Dear Abby: Would-be teen mom gets advice from knowing elders

Posted: February 08, 2013

DEAR ABBY: Thank you for the compassion you showed "Wants to Be a Mom," the 15-year-old girl considering motherhood with her almost-18-year-old boyfriend. Losing her dad at an early age and having a mother who prefers drugs over her daughter must have made this young lady feel very unwanted. I understand why she might think a baby would give her the love she's missing.

I applaud you for not judging her, but instead kindly helping her to understand the consequences of her potential actions.

- Linda in Michigan

DEAR LINDA: "Wants" was smart to write for advice before acting on impulse. She deserved a thoughtful response and not just a reprimand. Readers had much to say about her letter:

DEAR ABBY: At 15, I had the first of my five daughters. By the time I was 20, I was raising the babies by myself. Would I do it all over again? Not in this lifetime!

"Wants," your boyfriend is immature. He should finish school and get a job before thinking about children. You are only 15 and have your best years ahead. One thing that never crossed my mind was how I would be able to support my child without an education. I learned the hard way.

If you and your grandma aren't getting along, it's up to you to change your attitude. Grandma has more experience than you do in this world. Listening to her will help you avoid many of the pitfalls that I went through, and that you face presently.

- Was There Once in Washington

DEAR ABBY: I had my first child at 21, and while I love my son, there are times I wish I would have waited a while. I missed out on college and figuring out who I was and what I wanted to do. My son and daughter turned out to have special needs, so my life has been busy taking care of them. Please tell that teen that having a baby is not at all like it is in TV commercials.

- Maria in Illinois

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