What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that High School Moms, a docuseries featuring teen mothers going to high school, is nonjudgmental, but deals with mature topics, including teen pregnancy, absentee fatherhood, and on occasion, addiction. It also underscores the importance of getting an education for a better future. Some of the students can be defiant or have anger issues (words like "crap" and "hell" are sometimes audible), but their mentors establish firm boundaries. Parents may want to watch with their teens as a way of initiating conversations about some of the things discussed here.
What's the story?
HIGH SCHOOL MOMS is a docuseries that follows young women at Florence Crittenton High, a special school operating as part of a Denver nonprofit program designed to support teen families. Cameras follow as the young women earn their high school education and get excited about things like prom while struggling with the physical and emotional aspects of pregnancy, raising young children, and facing a range of family and financial problems. It's not easy journey, but the teachers and administrators, like Principal Ricardo Leblanc-Esparza, do their best to firmly guide them in a way that is sensitive to their needs while empowering them to build a healthy and sustainable future for themselves and their children.
Is it any good?
Unlike shows like 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom, High School Moms focuses more on the gritty consequences young women face as a result of getting pregnant and becoming parents at such a young age instead of voyeuristic relationship drama. It also underscores the importance of getting an education, and how important it is to provide an academic but supportive place to study in order to keep pregnant students from dropping out of school and becoming trapped in a cycle of poverty and disempowerment.
Not surprisingly, it deals with a lot of mature themes, including contraception, drug use, and absentee fathers. But these topics are not gratuitous, and shed light on the harsh realities of everyday life for teenage mothers. It will give young viewers a lot to think about, and can be used as a way to begin conversations with teens about some of the life-long consequences of having sex.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the pressures teens face when it comes to having sex. Why does the United States have such a high number of teen pregnancies, despite efforts to educate people about the consequences of having sex? What are the consequences of sexual behavior aside from getting pregnant?
What is the connection between the high number of teen pregnancies in the United States and the messages the media sends about sex and sexual behavior? In what ways can the media be used to reduce these numbers? Do you think this series succeeds in helping to do this?