Anywhere, USA: Teens in Trouble: Krista

Teen Mom
Dr. Phil talks to Aaron and Kathy about their son's bullying dilemma.

"The first time I had sex at 14 is when I got pregnant," says Krista, 17. "When I found out I was really scared, and I didn't know how I was going to take care of the baby." The high school junior is now raising a 2-year-old, Nathaniel, and working part time.

Krista's mom, Michelle, didn't find out her daughter was expecting until Krista was five and a half months pregnant. "I was really upset with her because I felt like she let me down. I trusted her," Michelle confesses.

Although Krista owns her decision to be sexually active and have a baby, she admits that motherhood is difficult. A typical day starts at 6 a.m. when she gets her son dressed and fed. "I have to be at school before 8:30. I try to leave the house about 7:30," she says. "I dread going to school. If I don't graduate, I'm not going to get anywhere."

Once she leaves school, Krista heads to her part-time job. "I worry about working more than getting my schoolwork done because I need money," she says. After returning home and putting Nathaniel to sleep, she stays up doing her homework. "I'm just exhausted," she admits, going to bed around midnight.
"You say you got pregnant the first time you had sex. Did you have unprotected sex?" Dr. Phil asks Krista.

"We used a condom, but I don't know what happened," she confesses. "It did not work."

When Dr. Phil asks if Krista was aware of the risk, she says, "I didn't think that I was going to get pregnant."

Addressing Michelle, Dr. Phil asks, "Do you think she was able to predict her future?"

"It's changed everything," Michelle replies. "We trusted her ... I talked to her about birth control. She was always, 'Oh, I'm not thinking about that. I'm not ready for a child.' ... I explained to her that even though you use protection as far as condoms, that that's not always the safe part. You can still get pregnant."
Dr. Phil turns to Sandy, a former teenage mother living in Elgin. "What did you need to know that you didn't know?" he asks.

"I needed to be taught about sex," she replies. "There was no one to talk to in the home. There were no sex education classes in the school. I had no knowledge."

To Byron, Dr. Phil points out, "You believe, from what I heard, that making condoms and birth control pills available would help stem the tide of this problem.

"Yes, I do. I believe that condoms ought to be handed out in schools," he replies, explaining that abstinence is taught but teens are still having sex.

Gary Null says that his school board believes in abstinence. When Dr. Phil asks if abstinence is realistic, Gary responds, "If we're teaching abstinence in our schools, and we issue condoms and birth control pills, then we're sending a double standard there."
Turning back to Krista's mother, Dr. Phil asks, "As a mother of a teen mother, where do you come down on this issue?"


"It's important for them to know about sex education," she replies. "But for protection to be passed out in the schools, I feel that as a mom, that's giving them permission to go out and try it."


Although Dr. Phil says that he's not taking sides on this issue, he admits that something has to be done about teen pregnancy. "It predicts poverty later in life, disruption of life skills and dreams," Dr. Phil explains. "We all want the same thing, it's about how to get there."