Preggy at 10. Mommy at 11.

I was deeply troubled when Pili’s Population Officer told me that in another municipality in Camarines Sur, a girl got pregnant at age 10 and she gave birth in September 2017 at age 11. The Population Officer added that girls these days are having their first period (menarche) very early. Based on the findings from the Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study (2013), more than 1 in 10 girls experienced menstruation before age 12.

Solo Parents

Solo Parents

I was a solo parent for more than 20 years. It was both emotionally exhausting and financially formidable to provide love, care and financial support to my two sons. Solo parents need a strong support system to be able to manage their numerous responsibilities. Looking back, I wished I had a group of fellow single mothers that meet regularly so at least I didn’t feel as if I was going through the arduous journey alone.

Touch, Unwanted Affection and Personal Boundaries

We have to rethink the way we teach our children about physical contact, affection, and personal boundaries. This is not about making children responsible for preventing sexual abuse because that’s our role as adults. This is about 1) letting our children know that we respect their highly intuitive boundaries; 2) equipping them with skills for boundary-setting; and 3) making it very clear that they should come to us whenever they feel that someone is acting in a way that is inappropriate toward them.