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How do you talk to kids about Britney's sister?

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(CNN) -- Parents are struggling with what to tell their children after finding out that Britney Spears' younger sister, Jamie Lynn Spears, is pregnant.

Jamie Lynn Spears, shown in September, stars in the popular Nickelodeon series "Zoey 101."

The 16-year-old star of Nickelodeon's "Zoey 101" series told OK! magazine that she is expecting a baby and that the father is her boyfriend, Casey Aldridge.

Many readers responded to the news by saying they are going to overhaul their television-viewing habits as well as discuss the lessons to be learned with their children. Video Watch a psychologist address teen pregnancy »

Below is a selection of the responses, some of which have been edited:

Lyric Rose of St. Louis, Missouri
My daughter is young, and she likes the show "Zoey 101," but she's old enough to be asking questions. I'm hoping her father and I can sit her down and explain that sometimes we make poor choices and we are responsible for the consequences. Hopefully citing examples of when she's told a lie and gotten caught and the upcoming birth of her brother will help to clarify our discussion. They are teaching "Health" to children younger and younger, and I'm certain she has a pretty basic understanding of how things happen. All we can do is hope that our message sinks in. And pay attention and listen and perhaps catch problems before they become unmanageable. Thank you.

Maurice L. of Winnipeg, Manitoba
Why has no one mentioned -- statutory rape? I mean she was 16. Lest we should forget the ordeal the young man in Georgia went through. If she just turned 16, then she was 15 when this occurred. Shouldn't the father be thrown in jail? Why is this not rape when celebrities are involved? Video Watch CNN's Sunny Hostin on what the law says »

Sheila Anderson of Boone, Iowa
I have told my daughter that this is a perfect example of parents not setting boundaries for their children. Of course, a 16-year-old girl will get pregnant when she lives with a 19-year-old man. She was not old enough to be responsible for herself, and if her mom and dad had been reasonable parents, they would never have allowed her to move in with her boyfriend. Poor Jamie will never get the opportunity to just be a kid now that a baby is on its way. She's already grown up too fast and now will grow up even faster. I hope the little baby lives in a happy and loving environment, but as past cases like the little "Baby Grace" story show us, all strikes are against the child when born to teenage parents.

Natalie St. Ange of Victorville, California
My daughter heard the announcement. She is 11 and watches "Zoey 101." Her first reaction was "Great. Now she won't be taping 'Zoey 101' anymore." I thought it was funny, but realized that my daughter, in her own way, knew how a baby can impact Jamie's life and career. I try to talk to my daughter about waiting until she is married and told her what the challenges are (coming from a young single mom who is now married). I think for the parents out there who don't know what to say I would recommend not being judgmental. Jamie is probably scared, but it takes a big heart to want to keep the baby. Most kids would have gotten an abortion or hid it. She actually took time to make the decision. Second, use this as an opening to finally talking to your kids about teen pregnancy and how difficult life can be if he/she becomes a parent at a young age. I just feel really bad for her. Most people are probably looking down on her, but I was in that boat and I was just fine. Then again, I got pregnant at 18, and it does make a difference. But she works, has a good job, makes a lot of money and has the money for resources needed to ensure the baby is taken care of. Above all else, she won't put herself in the same position her sister has. She seems to be aware that she'll be watched and just may surprise everyone.

George Romaka of Honolulu, Hawaii
This is one of those things that should just not happen. These days, by the age of 16, kids probably know more about sex than their grandparents. ... They know about birth control and safe sex. They know about abstinence. She (and her boyfriend) made a mistake.

