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Spending Time with Toddlers Helps Stop Teen Pregnancy (DUH!)

A program in England which pairs troubled 14-16 year-olds with toddlers from a nursery school class has reported unbelievable results in stopping teen pregnancy.

Over the past eight years, the rate of conception in participating teens is just 2.6%, much lower than the national average.

This would be a surprising statistic if I didn’t have considerable experience spending time with a toddler myself— my loveably terrible two-year-old.

That bugger could make a thirty-something-year-old reconsider!

At 15, I was busy going to the mall with friends and drooling over the senior boys in the yearbook, not vacuuming gold fish cracker crumbs out of my car and trying to rationalize with a two-year-old throwing a fit because she wants an orange sippy cup instead of a blue one.

I imagine most teenagers don’t think too far ahead of the cute onesies and tiny Converse phase.

With that in mind (and because I don’t think a similar program exists in the U.S.), I have devised a special quiz for teenagers who aren’t doing everything in their power to prevent having children before they are old enough to drink.

Watch— I can do my part to stop teen pregnancy too!

ARE YOU READY FOR A TODDLER? (A Quiz for Teenagers)

1. When I wake up in the morning, I like to…
a) roll over and press the SNOOZE button fifteen times.
b) hear a child scream “MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” as if a bear was attacking their crib.

2. In the morning, I would rather watch…
a) Taylor Swift perform on the Today Show.
b) Mr. Noodle’s brother, Mr. Noodle try to put on pants.

3. I like to spend my time in the bathroom…
a) taking long hot showers.
b) scrubing the floor after unfortunate potty training accidents.

4. Dinner time is a chance to…
a) talk about my day while satisfying my hunger.
b) waste an entire refrigerator full of food trying to find something (ANYTHING!) that my toddler will eat instead of throw on the floor.

5. On road trips, I love to…
a) blast my favorite music.
b) listen to “We’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain” on repeat per my toddler’s demand until he finally falls asleep four hours later.

6. I like to go to the movies with…
a) my friends or boyfriend.
b) Wait— What’s a movie?

7. I select restaurants based on…
a) the food and atmosphere.
b) whether the volume level is loud enough to drown out piercing screams for “MORE KETCHUP!!!”

8. I go to the mall to…
a) try on all the latest trends from my favorite clothing stores.
b) run half-naked through the food court chasing my toddler because he escaped a changing room by crawling under the door.

9. When rifling through my make-up drawer, it’s fun to discover…
a) the perfect shade of pink lipstick.
b) that I have no more pink lipstick because my toddler used it to draw Abby Cadabby on the wall.

10. When talking to my friends, I like to discuss…
a) boys, fashion and music.
b) potty training, power struggles and preschool admissions.

11. If I was awoken in the middle of the night, I would be excited because it’s most likely…
a) the boy I like throwing rocks at my window.
b) my toddler screaming that she has to go to the bathroom instead of peeing on the sheets.

12. At 10pm on a Saturday, I am usually…
a) out with friends planning to put every hour left before curfew to good use.
b) passed out on my couch after a failed attempt to watch the latest episode of Parenthood.

If you chose mostly A’s:
Probably best to abstain or use protection. And stay in school, please!

If you chose mostly B’s:
What teenager in their right mind chooses Mr. Noodle over Taylor Swift? You should hold off on the baby planning and seek professional help.

Read more of Ilana’s writing at Mommy Shorts.
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