Certain triangles in life can’t be broken no matter how hard people try.
One such triangle is found within numerous families, and involves the divorce rate, single parenthood, and teen pregnancy.
It begins with children and divorce.
Once a child is subjected to growing up in a broken family, her propensity towards using drugs, alcohol, and engaging in unprotected sex becomes much higher than for a teenager who lives in a home where both of her parents are still married.
Thus, the first leg of the triangle is in place with the divorce.
Statistics show that a teen girl who is the product of divorced parents is more likely to become pregnant, giving rise to the second leg of the triangle.
The occurrence of teen pregnancy in the United States is presently high, with approximately one third, or 33%, of women carrying a child to term before reaching the age of twenty.
Next, 80% of teen moms have to deal with the fathers of their children leaving, which creates a situation of single parenthood for the women and babies left behind.
The other 20% who are able to make it to the altar have their own set of problems with which to contend, as studies show that a majority of these teen parents who get married so early on will usually wind up having to visit the divorce court in order to file a petition for dissolution of marriage.
And, couples with minor children who choose to file for divorce help the number of single mothers increase as a result, which puts the third leg of the triangle firmly into its place.
How does the triangular cycle unfold within this new structure after the divorce is final?
First, the minor children and each of the newly single parents have to adjust to a custody and visitation schedule.
Next, the spouses have to get used to the idea of one parent giving child support payments to the other parent, an event which can create further obstacles especially when the parent who is supposed to pay chooses to make the process complicated for no other reason than to cause additional divorce issues.
An act such as this one that is witnessed by the children also leaves its stamp on them as they will only grow up to repeat the cycle with their own mates and future offspring, keeping that triangle firmly in place for the next generation down to experience and continue themselves.
In addition to visitation schedules, the minor children also have to adapt to a life without both of their parents around at the same time such as they were when still married.
All of these events lead up to one main consequence, which is the instance of unhappy children and rebellious behavior.
The second leg of the triangle comes into play since an unhappy female is at a high risk for bad conduct, especially when her father is not around full time.
It is an undisputed fact that an adolescent female needs a father figure in her life, especially during the formative years of growing up. It is further no surprise that most of those teenage women who do get pregnant lack the crucial father-daughter relationship that is so important to the prevention of the young mother epidemic.
Why is it that growing up with a father has such an influence on whether or not a teenager becomes pregnant?
When a girl is raised without her father, she will go elsewhere to find the affection and attention she would normally have received from her male parent. She will turn to the arms of the young boy she has a crush on who promises her the world and more with his sweet whisperings in her ear, all of which inevitably leads up to unprotected sex and an ensuing child on the way.
It is no secret that a majority of teenage fathers do not stick around to raise their child, much less provide monetary support to the mother.
On the other hand, those teens who do try to do the marriage thing must also deal with another harsh statistic thrown their way, which is the fact that their high school dropout rate is extremely high.
Paired with the reality that it is the lesser educated folk holding lower wage jobs who are more likely to fight about finances and most everything else, it is no wonder that those in the teenage bracket who tie the knot are more likely to get a divorce later on down the road.
And when the end of the marital union does come about, it inevitably contributes to the high divorce rate while leaving the teen mother to be a single parent. And the child must now fare without a male figure in the house which will start the cycle of pregnancy all over again once the young child has hit teenage years.
Is there any way to break the pattern and help to foster healthier and long lasting relationships among adolescents and adults alike?
As the old saying goes, “timing is everything” which is a good way to consider the road to marriage.