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Zoey's Pregnancy 101

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Jamie Lynn Spears' pregnancy gives Moms an opportunity to talk to tweens.


Tween fans of Zoey 101 surfing the Web for info on their hero today are going to get more than they bargained for when they find out that 16-year-old Jamie Lynn Spears is pregnant. Even if you don't plan to share this sensitive information with your tween, she'll likely hear about it on the radio, Internet, or from her friends. So, what should you do when your tween finds out that her favorite teen star is now a mom-to-be?

Sabrina Weill, mom of two and author of The Real Truth about Teens and Sex, offers the following three pointers:

1. THE TIP: It's important to make the gravity of the situation feel real for your tween.
It's very difficult for teens and tweens to grasp the concept of consequences. It makes it even harder when they see people they look up to, like Jamie Lynn, getting pregnant--especially when it doesn't seem like the consequences for them are so bad. Asking your tween some tough questions will help her look at this situation in a different light.

• How do you think Jamie Lynn felt when she had to tell her Mom she was pregnant?
• How do you think she felt when she had to tell her friends?
• How do you think her boyfriend felt telling his parents that he got his girlfriend pregnant?
• How do you think she feels about taking on the responsibility of caring for a new baby?
• How do you think her boyfriend feels knowing that he and his family will be financially responsible for supporting another life, starting now?
• If this happened to one of your friends at school, how would the situation be different from Jamie Lynn's?
How would it be the same?

WHY IT WORKS: Answering questions like these will help tweens understand that what they're hearing in the media is not the entire story. Jamie Lynn and her family are likely having many conversations behind closed doors and experiencing a lot of heartache over this pregnancy that the public is simply not privy to. You don't want to panic or scare your child, but you want to help them view the situation realistically.

2. THE TIP: Make sure your tween knows she can come to you no matter what.
Most importantly, you need to let your tween know you would be there for her in a similar situation--and that you would want her to talk to you first.

THE SCRIPT: "I will always love you, and I will always listen to you. If you or your friends are in a situation you can't handle--like you're sexually active, or you become pregnant--I would want you to come to me first. Your well-being is what's most important to me."

WHY IT WORKS: These words let you share your expectations and values with your tween while still keeping the lines of communication open. If she feels like she can always come to you, you're less likely to be surprised by any unexpected news or announcements, like Jamie Lynn's mother Lynne Spears was. Many teens and tweens feel like their Mom would kill them if they got pregnant. The truth is, you'd probably be disappointed, but you'd still want to be the first to know. It's important that she understands this.

3. THE TIP: Keep the conversation going.
Jamie Lynn's pregnancy is all over the news today, but it will likely garner less and less media attention as the days and weeks go on. However, this will probably remain front-page news for your tween for a while.

THE SCRIPT: "Hey, I heard some of the Moms at drop-off talking about Jamie Lynn. Are your friends still talking about it?"

WHY IT WORKS: As the conversation about Jamie Lynn evolves, your tween's questions will too. By keeping the conversation alive you can make sure you answer any questions she has and squelch any misconceptions she may be picking up from friends at school.

Of course, these conversations can be awkward, but unfortunately tweens are already having conversations and hearing rumors about sex--it's key that one of the voices they hear be one they can trust the most: their parents.

Will you talk to your tween about Jamie Lynn's pregnancy? Comment now.

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101 comments so far | Post a comment now
shekinah December 27, 2007, 4:25 AM

I started talking with my children about sex when they were very young and started asking questions. I did not give great detail but I did answer questions and used the correct words for the different body parts. This should be an ongoing discussion with your children, along with what your expectations are in this area. It is like drugs and peer pressure and any other difficult subject, you talk with them on a regular basis and let them know what you believe in. Even when kids act grossed out or bored, they are listening. If they want to know something, talk with them because if you don’t…. someone else will. I prefer my children learn it from me so I know what they are learning and being told.
As for Jamie Lynn, she is not the first girl to get pregnant out of wedlock and will not be the last. She could have just as easily gone and had an abortion and no one been any the wiser about it and she could have kept appearing as if she were a “good girl”. While I don’t approve, at least she is taking responsibility for her actions. Being on television does not make her a role model. It makes her a representative based on a character she plays on tv. While my children like certain characters on television and in movies, they are fully aware these are just roles the people play and not the people themselves. My children chose their role models closer to home. That is another good subject for people to be discussing with their children. Who their role models are and why they chose them as a role model.

Nancy December 28, 2007, 10:34 AM

Parents should be speaking with their children about being sexually active and the consequences, emotions, feeling and general issues involved in being a sexually active individual …. so if a parent needed this to happen or saw this as an opportunity to open the gates for such a conversation and one-on-one then fine and great.

Although if such an open talk already exists between a parent and their child then this is a real pain in the ass. Here you have a privileged tween, with a famous and idolized (screwball) sister (Britney Spears), an acting career, a huge young fanbase (thanks to Zoey 101) … WHO IS NOW PREGNANT … so now you have a daughter at home with whom you have had these open conversations with ALREADY … AND YOU HOPE that she views this Jamie Spears as a young girl who has ruined her life and career. You cross your fingers and hope that your daughter will turn to you and say “Mom/Dad boy she really messed up!” and that she means it.

