DEAR ABBY: Over the past few years, I have noticed more and more reports of young people -- some barely into high school -- who seem to have no higher goal in life than making babies of their own.
Those I've talked to don't seem to realize how much tougher it will be to go on to college and take up a career while also having to care for a child. They don't believe that life can bring them anything better than their current situation and think that having babies is their only option.
Abby, for all its faults, this is still a great country we live in, filled with opportunities for those able and willing to take advantage of them. Getting a good education and NOT having kids when you're young is a step in the right direction. Without the responsibilities of parenthood, young people have the freedom to travel, gain more life experience, and then are able to share these with their children as they grow up.
Please keep spreading the word, Abby. Having kids is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. -- STEVE IN MINNESOTA
DEAR STEVE: That's true. Professionals who work with young adults have observed that those who start a family during their teen years tend to see no possibility of a brighter future ahead. Conversely, teens who understand that a higher education and a career that pays more than minimum wage are possible for themselves are more inclined to postpone childbearing.
So, you see -- hope is a most effective contraceptive!