Download Discussion Guide Episode 102 Here.
During the next few days, the couples continued caring for their "borrowed" babies and many started to feel the
strain that parenthood and adult responsibilities can put on relationships. Adding to the stress of being first-time parents,
one person in each couple went to work to support the household while the other stayed home alone to care for the
baby. After long days-and nights-of work and childcare, the tired couples were surprised when one of their own parents
arrived for a short visit. But some couples were not as happy as others to have a visitor.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR TEENS
- It costs $10,600 to raise a baby for one year. That's the equivalent of 1,178 movie tickets, 163 pairs of sneakers, or
42 IPods. The teens in this experiment earned $100 each day they went to work, which is $12.50 per hour or
$25,000 per year, before taxes. What job could you find at your age and in your community that pays this much?
- During her mother's visit, Morgan refused to discuss her relationship with Daton. Are you able to talk to your parents about your relationships? Why or why not? Do you think it's important to be able to do so? What advice would you give Morgan's mother about how to communicate with her daughter?
- Seven in ten teens say they have had a helpful conversation with their parents about delaying sex and avoiding teen pregnancy. What do some parents do to make these conversations helpful? What do some parents do to make them unhelpful? Have your parents ever talked with you about sex? What would it be like to tell your parents you're pregnant (or got someone pregnant)? How would they react? Why?
- At the beginning of the experiment, Kelsey really believed that she was ready to have a baby, but her experience with Etta changed her mind. How would your life change if you had a child? What would you do about school? How would it affect your social life, family relationships, and getting a job? Do you know someone like Kelsey, who thinks they're ready to have a child?
- Although rates have declined in recent decades by one-third-which is a big improvement-the United States still has the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the western industrialized world. Do your friends and classmates think teen pregnancy is a big deal? Do you think teens who watch The Baby Borrowers will learn something about the realities of being a parent? What are some other ways to show the consequences of unprotected sex and pregnancy?
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR PARENTS
We suggest that parents watch the show with their teens, and consider the following questions for discussion afterwards.
- Were any of the parent-teen relationships in The Baby Borrowers familiar to you? Do you talk to your teens about what is going in their lives?
- Most teens say it would be much easier for them to postpone sexual activity and avoid teen pregnancy if they were able to have more open, honest conversations about these topics with their parents. Do your teens know your values and expectations when it comes to sex and pregnancy?
- How do you deal with an "uncomfortable" conversation with your teens about sex? What are some specific ways of talking about sex, love, values, and relationships with your teens that have worked well? Have you tried anything that crashed and burned?
Here are some additional activities you can do as part of a group or on your own.
1. Create a Schedule
Ask teens write up their current weekly schedules, including all of their commitments and activities. Then ask them to create another schedule, this time incorporating all of the additional responsibilities, commitments, and activities they would have if they had to care for a baby. As a group, discuss the questions below:
- What does your current schedule look like? What are some of the major activities you are involved with right now? What do you wish you had more time for?
- What are some of the responsibilities you associated with taking care of a baby?
- How much did your schedule change when you added the baby into your plans?
- What changes would you have to make in order to support a child?
- Would you be willing to give up your current commitments to take care of a child?
Ask teens to make a list of things they'd need to buy in order to care for a child (diapers, food, clothing, toys, etc.). Then send them to the store or the mall with their lists so they can price the items. Afterwards, talk about the financial commitment involved with parenting.
- Does the cost associated with baby supplies surprise you? What were you expecting vs. what did you find?
- Are you ready to forego buying things for yourself so that you can buy things for a child? What would you have to sacrifice?
- What kind of a budget is required to properly feed, clothe and care for a child? How would you earn enough money to meet those needs?
3. Make your own "StayTeen" Public Service Advertisement
What does the word "relationship" mean to you? Sometimes it's hard to put something like that into words. So we say:
Don't! Instead, show us your relationship reality by creating a public service advertisement (PSA).
Check out the Stay TV section at StayTeen.org. Upload your own videos, then customize with the right words and other details. Be a part of our latest ad campaign, "Stay Teen," which encourages teens to enjoy what's best about being a teen and postpone pregnancy and parenthood. For details, inspiration and to check out what others have done, go to StayTeen.org.
- Albert, B. (2007). With One Voice: America's Adults and Teens Sound Off About Teen Pregnancy. Washington, DC: The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.
- The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. (2006). Fact Sheet: How is the 3 in 10 statistic calculated? Washington, DC: Author.
- Lino, M. (2007). Expenditures on Children by Families, 2006. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. Miscellaneous Publication No. 1528-2006.
- National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy analysis of Singh, S., & Darroch, J.E. (2000). Adolescent pregnancy and childbearing: Levels and trends in developed countries. Family Planning Perspectives, 32(1), 14-23. Pregnancy rates are calculated as the sum of birth, abortion, and estimated miscarriage rates (20 percent of births plus 10 percent of abortions).
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