecting Her Books From School
Knowing She’d Never Be Back There
Crying For 9 Months Straight
Not Knowing What To Do
She Had Started This
And She Had To See It Through
Everyone Passed Judgment
People Shed Never Even Met
The Names Were So Very Horrible
That Part She’ll Never Forget
A Tiny Size 6
With Bright Blue Eyes
She Was Gonna Be A Lawyer
Sort Through The World Of Lies
Her Figure Faded Fast
No More Time For Fun
This Baby Was Coming Soon
He’d Be her Number One
So Many People Stared
As She Shopped For Baby Things
That Look In Their Eyes
You Couldn’t Imagine The Hurt It Brings
The Morning Sickness Went On
Till She Couldn’t Get Out Of Bed
but Yet She Struggled On
Everything About Babies She Read
9 Months Came And Went
And Her Gift Came From Above
A Tiny Little Angel
For Her To Cherish And Love
In All What Seemed Like Seconds
She Forget About All The Sacrifices Shed Made
She Had Given Up Her Teenagers Years
And All Those Things People Said Would Fade
It Didn’t Matter About Her Friends
That Would Never Be There
It Didn’t Matter About The Father
Who She Knew Would Never Care
A Mother At Only 15
Not Knowing What To Do
A Teenager Wise Beyond Her Years
Who Saw That Journey Through
A Mother That Fought The Battle
In World Where She Was Shunned
A New Beginning In Her Teenager Life
Her world Had Only Just Begun
She Cherished That Little Boy
Till This Very Day
And I Know Cause Shes My Mum
And Thats All I Have To Say……
This Is About My Mum..She Had My Bro when she was 15 and I Really Hate Seeing people judge teenage mums…its horrible..they struggle more than anyone could ever know..show em some respect..thanks
Mommy I’m pregnant
And I know you may be angry
But before you hit me
Or start to judge me
Take a minute and listen
Pay attention to me.
Mommy, you never taught me about sex
Or how to deal with the advances of the opposite sex
Never said a word about condoms.
I don’t even know the meaning of contraception
Far less for conception.
Mommy, the boys on the block made me feel good,
Saying things that you and dad never would.
Spoke to me in ways that I had never heard:
Told me I was beautiful, told me I was nice
Mommy, they complimented my sense of style.
Why didn’t you do it too mommy?
Why, oh why?
And now I am with child.
This fetus grows in my belly
The thought of teenage pregnancy overwhelms me,
But I promise my baby to do better
To talk to her, to love her.
I won’t neglect her like you did me,
I hope you also pass my message to daddy.
Times when I wanted his love and attention,
Instead he spent hours watching the television
All I wanted was an occasional hug and kiss,
To live in a house full of blessings and bliss.
You taught me to talk but never talked to me,
You taught me to walk but never walked with me.
I still want to say I’m sorry,
Sorry for this teenage pregnancy.
But now, I want you to talk to my little sister,
Because she’s growing up even faster.
She’s already getting the attention of the boys;
Mommy, don’t let her fall for their silly ploys.
She’s wearing seductive clothes, putting on so much make up,
She’s so busy to grow up.
I hope she isn’t as naïve as me,
Boys will definitely take advantage,
Because she looks a lot older than her age.
Mommy, talk to her please!
Don’t let her make the same mistake as I did
Speak to her about the birds and the bees.
It’s too late for me now,
But save her mommy, save her some how,
Mommy, please act quick
She’s already talking about *** and ***.
Mommy, before I leave
Know that from now on I will do better
And though I may have lost your honour
I hope it passes to my son or daughter.
Mommy although you had some part to play
I don’t blame you for this, no way!
I will tell my child how you loved me,
And how you showered blessings upon me.
There will be no resentment in my family
Not the type I got from you and daddy.
Motherhood awaits me and although I’m unprepared,
You’ve shown me what not to do.
So mommy, with a heavy heart, I say Thank You…
– Delroy Williams
1. How old were you when you got pregnant and what was it like when you told your parents? When I got pregnant I was 15 years old. My dad has never been in my life so I still haven’t officially “told him”, he knows from my family. I was terrified to tell my mom so I went to my school counselor first. She told me to try and tell my mom or we could call her into the school and tell her together. I decided that I would tell her myself so she didn’t think that I thought I couldn’t talk to her. She was very angry at me, but she was very supportive and told me she was going to be there for me and my precious baby.
2. What kind of obstacles did you face as a teen mom and what did you do to overcome them? Being a single teen mom I had to get a job, a car, and grow up since I was on my own. I was a huge partyer before I got pregnant and all of my friends no longer speak to me since they were partying all the time. This was hard on me because they said they would always be there for me. My mom has many illnesses and is always in and out of the hospital. I am home alone with my son and taking care of my little brother, working, breastfeeding, and had to graduate high school.
3. What kind of education (HS Diploma, Some College, Bachelors, or Masters) and career do you have now? As of right now I work hard and plan to graduate high school in December. I only have 4 classes a day because I took so many extra ones my junior year. I plan to attend our local community college in the fall so I can stay close to my family and keep my job.
4. What advice do you have for current teen moms? I want to tell teen mothers to always try your hardest. My journey has been extremely hard but it has made me into the person that I am today. Don’t drop out of high school because it is possible, hard but possible.
5. What’s your definition of success? My definition of success is having love and support near you and doing what you want to do. You don’t have to have designer clothes or the best of everything, just as long as you can find happiness in your life.
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