By Lauren Mann of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
Like so many of the stories on "Teen Mom" have shown, it takes more than just love to raise a child. Babies require time, energy and money. A lot of money.
Back when Catelynn and Tyler were pregnant with Carly, they knew they weren't ready to be parents for many reasons: They were young, they didn't have family support, and they weren't done with school. Now that they're older and more mature, they have a more stable environment to raise Nova, but there's still the issue of money and school.
It's a wise choice for Tyler to be focusing on his education -- not just to set a good example for his daughter but also because a college degree will open up career opportunities for him down the road. College graduates earn more than high school grads, they are more likely to have full-time jobs, and they're less likely to be unemployed. Young people with just a high school education are about three times more likely to say their work is "just a job to them." College grads are more likely to say their job is a career or at least a steppingstone to a career.
It's not news that teen mothers are less likely to earn their high school diploma or college degrees and that because of that fact, they have fewer economic opportunities and lower incomes, often leading to poverty and reliance on public assistance. So even though Catelynn and Tyler are no longer teens, Tyler's mom made a great point during this week's episode: They need to make education a priority if they want to make sure they can provide for their family in the future.
For Tyler, an investment in his education is an investment in the financial security of their family -- and also an investment in the satisfaction he will have throughout his life from working. It might be tough to be away in class while Catelynn is at home with the baby, but they both know raising a child is a hard job, and we're all pulling for them to succeed.
Be sure to catch "TMOG" tonight at 10/9c.