Friday, February 13, 2009

Dad at 13

Alfie Patten, Dad at 13When I first saw the headline, I just shook my head. Then I looked at the picture of the kid - and I really do mean kid. Look at him! He looks like he's 8! Heck, I know adults that don't seem to know the consequences of unprotected sex, but for a 13 yr old and a 15 yr old to have to deal with them is heartbreaking. The couple got pregnant after only 1 night of unprotected sex, and didn't tell their families until she was over 18 weeks pregnant.

What's saddest is that it's clear from the way he and the baby's mother talk about sex and parenting that they were never really taught about sex and parenting. When asked how he would pay for the child, the father, 13 year old and barely 4 ft tall Alfie Patten, said “I didn’t think about how we would afford it. I don’t really get pocket money. My dad sometimes gives me £10.” The mother, 15 year old Chantelle Steadman, added: “We didn’t think we would need help from our parents. You don’t really think about that when you find out you are pregnant. You just think your parents will kill you.”

The parents have been quoted saying their children just don't seem to understand the enormity of the situation they're in, or how difficult it is to raise a child. His dad said this about his son, the new father, and the baby's mother "Everyone is telling him things and it’s going round in his head. It hasn’t really dawned on him. He hasn’t got a clue of what the baby means and can’t explain how he feels... When you mention money his eyes look away. And she is reliant on her mum and dad. It’s crazy. They have no idea what lies ahead... When I spoke to him he started crying. He said it was the first time he’d had sex, that he didn’t know what he was doing and of the complications that could come... I will talk to him again, and it will be the birds and the bees talk. Some may say it’s too late but he needs to understand so there is not another baby.”

This is a prime example of why kids do need sex education in schools, and at a young age, not just once they're in High School. Because, unfortunately, kids can and do have sex before they're 16 or 18, and they can and do get pregnant and get STDs like anyone else. I know I had sex ed class in 3rd grade (and every year after that), and the experience still ranks high amongst my scariest childhood memories. I swore I'd never have sex after watching that video... I mean, a) ew and b) they showed pictures of a baby being born, STDs - that's a horror film to a kid. It definitely kept me away from it until I was at least remotely old enough and knowledgeable enough to have some grasp on what I was doing.

See The Sun's Article for more images and quotes.


Dorid said...

um... wow.

wanted to read the Sun's article, but the link comes back here instead of going over there. Will have to google it later, but thought I'd give you the heads up on the link.

Anonymous said...

You can't expect kids at that age to understand or take on that responsibility. In times past, kids reached physical maturity later, and extended family was part and parcel of child rearing.

Christie Lynn said...

Hm... Re-pasted the link, just to be sure... should work now.

Bob Cricket said...

Alfie isn't the real dad. Look into it and soon you may find the truth.

Christie Lynn said...

Some more links to the story:
The Independent
Times Online

Anonymous said...

the kids and the grilfriend is very stupid basta

TopViet said...

I shook my head too!