“or not to be” mondays at 8/7c For Teens: Here’s some stuff to talk about from this week’s episode: * We don’t know exactly what happened that caused the loss of Adrian’s pregnancy, but a stillbirth—that is, when a baby dies in the womb after the 20th week of pregnancy—can happen for a variety of reasons. (Before the 20th week of pregnancy, the death of a fetus is called a miscarriage). According to the March of Dimes, common causes for stillbirth include poor or fetal growth, birth defects, placenta problems, infections, chronic health hese, conditions in the pregnant woman, or umbilical cord accidents. Some of these, es, like health conditions in the mother such as high blood pressure or diabetes, can h be monitored throughout pregnancy to reduce the risk, but others are much harder to treat. About 1 in every 160 pregnancies ends in a stillbirth. tip: It can be hard to know what to say to someone like Adrian or Ben who has suffered a stillbirth. “I am so sorry for your loss” or “I can’t imagine what you’re going through” are appropriate remarks because they acknowledge and validate the painful difﬁculty of the situation. Avoid saying things like “It was meant to be” or “You’re young, you can have another baby” or “Your baby is in a better place.” Just being there to support a friend going through a difﬁcult time is also helpful. * Lauren says she doesn’t want to endure her parents meeting the parents of her new boyfriend because she doubts he’s the guy she’s going to marry. Is that the only reason parents should meet—if there’s going to be a wedding eventually? Shouldn’t parents know each other if their kids are hanging out together a lot, whether it’s a romantic relationship or not? Even if Lauren is embarrassed by her parents lovey-dovey-ness, isn’t best for everyone involved if the families are friendly? How does it make you feel when your family spends time with the families of your friends? tip: You should encourage your parents to get to know your friends and the parents of your friends. It makes them more comfortable and leads to more trust. * When Lauren and her new boyfriend see Madison and Jack making out in the hallway at school, the boyfriend says it’s weird that they can’t stop kissing even though they aren’t having sex. Do you agree? Can’t people enjoy kissing, and spending time together without sex being a part of it? Is sex the only way to be intimate? something to think about: Just because a couple isn’t having sex doesn’t mean they don’t have a great relationship. They could have an amazing relationship—one ﬁlled with trust, communication, honesty, enjoying the time they spend together, and intense physical attraction. The fact that they aren’t having sex could actually make their relationship better—because they aren’t taking risks involving pregnancy or STIs. * At the butcher shop a customer mistook Amy for Ricky’s wife because he had heard Ricky had a child. Do you automatically assume someone with a child is married? How do you feel about single parenthood? Have you ever thought about what it would be like to raise a child without a partner? What would it be like for the child? Do you think it makes a difference? fact: More than 40% of babies born in the U.S. are born to unmarried women. s Births to teens have declined but births to unmarried women in their 20s and older have increased. * What did you think of Grant’s ex-girlfriend? How did you react when Grace called her “fat” instead of by her name? Should it matter that Grant’s ex is overweight? It didn’t seem to matter to Grant—do you think it will matter to Grace? something to think about: Don’t judge a book by its cover. Or even better, don’t judge. For Parents: Watching a show like The Secret Life of the American Teenager with your teens is good way to start a conversation about sex, love, and relationships. Even though teens say that parents most inﬂuence their decisions about sex, parents of teens underestimate their own inﬂuence in this area. Here are some ideas for talking to your kids after watching the show. * The death of Ben and Adrian’s baby is a stunning development in the lives of the Secret Life characters. How do your kids feel about it? Did they see it coming? Do they understand what a devastating loss this is for Adrian and Ben? How do they think it will affect Ben and Adrian’s relationship? Will their marriage survive? something to think about: Fetal loss is always a possibility, though not one most people prepare for. Talk to your kids about the physical and emotional risks involved with pregnancy. Encourage them to delay sexual activity, but also make sure they know how to prevent pregnancy if they do have sex. * Madison’s dad was happy to hear she and Jack have decided not to have sex any more. In fact, her dad was so happy he gives her 50 bucks to spend on dinner with Jack. He also tells her he loves her and that she’s smart. What did you think of his reaction? Were you surprised that he didn’t admonish her for having sex in the ﬁrst place? What would your reaction have been if you overheard your teen having that same conversation? tip: Paying attention to your kids before they get into trouble is a good way to reinforce good behavior and positive decision-making.