You have just finished having a most upsetting conversation with your teenager. Your daughter has told you she is pregnant or your son has admitted he is gong to be a father. Anger, confusion, disappointment and helplessness may all be a part of your feelings right now, but giving into any of them is not productive. Your child is looking to your for answers and guidance in this situation. Your composure and compassion are crucial. Chances are your teen was not trying to have a child, so punishment should not be the first thought here. Get your children medical help, assist them in making informed decisions and listen to them. These three actions will make the next few days, weeks, months and years easier.
Regardless of how this pregnancy will end, the pregnant girl should see a doctor and the young father should be tested for STDs. Both of these actions will glean information on the health of the baby and the mother. Armed with this information, the tough decisions ahead can be informed for all parties involved.
Learning about all the options for the end of the pregnancy is crucial for everyone. The pregnant girl should find out if it is safe for her to continue the pregnancy. Is adoption an option? Does your teen want to pursue an abortion? A health care professional can help you and your child make all of those decisions in a calm orderly manner. Contacting Option Line may give you the location of a nearby pregnancy resource center with experienced staff who have helped many families with pregnant teenagers.
While the impulse, as a parent, may be to take the lead on all the decisions, it is still important to listen to your pregnant teen. She may feel she is ready to be a mother or that an open adoption is more beneficial than a closed one. Is she considering an abortion? What is your view regarding such? What is the view of the father and his parents? This situation is full of proverbial land mines and emotional battle zones, but facilitating open communication will help diffuse built up tension. Informed decisions are key to lasting decisions.
It may sounds redundant by now, but never stop listening to your pregnant teenager. They will be going through many emotional upheavals as time goes on. Blocking them out or punishing them for how they are feeling will only lead to bad behavior and possibly health risks like miscarriage, malnutrition or nutrient deficiency for mother and baby. The father in the situation may act out against new set rules, but this is his stress showing. Pregnant teenagers need support and safety during this difficult time. Parents should be that support and provide that safety.
Once you have calmed down from the shock, keep your level head and help your teen make informed honest decisions throughout the pregnancy and beyond. Your guidance and understanding are more important now then ever. Just because your teen is becoming a parent does not mean you have to stop being one as well.