New Book on Teen Pregnancy Offers Tool For Teens and Parents

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Ottawa author recounts her own teenage experience with drug addition, sex and pregnancy in Wishing: Diaries of a Teen Pregnancy.

"I wanted this book to tell teenage readers that they are not alone and that they are not 'crazy' in their experiences with peer pressure," says Kim McLeod, author of Wishing: Diaries of a Teen Pregnancy and Ottawa-based parenting coach. "And I wanted to give parents a tool to help them start a discussion with their kids about sex and sexual health."

Sometimes shocking, Wishing is a true story, told in McLeod's own words. Based on the diaries she diligently kept during her teens in the 1980s, this book bluntly describes her feelings and experiences as she navigated peer pressure, drug use, teen relationships, sex and finally, pregnancy. It starkly illustrates how the misuse of drugs and alcohol can cloud the ability to make healthy choices.

While the story takes place in the 1980s, when the rate of teen pregnancy was slightly higher, the problem is still widespread. Statistics Canada reported 33,000 teen pregnancies in 2006. And McLeod herself recently became a grandmother, when her own teenage daughter became a mother.

For McLeod, sharing her experiences is important. She sees it as a way to start a dialogue about sexuality and the issues that face all young people. And it's a way to help parents reconnect with their kids.

"Parents are considered a major source of information on sex and sexual health by their teenagers (63%) and nearly half (43%) consider their parent to be the most useful and valuable source of information." This, according to a 2006 report from the Canadian Association of Adolescent Health.

A truly moving story, Wishing offers insight into the psyche of a young woman. It clearly conveys her desire for intimacy, her confusion, misgivings and pain as she searches for love, meaning and for herself.

Wishing is available through online booksellers and through GrandmaK's web site.

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Kim Mcleod

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