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Unplanned and teenage pregnancy is a rising problem in the contemporary world, and is one of the core issues that lends its burden to the social fabric of the US. The challenge facing the government and educational bodies is how to reverse this trend, and which methodology is the most suitable to encourage a more responsible and considered attitude amongst teenagers towards sexual activity. Not only this, but a healthy balance must also be created to protect the current generation of young mothers within society, and ensure that their own education and future is secured. However, the question is just how far the US government and teaching facilities should go towards assisting teenage mothers, as offering widespread support could serve to vindicate the decision to indulge in unprotected sex in the first instance. An example can be witnessed with Westport TAPP (Teenage Parent Program) School, which is a Georgia based facility that offers special education to teenage mothers, and ensures that their circumstances to not drive them out of education altogether and also helps them to reclaim a sense of normality and everyday function in their lives. Diminishing the Consequences of Unprotected Sex The school itself offers 4 individual components, which serve to create a practical environment for young mothers while also educating them in social theory and conduct. By combining standard curriculum material with a social services component and Co-op child development center, it can diminish the impact that child raising can have on an adolescents burgeoning life, and allow them to continue to strive towards their own ideals of individual attainment. This type of function is considered both necessary and beneficial in contemporary society, and is a specific response to the many issues created by teenage pregnancy.
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.
Many of the social issues that trouble society are interlinked, and heavily affiliated with everyday interactions. This can create problems in the way that individuals spend their day to day existence, especially where they have a pre-conceived notion of fear that restricts them in their chosen pursuits. This could well be considered as a disruptive and potentially divisive social cycle, and one which can have a negative impact on the overall perception, health and collective abilities of society. Restrictions in Child Health An excellent example of this social cycle can be seen in the level of childhood obesity in the US, which is continuing to rise and become an epidemic throughout the nation. This is something which is affecting many western cultures, especially those which encourage specific freedom of thought and deed, and has many possible causes cited for its increase. However, very rarely is the root cause discussed or identified, and many misconceptions exist that concern the role of parents in this issue. Parents are often criticised for allowing their children expansive access to video games, and not encouraging them to socialize or indulge in additional outdoor pursuits. However, while they are considered as lazy or ill informed guardians, it is possible that their willingness to let their children spend excessive amounts of time indoors is partly due to trepidation. This fear could be attributed to violent crime or instances of child abuse, but regardless of its cause its manifestation can be seen through their conduct towards their children.
Finance is often cited as being influential in modern instances of separation, but this notion is particularly vague and offers only minimal insight to the potential causes. One may assume that this is simply due to general economic concerns, and that divorce and separation are merely inevitable consequences of the global recession and an enforced period of fiscal hardship, where couples are rendered without capital and vulnerable to subsequent social pressure. However statistics suggest the opposite, and actually reveal that the national divorce rate dropped appreciably during the recent global recession. This is chiefly due to a fall in the amount of marriages commenced, but also because the concept of divorce becomes entirely impractical once wealth is scare and a financial stability needs to be sustained. Therefore, it is likely that more pertinent and specific reasons subsist behind the guise of independent relationships. The Excesses of Freedom As an example, irresponsible spending is a common problem within contemporary relationships, but this is an entity that is unique and entirely specific to each individual circumstance. It typically involves an individual within the relationship spending an amount of money that is disproportionate to their actual income, which fosters further issues between the couple that surround both mistrust and disrespect.
If you were to believe everything that you were told about contemporary culture, then you may well consider that marriage and long term union are increasingly irrelevant amongst the citizens of today. As the divorce rate in the US remains one of the highest in western civilization, with a rising number of couples also choosing not to marry before they commence a family, it is easy to draw the conclusion that individuals are finding it harder than ever to begin and remain in a stable and committed relationship. While the situation is not as bad as often reported in the media, there are still concerns surrounding modern relationships and the evolving structure of family units. In particular, these concerns focus on the vast numbers of failing marriages and subsequent swathes of broken families, which impacts heavily on affiliated children and creates a distorted view of family for the younger generation. What further complicates the issue is that a different perspective is often held by different genders, making many problems potentially divisive and extremely difficult to resolve. The Evolution of Equality Ironically, one of the main issues in modern relationships is also something that has been of huge benefit to society as a whole. This is equality, which has evolved gradually over the last century to deliver equal rights and living standards to female members of society, and subsequently served to change the accepted dynamics within a relationship. While no fair minded individual could deny the positive impact of equality on society, it has posed issues to couples of a particular generation with regards to their roles and expectations.
As time progresses we are subject to the continual evolution of research, science and technology. This advancement has both advantages and disadvantages affiliated to it, as its processes impact every aspect of contemporary society. With evolution comes change, and modifications to the way in which everyday routines are conducted. This change is itself challenging to an older and less respondent generation, especially given the rapid pace with which it continues to effect and amend daily activity. Aside from the corporeal changes to conduct and routine, there are other and less obvious consequences caused by the technological evolution. Communication and independent thinking are also influenced, especially by the growth of social networking sites and the way in which they encourage interaction between its members. This is potential divisive to inter-generational relationships, with parents finding it increasingly difficult to communicate with and understand the thought processes of their children. Respecting the Knowledge of Contemporary Children The processes of communication and mutual understanding are the foundation of any successful parent and child relationship. Developing this can be difficult enough due to the large generational variance, however the problem is intensified further where the environments in which each generation were raised is so diverse. Basically, this is the most significant issue concerning the pace of progression, as it renders particular generations of society entirely at odds with each other in terms of behavioral and thinking trends.
For children, Christmas is an exciting and wondrous time. While this is true for many adults as well, Christmas can also be a stressful and financially testing time for those who have to accommodate its costs. The main issue associated with a modern Christmas is that while a family’s income remains the same, the levels of expenditure soar to incorporate the costs of presents, food and beverages. It is little wonder then that US divorce solicitors note the immediate aftermath of Christmas as their busiest time. Whether the financial burden of the holiday period has proved a stress too far, or an individual has simply postponed separation until Christmas has been enjoyed by their children, a large number of divorce proceedings are set in motion at the turn of a new year.
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.
It is estimated that between 2.4 and 2.8 million parents shared a premises with their children’s grandparents throughout 2009. This number has continually increased during the duration of the last decade, where a large percentage of single parents or couples are taking the decision to sacrifice their independence and ultimately share the living and parenting burden with their relatives. While there are several factors which either influence or force this decision, there is a potential that such dilution of parenting responsibility and accountability is detrimental to the behaviour of children. Whether a considered choice or consequence of circumstance, if the lines of communication and authority are blurred and merged between different factions, then a child may find themselves confused and ultimately betrayed by this ill defined example of parenthood.
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.