Thursday, December 20, 2007

Jamie Lynn Spears is pregnant - and stupid

My wife and I had an interesting discussion with our 10-year-old daughter last night. We had to explain to her that Jamie Lynn Spears, younger sister of that paragon of virtue Britney and star of the kid-fave show Zoey 101, was pregnant at the tender age of 16. It's a discussion we didn't really didn't want to have, but the big bad world was once again threatening our little one's mythical bubble of childhood. So we figured it made more sense for her to hear it from us than from a schoolyard friend.

As odious as I find the whole genre of celebrity "news" coverage, I had to laugh at a quote attributed to this newly-minted anti-role model: “It was a shock for both of us, so unexpected…”

Here's a news flash for Ms. Spears the Younger: It’s basic biology. If you’re going to go drilling, you have to expect to strike oil at some point. If you don’t want to be “surprised”, then don’t go drilling in the first place.

I think someone needs to get a new PR director. And parents with a clue.

Your turn:


Diane Mandy said...

You did the right thing, but I am sure it was a tough conversation to have! Can you believe the mother is writing a parenting book?

Pat said...

I didn't have a daughter but I expect I would have treated her exactly the same as the boys, in that we talk about everything - no subjects are barred and hopefully they will feel they can discuss anything with me.
I learned early on that it isn't necessary to appear a paragon of virtue ALL the time and the odd confession of something stupid one did in one's youth, can be helpful to them. Within reason. As Churchill said 'Jaw jaw is better than war war.
Hope the blizzard has ceased and Michele sends her best.

Star said...

This was the topic of dissussion at the hair salon yesterday. People wondering how they should broach this with thei children, who wath the Disney show. In addition to agreeing with your comments, the news here referred to the baby's father as "long time boyfrind Case.', as though that made it better. She's 16. How long-time could it have been.

Carli N. Wendell said...

And I was so looking forward to her mother's now-postponed book on parenting.

My hope is that the award-winning Nickeolodeon news show, Nick News with Linda Ellerbee, will address the issue so that children without parents like you can better understand the bad choices Ms. Spears has made.

If ever there was a family that should remove itself from the gene pool. . .

Arwen said...

I think we need to stop thinking that abstinence only education is going to work. If a 16 year old is going to have sex then they are going to have sex, if we, as the parents of the 16 year old think that letting them stay ignorant about sex is a smart decision, then we are idiots.

Sara said...

I completely agree with you Carmi! I remember well when a mate of mine said at age 18, "I'm not sure how it happened, but I'm pregnant" . . . we were both there for sex education so I'm not sure how she didn't know how it happened, PLUS more so than pregnancy it proves that people are not concerned about getting HIV or other secually transmitted diseases. Pregnancies are expensive, but so is a life on anti-retroviral meds & hospital visit from the copious illnesses you can catch.
I think your daughter is lucky to have parents who are around to discuss issues like this, so many children these days grow up with out these important talks!!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Michelle sent me.

All I'll say is that I hope the baby is treated better.

Anonymous said...

I caught this on the news this morning and while I'm far from a prude, I thought it was disgusting. And my next thought was...What on earth are parents going to say to their young daughters? I'll be calling my daughter later today to see how she's handling it with my 13 yr. old granddaughter.
Sounds like you and your wife did the right thing. But isn't it sad that it's come to this...the kids have a "idol" or "mentor" and then poof! They're shoved right into adulthood. Doesn't seem right to me.

Anonymous said...

This is pathetic on so many levels. First, and I posted about this yesterday,the progression of headlines at was comical -- Jamie Lynn pregnant, Britney goes shopping, and Mama Lynn's book on parenting is put on hold. Unbelievable.

Second, I'm with you on the ridiculous quotes coming out of this. My favorite was Lynn's, when she said how surprised she was, because Jamie Lynn "never misses curfew". Yeah, mom, curfew. Because no one ever has sex until after 11 p.m.

Sounds like you had to have the same conversation I did -- and it wasn't one that I intended to have either.


gautami tripathy said...

I teach girls her age or younger. I try to tell the the pros and cons of it. Being in India, which is kind of supreesed and repressed society, it is not a easy thing to do for me.

