Friday, July 03, 2009

Educational moment brought to you by MTV

Last night I was flipping through the hundreds of channels on the in-laws direct TV dish cable feed. (Incidentally if I can't flip through the whole cycle of channels in under 10 minutes, I just get plain overwhelmed.) But I came to rest on MTV. Clearly, I have aged out of the intended demographic but they had a show on called "16 and Pregnant." Ken & I were a little dubious because we have also seen "My Super Sweet 16" which glorifies incredibly spoiled teenagers and their over the top birthday celebration. We wondered then if this show would "glorify" teen pregnancy.

No even close.

We watched for almost the full hour and I have to give some credit to MTV for shining a no-nonsense light on a serious topic for once. I have mentioned my utter disdain for reality television because it's not about reality. But this show might be an exception. It was very clear about illustrating in the couples' own words their growing fears, disillusionment, understanding of sacrifice and changes that were affecting them. I kept thinking the mom-to-be in the show was going through many of the same things physically that I am now, but she is almost 20 years younger then me. Twenty years less experience, twenty years less time to grow as a person, twenty years less to establish a career, find a fulfilling relationship and realize her dreams. And any of the minor fears/uncertainties that Ken & I have about lack of sleep, impact on our relationship or changes to our spending & priorities, simply pale in comparison to the challenges facing the couple on the show. The dad just barely graduated from high school and is bound for the military. The mom wanted to graduate and go into the Air Force as well but she couldn't finish her classes with the arrival of the baby and the military won't allow two parents to enlist like that due to hardship on the family. So the gal had to give up everything she was dreaming about for her life for this child.

Another great point this show made was how this couple wasn't using any form of birth control--despite the fact they knew about it and had parents who would assist them with getting it. For some reason, that seems like a growing problem these days. I don't know enough to say definitively, but are people just more careless about their actions and don't care about the consequences?

Hopefully this show will crystalize to teens & young adults that sex is serious business and should not be taken lightly.

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But for those of you who have been through a pregnancy, I dare you to go to TLC where they have a show called "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant." It's pretty self-explanatory but you have to see this show to believe it. I cannot even wrap my head around the concept.

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