There is no doubt that creating and nurturing a life is one of the most valuable things that an individual can do with their time, and it is something which continues the essential cycle of life and existence. However, it is also an exceptionally difficult activity, and requires the considered devotion of both time and finance in order to raise a child successfully. With this in mind, it soon becomes increasingly difficult for new parents to maintain their own health and well being while caring for an infant, which can cause serious consequences in their short and long term futures.

Interestingly, a recent study conducted by the Paediatrics journal revealed that mothers rather than fathers are baring the physical brunt of child care, although both receive reduced levels of nutrition and exercise when compared to their childless contemporaries. The detailed study, which followed an approximate 1500 high school students into adulthood, revealed that the women who became parents subsequently consumed over 400 calories more per day than childless women of the same age and demographic.

A Question of Time

The primary issue seems to revolve around time, both in terms of mothers not being able to prepare a health conscious meal and also being unable to exercise accordingly. This creates a distinct imbalance with regards to the volume of calories consumed and the levels of subsequent physical activity, and leads to the individual becoming increasingly vulnerable to various health issues such as obesity. Although it may be argued that this is part of the personal sacrifice required to raise an infant child, it benefits nobody if the mother falls ill or suffers health issues as a consequence.

Divorce is an inevitable consequence of modern life, as evidenced through the fact that approximately 4 out of 10 marriages end in the surroundings of a court room. While the process itself is distressing, it is nothing compared to the potential fall out that follows, and which often afflicts children and impressionable family members in addition to the couple themselves.

Whatever the reasons raised and cited in a divorce petition, the emotional pain and distress incurred through separation can breed bitter acrimony. It is a widely held theory that love and hate are close and uncomfortable neighbours, and the gradual transition from life partners to separate entities often traverses these boundaries. Where children are involved, they are impressionable and perceptive enough to absorb and take on board vast swathes of these negative feelings and emotions.

The rates of teenage pregnancy experienced their lowest numbers between 1991 and 2005, with the annual statistics declining annually through this period. The last 5 years have seen a reversal of this trend however, with an increase of nearly 5 percent in total between 2006 and 2009. This number is set rise still further through 2011, leaving more and more teenagers aged between 15 and 19 facing the realities of parenting.

This statistic is reflective of a decline in general behavioural trends amongst teenagers, both in the US and globally. Whether it is youngsters indulging in unprotected sex or experimenting with alcohol and drugs, there is a common theme of unruly and disruptive conduct creating an entire generation of vulnerable young adults. Though there are many reasons advanced for this decline in social standards, a significant proportion of the responsibility must sit with the parents.

Awareness and Parental Responsibility

Throughout the 14 years of declining teenage pregnancy rates, there were nationwide campaigns conducted to increase awareness for parents and teenagers alike. These campaigns have become less well directed and intense in the last 5 years, and it would be all too easy to presume that this alone is the single most significant factor in climbing teen pregnancy rates. However, there is a worrying lack of parental responsibility displayed across the US, with more emphasis placed instead on governments and teaching establishments to modify teenager’s attitudes and behaviour.

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