It is not that kids are not going for it. But here they can't talk about it or take proper care.

Once when I had a talk with a batch of students, a few parents complained that I was kind of talking rot as their kids won't be experimenting. Misconceptions..

I feel like tearing my hair. SEx education is yet to find a place here.

I think Michele would agree with wwhat you say here.

reading room

Anonymous said...

Hi Carmi!

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Do you really wanna know my thoughts?
I blame the mother, first you let your daughter shack up with a 19 years old, while your other one runs loose cutting her hair, beating paparazzi with umbrellas and spawning two seeds of her own with less than stellar men. I mean really. The funny thing is children spawning at this age is not a shock (well maybe to little Ms. Spears at least).

Rebecca said...

I think the saddest part of all of this are some of the comments I have read (all over the internet) where people think it's impossible to be a virgin theses days.

News flash - it's not. They're just making excuses for their actions, justifying their mistakes.

Parents - let your children know that sex is for marriage and something sacred to be shared between husband and wife. Let them know that there is nothing wrong with them for waiting, they are not freaks, and they are not alone.

You did the right thing.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I had to have the talk with my own #1 today, who is seven. It was pretty easy:

Me: Dude, do you know what the fuss is about?

Him: Not really.

Me: She's only sixteen and she's going to have a baby. She's younger than (insert names of our favorite babysitters).

Him: Whoa.

I think it went well.

Nestor Family said...

Oh... it is too bad when Carmi doesn't have a photo for a post! :-)

Carmi, bravo for the conversation you had with your daughter. Hard as it may have been, it was the best thing and it is what parents should do. Education is the key... I am just so sorry that the lessons have to come at such a young age. And it is too bad that many children learn the lessons on the street... from these tabloid experiences.

Joan said...

Just one more scene in the tragedy of the family Spears. But more than that, it's part of the tragedy of our society these days. Waiting for marriage is not impossible, just inconvenient. As a newlywed who waited, I can tell you it is definitely worth the wait - it adds a whole extra level to the experience. But with today's instant gratification mentality, fewer and fewer care to bother.

For many, involved parenting is also inconvenient, as it clearly was (and continues to be) for the Spears family. I applaud you, Carmi, and your wife, for having such a difficult discussion. But I support 100% your comment that it's better your kids hear it from you than on the playground.

gemma said...

Hi Carmi, Michele sent me and wow, with all the education these young people get in the sex can they be as Jamie Lynn says "shocked" at the outcome of the decision they made. As to the comment that we need to stop thinking that abstinence only training won't work....did these kids ever hear about abstinence? If so they will probably be "shocked" to learn what it is.

Good decision on your part to have a talk with your daughter. It's a shame the world wants to burst that childhood bubble.

Sara said...

I feel for you having to have "that" discussion with your daughter...but, better from you - than misleading information from friends.

And, the mother of those two - what a trip she is ... she's writing a book on parenting!!!! Please!!! Her editor at least showed good sense and put the darn thing on hold!

Holly Schwendiman said...

Right on board with you all the way around. Every generation of teens think they invented sex and are the only ones who know anything about it...oh and that they'll always be the exception to the biological consequence rule as well. *sigh* I just pray that I can give my 10 year old daughter enough knowledge and positive motivation to guard that gift well!


Ontario Emperor said...

One could attribute this to the unreality of Hollywood, but the truth is that 16 year old (and younger) girls are getting pregnant all the time, 16 year old (and younger) boys are impregnating them, and that this is not a new phenomenon. For the kids who admire [insert celebrity name here], such a failure is life-shattering. (Heck, even as an adult I was taken aback when a Los Angeles radio DJ got busted for heroin.) The truth is that we are all sinners, but that doesn't necessarily mean that sin needs to be praised - exactly what WAS Mama Spears going to say in her book?

kenju said...

Carmi, if every parent was as dedicated as you and Morah Mommy, very few young ones would be in that boat. Every one ought to talk to their child(ren) about this and similar incidents!

Bobkat said...

Ooh! I definitley don't envy you that little talk! It is much better she finds out the correct information from you than relies on hearsay and half facts from firends in the school yard.

