Kim Zolciak has moms cheering her bold parenting move
Eighteen-year-old Brielle is quickly stealing former Real Housewife of Atlanta Kim Zolciak's spotlight. In a Don't Be Tardy Season 4 preview last month, Brielle brazenly announced she too wanted to be a young mom, just like her mother, Kim.
And now she's up to her teen antics again — Kim had to ban Brielle from sleeping in the same room as her boyfriend, Slade, on their family vacation.
On the latest episode of Kim's Bravo show, Brielle dropped the big bomb: Brielle told her mother she wanted to follow in her footsteps and have a baby when she was young — within five years. If you do the math, 37-year-old Kim, who now has five more children with husband Kroy Biermann, 29, had Brielle at the tender age of 19. Kim's response to Brielle's shocking statement was on point: "Are you f***ing kidding me?"
It gets better. Not only does Brielle think being a near-teen mom is a wonderful idea, but she's already putting herself in situations that make this much more likely to happen. After Brielle's inflammatory comment made on the family's Florida vacation and captured on Don't Be Tardy, Kim was watching her daughter like a hawk. Upon arriving at the seven-bedroom beach house in Destin, Florida, Kim told Brielle, "Slade is not allowed to sleep anywhere near you. Just because you're here, it's not a free pass to f*** around."
Kim isn't wrong. While this type of levelheaded parenting isn't something you would expect from a reality star who has received relentless criticism for her endorsement of waist training and allegedly Photoshopping a thigh gap into her Instagram pics (both behaviors that are a terrible example for a teen daughter), Kim handled this parenting roadblock surprisingly well.
Here's the problem we're dealing with, and it's an unpopular topic for most parents of teenagers: The good news is that teen pregnancy rates have decreased slightly, with a 10 percent drop from 2012 to 2013. But that still leaves us with three-quarters of a million teen pregnancies each year, 80 percent unplanned.
Parents normally handle these uncomfortable sex situations with teenagers in one of two ways. First, there's the abstinence agenda, which has been proven to not work and has even been directly linked with teen pregnancy because of a lack of education. It's unrealistic to think a blanket statement like "just don't do it until you're married" will equip an experimental teen to make healthy decisions. Might as well give your child keys to the car without teaching them how to drive.
Then we have the permissive parents, those who might say, "Hey, you're 18 now, and you're an adult. You can make your own decisions, even if it means shacking up with your boyfriend in my house on vacation." While this method may work for some parents, there's still a potential for a big fail (read: unplanned teen pregnancy) because of a lack of conversation and education. Teens who are allowed to do whatever they want without any boundaries or consequences can still wind up pregnant or with any number of STDs if no one teaches them how to practice safe sex.
So where's that sweet spot where teens are given boundaries but still taught how to have sex responsibly? As shocking as it is to say, it seems like Kim is on the right track. Even though Brielle is technically an adult at 18, Kim is maintaining her house rules by not allowing her teen daughter to sleep in the same room as her boyfriend. The next step, which we can only hope Kim will take behind closed doors, is to keep talking about safe sex with Brielle.
If we know anything about teens and sex, it's that a strong stance on either side of the fence doesn't work. The only way to bridge the gap between complete abstinence and overly permissive parenting is to start talking with teens about the reality and the consequences of having sex. We know they're going to do it, so it's our job to put up boundaries and start a conversation. With any luck, the way Kim handled this parenting minefield could give Brielle the perspective she needs to hold off on babies until she's really ready.