Annie Fox for Teens... Hey, Terra!

Annie (AKA Hey Terra!) has been around long enough to have experienced a lot of what Life can dish out. But, it hasn’t been so long that she's forgotten what it's like to be your age. Check out some of the thousands of email questions teens from around the world have sent to Terra. You may learn something useful from her answers:

Teen Parents:
“I want a child so I can fill this empty space in my heart.”

Hey Terra,

I am not married, but I really want a little boy or girl. I'm 17, a senior in high school, and I have great plans for my future. Mostly all my friends have a baby, and no, that's not why I want one, but I was adopted, and I want a child so I can fill this empty space in my heart.

Baby Love

Dear Baby Love,

You want to have a baby at age 17? Why are you even considering doing that to yourself and to a child?

As a mom of two children I can tell you that to be a good parent (which is the only kind worth being) you need to totally commit yourself to the physical and emotional well being of your child. You're 17. You have emotional wounds. You are not ready to be a parent because you haven't gotten over the scars of your childhood and you haven't finished growing and maturing into the adult you will some day become. Children deserve mature adult parents.

You say you have "great plans for your future"... why not achieve those plans BEFORE you take on the task of parenting so that you can provide your child with the financial and emotional security that every child needs and deserves? Complete your education, and get some counseling to help you resolve your emotional issues stemming from your adoption.

Parenting is a TWO PERSON job. It's very difficult to be an effective single parent. When circumstances require that, of course, a single parent does the best he/she can! And many single parents do a fantastic job raising their kids. But to start off with the idea that at your age, you can do it alone... that's just not fair to the child!

You say most of your friends have a baby... tell me, who is caring for their children? I would guess, in most cases, it's Grandma. Well, if Grandma is raising the baby, then whose baby is it anyway?

Also, you should know that your motivation to have a child so that he/she can "fill an empty space in your heart" is selfish, plain and simple. It's not the role of a child to make a parent WHOLE. Children are not pets to keep you company when you're lonely. Healthy adults find completeness in their relationships with other adults, in their professional work, in their hobbies. When you have become a mature, and fully functioning adult, then... you are in the best position to take on the awesome responsibility of raising a child. Not before.

I hope this helps you see things from another perspective.

In friendship,

Terra


Need some advice? Write to Terra. She'll give you a straight answer you can trust without any lectures.


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