Tyler - Teenage Dad

Tyler Guise can't see anything wrong with being a dad at 17. "Whenever it happens, it happens", he says, "and everything happens for a reason."

Tyler works a fulltime Monday to Friday job, and when he comes home he will feed his baby son, Cyrone, or do the shopping. He spends his weekends with his mates and sometimes picks up some extra work.

Like most teenage dads who have accepted the responsibility of fatherhood, Tyler matured rapidly. He put his career plans on hold and quickly got himself a job.

"If [her pregnancy] hadn't happened, I'd still be at my mate's and without a job. Now I've got a fulltime job and a decent car."

His partner Kate attends the Young Parents College in Kaiapoi, north of Christchurch.

The Young Parents College is one of several Teen Parenting Units around New Zealand where teenage mothers can continue with their education and work towards a career without having to sacrifice it for the duties of motherhood.

Tyler admits that his life was a bit off the rails and without purpose but with the help and support of Kate's parents he has turned his life around.

Massey University Research Fellow Helen Wilson, debunks the idea that teenage pregnancy is all bad news. "In fact, research does not bear out the negative images [of teenage parenthood] that the media often portrays. And I wonder if it's being driven by the fact that middle-class white women are having their babies much later. Is this now seen as the norm, and everything else is a problem?"

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