Young single mothers are just like any other teens. They eat poorly, sometimes drink, or smoke. They’re influenced by peer pressure to become sexually active and then when they become pregnant, those same influences can be damaging to her child. After the baby is born a young single mother and friends may part ways. The mother may face alienation and ridicule from the same friends that helped to influence the same behavior that got her in trouble.
Sometimes, the baby’s father is amongst the young single mother’s friends. He may even take an active interest in helping to rear the baby. If a teenage mom continues to be sexually active, her chances of having a second child increase dramatically. With 1 in 4 adolescents having a second child within 24 months of the first, a young single mother needs good information on birth control. If one of her friends is the baby’s father, she must take precautions not to get pregnant again.
On the other hand, once a teenager becomes a mother, she may want to quit school. At this point, she may have some loyal friends who can make the difference between her decision to stay and complete school or quit all together. With the support and understanding of friends in high school who are her own age, a single mother may not feel intimidated to return to school. A young single mother and friends who influence her positively has more motivation to succeed against the odds.
A young single mother and friends who care about her can be the best type of emotional support system for her. It will help her in times of stress to know that others care for her. Sometimes, the teenage mother is paired in mentoring programs with adults to help her gain valuable parenting skills and provide on-site daycare while she attends classes. In these instances, these mentors can become great friends and provide positive influences to young single mothers.
A young single mother and friends who are there for her to cheer her on, help her keep striving to finish her education, or who don’t belittle her situation, may be an incentive to keep the mother trying to improve her circumstances. A young single mother and friends who influence her negatively can cause her to shirk her responsibilities and eventually lead serious problems with drugs and alcohol. It’s important for parents or mentors supervising young single mothers to try to steer them into making good choices when it comes to their circle of friends, for the mother and the baby’s sake.