Ask Grandma Maggie

Parenting & Childcare Advice
Peggy Moss (1933-2014), also known as Grandma Maggie, penned a parenting column on this site for many years. Back by popular demand, we are republishing the column, sharing with you the best of Grandma Maggie’s parenting and childcare advice.
Unfortunately Grandma Maggie is no longer able to take questions.

My students and parents found out I was a teen parent…

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Dear Grandma Maggie,

I need serious help! I had my daughter, Meip, when I was 17. She is now 6. I have since married (her father) and had my son, Oliver. I have also become a teacher. Recently, one of my students spotted the birthday card Meip made for me. He did the math and raised his hand and asked; “Why did you get pregnant when you were in high school?” Then some students went home and told their parents. Today, I found out that some parents did not want me teaching their children because I was a teen mother. What do I say to that?  Many thanks and warmest regards,

Anna

Dear Friend,

You didn’t tell me how you responded when your student asked you why you got pregnant when you were in high school. I think I would have said, “You know, when we are young we make some poor decisions, but I don’t regret my child. No mother does, no matter what the circumstances are when they are born.” Then you could tell them you had to work extra hard to get your degree, which I am sure is true, and you hope they will learn from you, because you cannot go very far without an education. All these issues were difficult, plus when a teen has a baby both the mother and child are at risk for complications. You happened to be lucky in that respect.

As my daughter told me just today, turn the negatives into positives and learn from them. You also have the opportunity to teach others when it’s brought up. Hold your head high. It’s the people who are questioning you who should be ashamed of themselves.

Kindest regards,
Grandma Maggie