Front Street

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

By Gigi

Young grandmothers in poor minority neighborhoods; this trend is getting so sickening and clichéd. In my Bronx neighborhood which is predominantly Black and Hispanic, you have grandmothers still in their thirties, getting tattoos, listening to hip hop, going to Jay-Z concerts and wearing the same fashions as their 15 year old teenage daughter. The sad reality is, the conditions that results in teen pregnancy don’t change from one generation to the other; children of teen moms are more likely to be teen moms themselves. It is a vicious cycle—like welfare. Teenage girls have babies in communities where teen pregnancies are the highest. Why is this happening? Is it lack of adult supervision? Not knowing whom your children are hanging with? Poverty? Limited education? It’s easy to place blame on these variables, but the sad reality is teenage girls emulate each other in clothes, behavior, etc. And the biggest culprit? Their mothers. Yes, their mother had them very young, so they don’t see anything wrong with it...and neither do their mothers!!!

One young grandmother age, 28 stated to me a while back, that one of the advantages of being a grandmother before 40, is that she has more energy to deal with her grandchild and to help out her middle school daughter, age 14, when she has too much homework, by watching her grandchild for her. How sweet…and that she doesn’t think that it’s the end of the world to have a baby at a young age. Where do these people come from? As long as you have ignorant young mothers with teenage children that think it’s okay to get pregnant at a young age, the numbers will continue to skyrocket. I’m not saying that it’s all gloom and doom when teenage girls have babies. But they are missing out on their most formative years as carefree teens and will never get that back. Misguided parents usually gave out terrible advice to their children based on their own sad experiences…or sometimes it’s cultural, like in the Hispanic communities.

Also, besides pregnancy, no one is taking heed on STD’s and HIV; which is highest in the Black and Hispanic communities. So these young grandmothers that’s running around and bragging about how young they look to be a grandmother and sanctioning their teenage daughter’s (and sons too) behavior, will get more than a grandchild. Their teenager might contract the monster!!! Take heed—take heed.