One of the most stressful situations a parent can encounter is finding out that their teenage daughter is pregnant. When she makes the announcement, your initial reaction may be "Oh no, my daughter is pregnant!" You may go through a range of emotions – shock, anger, worry, or guilt. It can be overwhelming for you as a parent, but remember that it's even more overwhelming for her. If this happens in your family, here is some teen pregnancy advice.
1.) Stay Calm.
Your daughter was probably dreading the thought of telling you. She was afraid of what you would say, and also afraid of what will happen to her life. The last thing she needs is for you to fly into an angry diatribe about "My teen is pregnant", or give her a lecture on how stupid she was. Just try to stay calm and process the information rationally. You need to be her rock right now.
2.) Be Supportive.
This is going to be a tough time for your family, but remember that it's hardest on your daughter. You may be agonizing over it, thinking "My teen is pregnant!" Just remember that she is still young, she has less life experience than you do, and this is the biggest crisis she has ever had to face. Encourage her to talk about her fears and emotions, and try to understand what she is feeling. She needs your love and support now more than ever, so show that you love her, unconditionally.
3.) Help Her Understand Her Options.
Don't automatically force your idea of what she should do. Your job is to help her understand her options, so that she can make an informed decision about what she will do. It's a very difficult decision, so don't try to rush it. Discuss pros and cons, and encourage her to think carefully. There are also organizations that specialize in teen pregnancy advice that you can reach out to, together.
4.) Find Out About The Father.
Talk to your daughter to find out what the situation is with the father. Does he know about the child? If so, what was his reaction? Many teenage girls who become pregnant feel that they need to stay with the father for the baby's sake. As much as you want to see the father take some responsibility, staying together may not be best for your daughter if it could turn into an unhappy, abusive relationship.
5.) Keep Her Healthy.
When your daughter is going through such a stressful period, she may not want to eat properly, or even worse, she may be smoking or drinking. If she is going to have the baby, then you need to help her stay healthy, so that the baby will be as healthy as possible, too.
6.) Prepare Her For Life Changes.
If your daughter is going to proceed with the pregnancy and keep the child, it means her life will be turned upside down. Make sure that she understands what this will entail. Will she finish school? How will she know how to care for a child? Help her prepare for the new life ahead. And remember, there is a silver lining. "My daughter is pregnant" can lead to "I love my new grandchild."
If you have any further tips on teenage pregnancy you'd like to share with us, please comment below!