Young Parents
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Young Parents



NCT's Big Weekend 2010

NCT's Big Weekend 2010
Young Parents
Presented by Jenny McLeish, Strategic Coordinator, National Teenage Pregnancy Midwifery Network



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Young Parents Young Parents Presentation Transcript

  • Young ParentsJenny McLeishStrategic Coordinator,National Teenage Pregnancy Midwifery Network
  • 15th May 2010
    Jenny McLeish
    National Teenage Pregnancy Midwifery Network
    Parenting challenges - Young parents
  • “Although it’s really hard I’m so happy.”
  • “My child...she’s the top of my heart. She makes it keep beating you know?”
  • Vulnerability of young mothers and fathers
    • Deprived background
    • Poor housing
    • In care or care leaver
    • Physical or sexual abuse in childhood
    • Domestic abuse
    • Involved in crime
    • Educational problems
    • Learning difficulties
    • Mental health problems
    • Low self-esteem
    • Own mother was a teenage mother
  • Postnatal challenges
    Small, sick babies
    Relationship breakdown
    Navigating the system
    Postnatal depression
    Repeat unplanned pregnancy
  • Adolescent times
    • Dependence Independence
    • Brains still work in progress (until 25!)
    • Emotional response not reasoned decision making
    • Impulsive, dramatic, reactive
    • Understanding others
    • Navigating family relationships
    • Volatile partnerships
  • Reality bites
    • Much harder than expected
    • Poverty, poor housing
    • Missing out on the fun
    • Losing friends and social life
    “If you could just keep that maternal ‘I’ve got something to love’ kind of thing, but it’s not like that, it’s like a really long day when you’re stuck inside watching Teletubbies.”
  • Negative messages
    Public reactions
    Professional reactions
    Emphasis on not being a NEET
    “The midwife said to my partner ‘What pain relief shall we give her? He said ‘I don’t know, ask her,’ and the midwife said, ‘She’s a bit young to make her own decisions.’ It made me feel a bit small.”
  • The under-parented parent
    Poor experiences of being parented
    Looked after child
    Abuse or neglect
    “My mum went mental. She kicked me out.”
  • Under-parented young people may...
    Lack strong social & emotional skills
    Lack self-esteem
    Lack self-efficacy
    Lack empathy
    Find it hard to build warm trusting relationships
    Be at risk of repeating poor patterns of attachment
  • However! Young parents may also be..
    • resourceful
    • committed
    • hard-working
    • ambitious
    • fun
    • mature
    • happy
  • “It’s the best job. You no longer have extra time to just hang with friends, party, or act irresponsible. You now have a baby to watch over and take care of. I couldn’t be happier, my children make my life complete. My boyfriend and I are doing OK for ourselves; we have a nice flat, steady income, nice things, and we have lots of fun together, and I am only 19 years old.”
  • “It’s the most amazing thing that has ever happened in my life.”