Two new teen mom support groups have started in Boone County. It is important to have these support groups because of the extraordinary challenges that teen parents face. There is more than just trying to finish schooling for many. Teen moms generally have higher rates of poverty and poorer "life outcomes" for the children of teenage mothers.
Statistically a teen mom is six times more likely to have come from a single-parent household. These children are unlikely to have learned the necessary parenting skills or had a supportive family structure modeled to them.
In Lebanon, Indiana Shannon Mohringer is the coordinator of The Teen Mom Club which meets at St Peter's Episcopal Church. The group currently meets on Saturdays at 2:00pm. Ms Mohringer, who was a teen mom, has been working for six months to get this group going. She hopes to be a source for all teen parents to get the support they need be it simply others to talk to or resources in the community to help them provide the necessary care for their children.
Sometimes parents of teen parents will not provide the support their children need. “Some kick you out to the curb, basically,” Mohringer said. “They just need someone to talk to, or want advice, to tell their stories, or just to chat and have fun.” Mohringer clearly hits upon what I have found to be an issue that leads to teen pregnancy. Girls want someone to hear them.
With the breakdown of the family structure we now find many children raising themselves. These young girls and boys need someone to do more than listen, they need someone to hear them. Parents who are too involved with trying to maintain a household, pay the bills and raise other children rarely have the time to hear these at-risk youngsters. They find comfort in each other and through opportunity and a desire to maintain that connect they engage in sexual activity. Girls are more at risk because they developmentally exceed their males counterparts and often rely on the stability provided by older men.
The Teen Mom Club is somewhat of a misnomer as Ms Mohringer wants everyone to know that fathers are encouraged to be part of the group. The group plans to have various speakers such as those from WIC or a bank representative to make presentations to participants. For additional information about this group you may visit their website or contact Ms Mohringer by e-mail.
In Zionsville Susie Jordan is the Teen Parents Director of Central Indiana Youth For Christ. In this program, each young parent is matched up with an adult mentor in a small group. Mentors provide small group leadership as well as one-on-one mentoring. Meetings include guest speakers and group discussions on such topics as parenting skills, life skills, wellness education, high school completion and employment skills. For meeting times and locations contact Susie Jordan.
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