"I'm having a baby." Over one million unmarried teens in this country say these words each year. If you find that your teen is pregnant, you may have some very strong emotions. You will probably feel angry, disappointed, and may grieve the dreams you had for your child. The important thing to know is that your teen needs you now more than ever. Your teen needs your love, support, and advice.
Most unmarried teens don't plan on getting pregnant, and they are usually scared when it happens. Your teen may keep the pregnancy secret because he or she fears your anger and disappointment. When a teen gets pregnant, many parents blame themselves. It does not do any good to place blame. Your teen needs to get some good advice from people he or she can trust. There are many important decisions to make.
A pregnant teen has 3 choices to consider.
It may be helpful to have pregnant teens talk with a counselor who can help them think through all the pros and cons of each option. There is no one best solution.
Often, teens who get pregnant drop out of school. Your teen needs to be supported to stay in school. Some schools provide a school for teen mothers, where childcare is also offered. Finishing school or getting job training will help your teen to have a better job in the future, and be able to support the child.
Today there is less shame in being a teen parent. But as adults know, being a parent is a huge responsibility. No matter what the final decision, a counselor can help both you and your teen through the strong emotions. As hard as it may be, your teen needs your honest advice and your love.