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Daughter Asserts She Is "Moving Out"

"Mark, Thank you for always heading me in the right direction. Our home is really better since following the online e-book suggestions. My daughter turns 18 in Jan. and she has used the 'I am moving out' deal. I am keeping my poker face and letting her know that will be her choice. The thing that I am having a question with is, if she stays in our home and persists to see this boy, who has gone against us and done some pretty awful things, how do we proceed? Also, she is not wanting to get on birth control. How do you feel about the sex issue? Thanks again, M."

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Hi M.,

Re: “…how do we proceed?”

First of all, I would encourage her to move out. Talk about it with her …make it sound exciting …it’s a new beginning …maybe go apartment shopping, etc. Remember: self-reliance is key. If she’s thinking about moving out on her own, she’s wanting to develop self-reliance at some level.

You will not be able to keep her from seeing her boyfriend. And, unfortunately, the more you make an issue of it, the more appeal that boy will have in her eyes. Thus, you really only have two options: (a) insist she move out, or (b) let her live at home without trying to control the “boyfriend problem.”

Re: “How do you feel about the sex issue?”

It sounds like she may want to become pregnant. The only person she will truly listen to will be another female approximately her age who got pregnant at an early age. If you know anyone like this, maybe she can fill your daughter in on the huge responsibility associated with early pregnancy (e.g., immature father who bails out of the relationship due to the stress involved, financial strain, inability to further education, etc.). 

Here are a few more facts to share with your daughter:
  • Children born to teen mothers are at higher risk of poor parenting because their mothers - and often their fathers as well - are typically too young to master the demanding job of being a parent.
  • Children born to teen mothers suffer from higher rates of low birth weight and related health problems. 
  • Children of teens are 50 percent more likely to repeat a grade, they perform much worse on standardized tests, and ultimately they are less likely to complete high school than if their mothers had delayed childbearing.
  • Common medical problems among adolescent mothers include poor weight gain, pregnancy-induced hypertension, anemia, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and cephalopelvic disproportion. 
  • Despite having more health problems than the children of older mothers, the children of teen mothers receive less medical care and treatment. 
  • Later in life, adolescent mothers tend to be at greater risk for obesity and hypertension than women who were not teenagers when they had their first child.
  • Less than one-third of teens who begin their families before age 18 ever earn a high school diploma, and only 1.5% earn a college degree by the age of 30.
  • Teen mothers are less likely to complete school and more likely to be single parents. 
  • Teen pregnancy is closely linked to poverty and single parenthood.

Mark Hutten, M.A.

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