‘My best friend’

Senior reflects on his experience being raised by a teen mom


Current senior Carlos Tapscott lays on a blanket as a baby. contributed by Carlos Tapscott

Brittany Tapscott was 14 years old when she had her first child, senior Carlos Tapscott. Now Carlos is just three years older than she was, and they are extremely close.

“She’s like my best friend,” Carlos said. “We do everything together. We learn together.”

Despite the challenges they have faced, Carlos’s relationship with his mother is strong.

As a teen mother, Tapscott struggled to take care of Carlos. Since she was so young when finding out she was pregnant, there weren’t many jobs willing to hire her. Finding someone to take care of Carlos while she was at school or working became a difficulty as well.

Her education also proved to be difficult. As a young mother, Tapscott was loaded with responsibilities and stress. On top of this, she was kicked out of her house at 16 when she was pregnant with Carlos’s brother. All the struggles of her teen motherhood made it extremely difficult for Tapscott to finish school, and so she wasn’t able to.

Over time, these struggles loosened their hold on her. As she got older, more opportunities arose, and she was able to pave a way for a new life.

“Life has gotten so much easier,” Tapscott said.

Many of these problems ceased once she turned 18, because she could now get a full time job, a house and bills in her name. Additionally, Tapscott met her husband when Carlos was 2 years old, and he has been a huge support in their lives ever since.

“So once I turned 18, I worked hard and made sure it happened,” Tapscott said.

Despite all these obstacles, Tapscott and Carlos have a close relationship. Carlos understands that his mother went through many struggles and is proud of her for enduring them.

Senior Carlos Tapscott poses in front of SHS, now in the same school level as his mother was when she had him. contributed by Carlos Tapscott

“She’s definitely overcome a lot of things in her life,” Carlos said.

Although she had Carlos as a teen, Tapscott never felt that their relationship was one of a child raising a child. She worked hard to create a life for him and always acted as his mother.

“I was alright with taking care of him and not being a normal teenager because I knew I had no choice but to be a mom,” Tapscott said.

Tapscott also tried to implement important values into her parenting. When raising Carlos, she wanted him to have a typical childhood among the challenges.

“I’ve always tried to make sure he had stability, structure, discipline,” Tapscott said.

Carlos feels that while she has given him these things, Tapscott is less strict than older parents. He knows his boundaries, he says, but she respects his freedom.

“People who have older parents, some are more strict, some ain’t,” Carlos said. “My mom, she’s more easy with things.”

Even though being raised by a teen mother had its differences, Carlos believes these differences weren’t disadvantageous, and Tapscott agrees. Although she thinks Carlos turned out a little different than his siblings, she doesn’t see it as a bad thing.

Because he wasn’t as privileged growing up, she believes he differs from his siblings who may get what they want more often since the family is now in a better position financially.

As a result of his experience being the child of a teen mother, Carlos can predict how others will react. He has experienced it many times before, the surprise on their face as they say a variation of, “Wow, she’s young.”

“Everybody is surprised, shocked,” Carlos said.

These opinions, though, aren’t important to Carlos. He knows his relationship with his mother is something to be desired. She will always be there for him in any situation, and he is proud of all she has accomplished.

“He’s a pretty good kid,” Tapscott said, caringly.