That being said, the mistake is made, and it's time to move forward. It is a good (if tentative) sign that she has stepped up to the plate and taken responsibility for her actions. Despite the couple's mistake, it is their mistake, not ours. The only difference between them and the thousands of other teen parents in America is that she's Britney Spears' sister and a TV personality, which somehow, through the warped American infatuation with celebrity, makes it a newsworthy event. As a society, we need to step up as well and support the new family. We don't have to agree with how it got this far, but is it right to shun a baby because of the actions of its parents? One more thing, I definitely give her credit for keeping the baby. It's a tough choice, and, in my own personal opinion, she made the right one. So to the new family-to-be, congratulations. May your lives not turn into a kind of ridiculous soap opera that Britney's has.

Lauren Middleton of Dublin, Ohio
I'm a 24-year-old mother, and my sister became a mom for the first time at 16. Her second son was born when she was 19. All you can do is educate your children. If you tell them what not to do, they'll do it. Once they hit the teenage years, and they start being allowed to go out with their friends and start dating, you have to trust that what you taught them is/was enough. When my daughter gets older, I plan on educating her on the consequences of premarital sex (she was born out of wedlock, but I was a bit older -- 23, to be exact). Just watching my sister struggle with her decision to give her son up was tough.

Amanda Smith of Portland, Oregon
My daughter is 16, and although she does not have access to the wealth and privilege of Miss Spears, she has been educated enough to understand the ramifications of sex. Although an uncomfortable subject for both of us, as her parent it is my responsibility to ensure that if and when she is having sex, she is always practicing safe sex. This story will reiterate to my daughter that anyone can get pregnant without the proper precautions.

Kymberlie Piekkola of Buena Park, California
I have two boys. They have friends who live with single mothers or whose parents are divorced. So when we have conversations about sex and responsibility, I remind them constantly: What would they prefer for themselves growing up? Would they rather not have a Dad in the home? Would they like to be shuffled back and forth between homes? Would they like to have a child in the world that they get to visit? I also know that it's important to make the best of your life and cards you are dealt. Be grateful for all you have, but when you have choices that will affect another person's life, then you better be thinking of the consequences. My 9-year-old says it best. Girlfriends mean kissing, which leads to sex, and sex makes babies, so wait to be picky and make a nest before you make the babies. I guess all my talking is sinking in. I just get so frustrated with the attitude of "I can do this alone, I don't need a man," but kids need dads, and I am so grateful for the wonderful example of fatherhood in our home and pray my boys make good and responsible choices as they grow up.

Frances Cleveland of Alabaster, Alabama
I have a 9-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old son. I will use this as an opportunity to talk to them about why they should wait for marriage or at least until they're older to begin having sex. After the Vanessa Hudgens nude photo scandal and now this, I think we're going to stop watching television for a while. At least until I can make my kids understand that actors are not the people they portray on the screen. My heart just breaks for Lynn Spears. I hope 2008 is better for her than 2007 has been.

Arden VanNatten of Schenectady, New York
I'm telling the kids "Zoey101" has been canceled. I hope Nickelodeon does the right thing and cancels the show. She is a role model for young girls. Looks like she's following in the footsteps of her sister.

Annie Gardner of Oak Ridge, Tennessee
I would just tell her that sometimes even good kids make bad choices, and that each day the choices you make for yourself is what you have to live with the rest of your life. Then I would tell her if she ever went out and even thought about acting like Britney Spears, I would ground her for the rest of her life.

Janice Coffman of Maumee, Ohio
The media goes too far intruding into anyone's personal life. This should have been a private matter within the family. This is a problem that happens in the best of families. All you can do is try to tell your children the facts and hope they take precautions. As far as Ms. Spears is concerned, she should have known better.

Bill Braskey of Manhattan, Kansas
I will tell my little girls that they shouldn't be having sex until they get married at the ripe old age of 30. I will also let them know that just because these Spears girls are on TV doesn't mean you need to follow them. I think the Spears parents [are] mostly to blame for the trouble these girls have gotten themselves into.

Trina Gooden of Lorton, Virginia
I'm trying to figure that out right now. My daughter is 7, and I allow her to watch the show on Sundays. More than likely I'll phase the show out of her Sunday ritual. However, if I hear our Brownie troop talking about it, there will have to be a conversation in the near future. I just don't know how to sugarcoat this one. A 16-year-old many little girls look up to is expecting. I guess that is what I will tell her and then let her ask me questions.