I think that Zoey 101 should be cancelled … showing children that consequences come quickly with bad decisions (like deciding to be sexually active at such a young age and not being protected on top of that). This angers me even further because I am sure the rest of the cast to Zoey 101 enjoys doing the show and the paychecks that come with, so such a decision (to cancel the show) would be a real bummer for them.

On another note, this whole Spears clan is sick. What goes on in that family? What are they cursed with ill fortune? Can someone get their stuff together in that family already?!?!?!

dan January 1, 2008, 6:00 PM

maybe its time to take her show of the disney channel she is a disgrace shes sixteen years old she needs better parents!!!

Anonymous January 2, 2008, 12:37 PM

why do you want too be pregnate.they are going to change zoey 101 to chase what ever

Mandy January 4, 2008, 9:04 PM

Hey how could you get pernect

unknown January 4, 2008, 10:16 PM

Zoey your stupid i believed in you!!! Wwwwwwwwwwwwwhhhhhhhhhyyyyyyyyyy…
tear tear
snif sniff..

jacko January 4, 2008, 10:17 PM

Zoey your so stupid i beleived in you!!!
tear tear
sniff sniff
you are a loser

Akatsuki January 7, 2008, 8:35 PM

1 word… condom… n it was bound 2 happen… just look at all the girls on the show… they wear mini skirts n also… she is kinda hot

Akatsuki January 7, 2008, 8:37 PM

1 word… condom… n it was bound 2 happen… just look at the show most of the girls r wearing miniskirts… n also she is kinda hot

luannm January 7, 2008, 10:18 PM

what do we tell our 8 and ten year olds not just tweens!!!

fernando January 8, 2008, 8:51 AM

How could u get pregnate… r u stupid….whos da dad anyway….ur hot u should know better

Ash January 8, 2008, 9:37 AM

First off…. i think that everyone needs to calm down a little. She found out she was pregnant… and has handled it very well. She made a mistake…. but if she weren’t famous and was just another “teenage girl” who made a mistake…. would you be this upset… Think of how many people in your town have made a mistake and gotten pregnant young…. Did you critize them like you are doing to her. She can still be a role model… but now she can be a role model to all those teenage girls who make mistakes. She isn’t giving her child up for adoption, or having an abortion…. (Which honestly she could of had an abortion and nobody ever find out about it…. bu she is more mature than that) she is owning up to her mistake and taking responsiblity…. Now that is a real role model…. Give her a break….!!!

britney  January 9, 2008, 6:25 PM

i have 3 words 2 say use a condom its not that hard. and just think now that jamie has nocked her sis out of the spot light britneys probly going 2 do more stuff 2 get back in thre spot light jamie might as well be the next britney spears. all i know is that they need new parents cause both of there kids have gotten in no good so there parents need to go to some parenting class and u know what i will even pay 4 them 2 go 2 the class cause i dont want another spears getting out of hand its not responsible and totaly WACK they need help or they need god!!!!!!!! AMEN


Jill January 15, 2008, 7:56 PM

You people ALL need spelling and grammar lessons. Did you all flunk the fourth grade or what?

zack February 1, 2008, 8:09 PM


Amanda February 7, 2008, 1:41 AM

Wow…a lot of people are just blaming Jamie-Lynn. All of you who just blame her need to grow up, I’m 16 and know that her parents, her boyfriend, herself, and even her sister are to blame for this. It is not just one person. For all you know, her & her boyfriend could have planned this!

And for those that are saying that she is a role model are stupid in my opinion. I have never once thought of some stupid celebrity as a role model. Look at all the stars! Look how trashy they are, then look at all of the teens who are just as trashy. Then…look at the teens who aren’t, and why are they not trashy? Because the parents(or grand parents*in my case*) are actually THERE. They are around and talk to the child and have them do something else other than obsess over some stupid celebrity.
I enjoy music…movies…tv…ect. But I will never, ever say that I look up to my favorite stars.

Learn to spell. I have better grammar than half of you adults.

Anonymous February 19, 2008, 6:43 PM

Iam your biggest fan!

By,princess Isabella

Precious March 8, 2008, 4:24 PM


Natalia March 30, 2008, 9:21 AM

If people are so concerned over her being a role model for their children, and how her getting pregnant will affect them, perhaps instead of overreacting and blaming her, a teenage girl who, in my opinion was shoved into show business at way too young of an age (for another example, Drew Barrymore being a drug addict at the same age) and making mistakes, perhaps you should try to find better role models for your daughters. Perhaps do what my mother did when I was younger, and introduced me to many not-so famous strong women, like politicians, or doctors, writers, women who run their own business- people you can meet and learn from in your own community instead of using a celebrity playing a fictional character.

bianca April 5, 2008, 11:59 PM

its her business so get off her case.What does her pregnancy have to do with anyone so leave her be.

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