Pregnant teens are often embarrassed or in denial about their situation, or they don't know where to turn for advice. As a result, they often don't seek medical care and don't end up eating a proper diet or taking care of themselves the way pregnant mothers should. This can result in higher illness and mortality rates among children of teen parents.
The children often grow up with emotional and educational problems as well. Because teen parents are often too immature to know how to care for their children and may be easily frustrated by infant behavior, their children may become victims of neglect or abuse. Teenagers want to act like teenagers and go out and have fun. They may get sick of taking care of their children and begin to resent them. In addition, research shows that the younger a mother is, the more likely her child will have a lower IQ.
Teenage parents are more likely to live below the poverty level and also tend to have more children with smaller gaps, meaning they're even less likely to be able to support them financially. Since teen mothers often quit school and can only qualify for jobs that pay poorly, they are commonly dependent on welfare and often end up living with their own parents.
Although teen fathers often want to be involved in raising their children, having children at a young age hinders their educational achievements, as well, which in turn limits their long-term earning power.
Young parents face many challenges, as will their children. It's important that teen parents do everything they can to provide a stable and healthy environment for their children and for themselves. This includes taking teen pregnancy and parenting classes at a family planning center or hospital and joining support groups run by a local YMCA, YWCA or MELD (the Minnesota Early Learning Design) for Young Moms (MYM).