Unmarried with children


Unmarriedwith children

Reactionpaper, unmarried with children

Thisis a reaction paper of the book by Kathryn Edin and Maria Kefalasentitled “promises I can keep: why poor women put motherhood beforemarriage.” The topic “unmarried with children”, revolves aroundthe life of a teenager named Jen a young and unmarried life. She gavea birth when she was only fifteen year. This was just one and halfmonths after they had started pushing with his 20-year-old boyfriend,Rick. Jen did not regret at all having the baby and she even boastsbearing a child with Rick who had been in affairs with other girls(Edin&amp Kefalas, 2005).&nbsp

Rickwas, however, not very straight in his behaviors and he was always onand off behind bars. Rick eventually ended up in prison and Jen isrevealed as a relaxed person and she becomes very focused in raisingher son. I agree with the writers’ perception of the causes ofunbecoming behaviors among the impoverished youths as well as thecauses end up leaving the women unmarried. I also agree with the factbrought about with the focus that comes along by becoming a parent(Edin&amp Kefalas, 2011).&nbspHowever, I tend to disagree with the fact that having a child with aguy especially at a young age is a favor as well as a child acts asecurity of future marriage.


Ithink it was unrealistic for Jen to regard Rick’s idea of having akid with her as a badge of honor. For one, I do not feel that Jen hadconsidered the right person to establish a relationship with. Rickwas an unfaithful guy and Jen was aware about it. It was hencedangerous for her to think that his choice to have a child with herwas really an honor. I believe she could have considered thetrustworthiness of Rick before she could have opened her heart tohim. I also believed she missed a point by accepting Rick’sargument of having a kid with her which eventually saw her out ofschool (Pearlstein,2011).&nbsp

Ialso agree with the fact with Jen view that marriage and bearing kidsshould follow finishing school and may be acquiring a good job. “Jenbelieves that the best time to become a mother is after you’re outof school and you get a job, at least when you are 21.” I thinkwhen people carry these crucial stages of life that is marriage andchild bearing they will be old enough and hence responsible.Similarly, they will be economically stable and hence they will notstruggle in raising their kids. However, I tend to differ with Jen’sidea that poor people have little motivation in timing births asopposed to their middle class counterparts (Carlson&amp England, 2011).I agree with the fact the poor have limited economic prospects butbirth timely is more behavioral and ethical than economically based.

Ialso totally disagree with Jen’s argument that it is better havingkids when young. I think having kids at such young age is denyingthese people opportunity of carrying out some crucial life aspectssuch studying. I believe this aspect in return increases povertyinstead of eradicating it. I also agree with the Jen’s argumentthat child bearing triggered her transformation. I believe thatfamily is a very essential aspect in subjecting human beings to ahigh level of responsibility (Pearlstein,2011).Once a person who have sober mind has a kid who is relying on him orher, he or she has to prioritize on catering the needs of that kidrather than doing other unworthy things.

Ialso agree with the perception Jen had towards her son. It could havebeen a mistake that the child came to be. However, I think learningwhere one made a mistake and taking the results from a positiveperception is a great thing rather than living to regret. I think Jenhad every reason to say that conceiving that son denied her a chanceof continuing having fun. I know this could have complicated theissue and she would end up hating the baby. However, she considersthe bearing the baby as a crucial aspect towards her transformation.“I would still be doing those things I was doing. I would probablybe doing drugs. I’d probably still be drinking,” Jen noted(Pearlstein,2011).

Ialso agree with the fact that poor and desperate youths like Jen areoffered a sense of compelling by having children. I know everyone canagree with me that Jen could not have gotten transformed were it notthat she got a kid. However, I think there is a better way that canbe employed so to enhance that such youths are transformed. I do notthink that becoming a mother or a father will automatically transformthat person. Rick was the father to Jen’s son. However, instead ofbecoming more focused that they had a son to take care of he cheatedeven more and became crueler (Edin&amp Kefalas, 2011).

Ioffer to agree with the authors that financial status is the realissue that had led to the decline of marriages among the youths.Women are currently setting a very high marriage financial bar. Ithink has consequently made marriage an elusive goal for the poor. Ithink it would be very essential if people would have understood thatfinances do not guarantee a happy marriage rather love is the chiefsecret of a successful marriage. I also tend to agree that aboveeverything trustworthiness is the key secret towards keeping lovealive. I am sure that Jen loved Rick completely. She even indicatedthat she believed that their love would last forever and Rick was thelove of her life (Edin&amp Kefalas, 2005).

I,however, agree with Jen’s decision to disqualify Rick as the loveof her life. She noted that he cheated on her with several girls. Shewas at first reluctant until he fathered another girl. It eventuallycame to be that Rick was not in Jen’s picture as her love of herlife anymore. I believe he deserved that treat as a result of hisunbearable behaviors. I also agree with the authors that need to beright as well as cautious when it comes to marriage. I think theyshould first learn to prioritize things associated with their lives.They also need to be making well informed decisions when it comes tomarriage and child bearing issues (Korgen,2008).&nbsp

Ialso think that Jen’s decision to pick up the pieces and starting anew lifestyle was an informed decision. It was clear that Rick was nomore in her life. I believe that if she could have learnt to dothings on her own she could have been very far. I think much of hertime was wasted as she was thinking of Rick who was not caring abouther and her son. I think making a decision of facing life head on wasthe main reason of such an enormous come-back. I also agree with Jenthat Collin her son brought good things in her life rather badthings. I hence believe that people need not despise things that takeplace in their lives irrespective of how bad or shameful they mightlook like. I also agree with the authors that the poor women need toaccess more jobs which will eventually lead to their financialindependence. They also need to be given hope of their pathwaysrewarding them eventually (Carlson&amp England, 2011).I trust if these two measures will be observed, the poor women willmanage to conduct their lives carefully. They will carry out alltheir life stages without skipping some of them. This means that theywill be bearing kids at the right time and getting married as theyare ought to.


Itend to agree with most of this case’s arguments. However, somepoints were not very strong and hence were worth disapproved.However, I really support the notion behind this scenario since it isa very crucial aspect in the life of human beings. I strongly believethat it holds essential moral lessons that the youths need to learn.As a matter of warning, I think they should, however, be selective inlearning they are learning. I think if they can gain a notion thatbearing a kid at the age of 15 is a wise decision they will havemissed a point. I however, hold to the point that the scenariotouches a very crucial aspect in the life of human beings.


Carlson,M. J., &amp England, P. (2011).&nbspSocialclass and changing families in an unequal America.Stanford, Calif: Stanford University Press.

Edin,K., &amp Kefalas, M. (2005).&nbspPromisesI can keep: Why poor women put motherhood before marriage.Berkeley: University of California Press.

Edin,K., &amp Kefalas, M. (2011).&nbspPromisesI can keep: Why poor women put motherhood before marriage with anew preface.Berkeley: University of California Press.

Korgen,K. O. (2008).&nbspContemporaryreadings in sociology.Los Angeles: Pine Forge Press.

Pearlstein,M. B. (2011).&nbspFromfamily collapse to America`s decline: The educational, economic, andsocial costs of family fragmentation.Lanham, Md: Rowman &amp Littlefield Education.