Michele sent me over to say hi and to let you know that I have a little flying treat on my blog. If you've never seen a bear fly a plan then you should pop over as I know how much you like all things plane related :)

Anonymous said...

thanks for stopping by, it has taken awhile to get to the place where I am but I had good role models in my own parents. I'm sure you are trying to do the same for your own. I'm just glad mine aren't old enough to have the Jamie Lynn conversation with.

Dak-Ind said...

i heard about this. i about choked. pride as always in the older boy, who when had the conversation about the younger spears Duck said "shes so stupid". and he didnt mean dumb to get pregnant, but dumb to put herself in that spot to begin with. i will share with you that Duck did recently try to kill me... he came in and said "hey mom, um, (dramatic pause) you're a grandma". when i regained conciousness he explained that as part of his leadership trainning he has adopted a group of kindergarteners whom he calls his kids.

personally, i continue to trust my son, and to believe that his father aned i raised him better than becoming a father at too tender of an age. (i'm good with after he graduates university personally)

Shan said...

She may have done something dumb, and she may be now dealing with the consequences, and now she may be offering all the stupid sound bytes the media wants. However, I think it's important for everyone to remember... a lot of boys/girls do similarly stupid things and just happen to get away without those consequences. I think it would be misguided to assume young people you know or even your own children are doing the right thing, no matter what they say.

Unknown said...

Carmi: I look at the Spears family as lives so blown out of proportion. Cheap sensationalism has taken over the television programming and it is driven by greed and money. One TV program asked last night for viewers to e-mail them on the question of "Who is at fault?" A TV Idol for kids, I understand you having to address this latest sad story as a parent.

barbie2be said...

oh, carmi... don't even get me started on those spears girls.

you did exactly what i would have done. i was marveling last night at the allergy clinic as i was sitting there waiting for my mandatory 30 minutes to be up as two pre-teen girls sat across from me talking about it. at least from their comments it sounds like their parents are responsible adults like you and your wife.

one girl said to the other, "that is so stupid. what was she doing having sex so young? she is ruining her life!" and the other one responded with "well, look at her sister."

Courtney said...

Have you banned the show from her allowable programs? I think you did the right thing. I'm disturbed to read that she off-handedly commented to a family member that she didn't like Britney "getting all of the attention." Egads.

Andi said...

So is teenage pregnancy becoming more acceptable or will it be soon (as a result of this)???

Michele sent me.

Thumper said...

My sister got pregnant was she was 17. It was a surprise to her, too. And we had very good parents, parents who did their best and served as good examples in every way they knew how.

That didn't keep my curious sister from spawning before she was a legal adult. She knew it could happen, but she didn't KNOW.

Everyone can point and laugh at the Spears' family, but the truth is, it can happen to anyone, good parenting or not, and when it does it's still a total surprise.

Anonymous said...

I guess my biggest concern about this latest incident is the way that it's going to be glamorized in the media. Look at how much Jamie Lynn is going to make with the first-ever photos of the baby (reported to be $1M). Teenage girls are going to see this and think it's cool rather than something reckless and stupid. Similar to the way that "girls with girls" are being portrayed in the media. My neices tell me that sleeping with another girl is "hot" and "encouraged" by all of their friends. If they're gay, I'm AOK with that, but stop communicating to kids that sleeping around with anyone is the social norm. How are kids supposed to learn the difference between right and wrong when all of these celebrities get big payouts and media attention for all of the things that used to be shameful? Rehab, DUIs, teenage pregnancies, bisexuality, the list is endless.

OK, rant over!

Catherine said...

Well, a while back the big news in NZ was that Keisha Castle-Hughes was pregnant, while starring in the story of Jesus as the Virgin Mary. I believe she was 16, too.
Though we didn't get the "I don't know how it happened" line. She and her family actually professed to be delighted about the whole thing. I doubt that she is really ready at 16, but who can judge someone else on that?
There's a TV series that's been running here called "The Baby Borrowers" where they give teen couples babies, toddlers and then older children to look after for a few days (supervised by trained nannies who intervene if necessary). It was quite an eye opener for some of the teens - others did remarkably well

Anna said...

I was on E Online today Carmi and the headline was this...


Ridiculous. It was talking about the new movie Juno doing well at the box office but I personally think it was stating much more than that.

Sad really.