Patricia N. of Nashua, New Hampshire
Enough is enough. Now we have a child glamorizing teen pregnancy. Boycott anything to do with the Spears family. Boycott Nickelodeon. Write to them and tell them you will no longer allow that station to be viewed on any electronic device in your home. As a grandparent whose grandchildren respect my opinions, I will have to stress the fact that some people are disrespectful and irresponsible and there are consequences to the actions we take. As evidenced by the two sadly neglected children of Britney.

Mel Nutter of San Diego, California
Jamie was shocked when she found out she was pregnant? Did she realize that sex can lead to pregnancy? This family is so messed up. Big sister is an unfit mother. Little sister is irresponsible. Isn't there any parental guidance in that family? Let me give everyone some advice: First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a baby carriage.

Terra Crable of Springfield, Ohio
Unfortunately, I have no choice but to discuss it, seeing how it will cover every newsstand in the country. I am not sure how to approach the subject with my three daughters: twins, 9, and a 6-year-old who enjoy Spears in "Zoey 101" on Nickelodeon. I am a social worker who believes in being open, but not disclosing things too soon to salvage their innocence as much as possible in today's world. We have talked about sex only in the terms of what happens between two adult people who are committed to one another for life in the form of marriage. We have not discussed teen pregnancy or homosexuality yet, not because I have judgment against it, but because I don't believe they are ready for this information developmentally. Having money does not make you a good parent at any age, and I wish Hollywood would stop glorifying people making destructive decisions. Focus on homelessness, poverty, hunger, war, fair wages, education. The things that matter. I am scared of what will be left for my children and their children.

Geoffrey Jacks of Blaine, Minnesota
My children (13 and 16) and I have had these conversations in the past. Unfortunately, they have been exposed to the results of underage and premarital sex through acquaintances at school. What I want them to focus on in this particular event is how quickly a teen icon (yes, my daughter has been known to watch "Zoey 101") disappears from the popular public eye. She can, at best, reinvent herself as her sister did, though not well apparently. I compare this issue to the Vanessa Hudgens nude photo fiasco. Disney very quickly (and probably rightfully) moved the focus from Hudgens to co-star Ashley Tisdale. I imagine Nickelodeon cannot afford to do otherwise.

Erin of Troy, Ohio
I think the media has gotten out of control. Who cares if a 16-year old is pregnant? Times are a-changin' and this isn't the big shocker it would have been maybe 10 years ago. Props to her for having the courage to go public and put herself through the same scrutiny that has all but destroyed her sister.

Larry Lines of Houston, Texas
Teen parents are not pariahs to be judged and pretend that they don't exist. They are real parents with real children who will be in society and the schools with everyone else. Keep your judgment to yourself, or I will start criticizing your parenting skills. There are plenty of people that waited until they got married to have sex that are terrible people and terrible parents. The same group of fascists that tell us not to have sex until we get married and then ostracize Jamie Lynn for having a baby would crucify her for having an abortion. Learn some real Christian compassion. The miracle of life is happening to this young woman. Get onboard or shut up.


Donovan Leslie of La Grange, Illinois
This is why I try to be the best dad I can be -- so my kids will look to me as a role model and not these celebrities. I really hope all those girls watching Nickelodeon won't try to follow in her footsteps.

Jackie Borget of Boise, Idaho
Luckily I don't have kids the age to even know who Spears is, so I have no explaining to do. However, it really is sad that she doesn't give the baby up for adoption. It seems she has a promising career, and even with no career, a 16-year-old is too young for a child. I was 23 when my first was born, and I have a very supportive husband and it was still super difficult. Never mind the Spears family history with child-rearing. ... Good luck, she is sure going to need all she can get. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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