How can parents best help their daughter who is unexpectedly pregnant?

How can parents help their daughter best who is unexpectedly pregnant?

Best Answers

  • As the parent of a teenager, I cannot imagine how I would feel if he came to me to tell me his girlfriend was pregnant. I also cannot imagine the courage he would have to muster to tell us. I further can't imagine how scared his girlfriend likely would be. It would be shocking and scary for anyone. For parents, they likely see the dreams that they have for their child fading before them. 

    If your teen comes to you to tell you she is pregnant, understand the courage that has taken. While it is ok to be upset and shocked, it is vital to take time before you react. You will have a whole host of emotions to sort through. Take the time to do that. 

    At the end of the day, your daughter has likely had a bit of time to deal with her shock. She is likely in a state of accepting the consequences. She can't go back and change the situation. She is pregnant. While your immediate reaction may be to punish or scold, it will likely only make a bad situation worse. Ask her how she is feeling. Ask her what she wants. 

    In the end, be her parent. She is likely scared. Help her sort through what her options are and how you would be able to support her. If you feel that she could parent, encourage her and tell her what support you could lend. If she is leaning towards adoption, help her seek out those resources. The situation at hand is one that you will have to deal with. Rather than deal with the actions that led up to the teen pregnancy, the best way to help her is going to help her figure out what comes next and let her know that you still love and support her. 
  • Answer ✓
         My parents were in that situation a few years ago. I was the daughter. I don't think they'll ever know how much they helped me. When I went to them, I was scared. My parents are religious, so for them to know the mistakes I had made was a huge blow. But they didn't yell at me. They just wanted to help. The way my mother explained it to me is that while she wasn't exactly proud of the choices I had made leading up to my getting pregnant, being pregnant in and of itself wasn't wrong. My baby deserved to be loved and looked forward to, no matter the circumstances leading to her conception.
         Another thing that I really appreciated that they did was simply treating me like an adult. I was my unborn child's mother, not them. They kept their own opinions on what I should do out of it. They told me that they would support me regardless of whether I decided to parent or place for adoption. It was my decision alone, and they were very careful not to make me feel pressured one way or another. This was really the only way that I could have been confident in my choice- I know it was one that I made on my own. When I wanted to parent, they helped me explore my options and found a way for me to continue going to college while raising my daughter. When I decided to place, they went with me to go meet the couple that would end up being my baby's adoptive parents. 
         They ached with me. They knew that the decisions I was making weren't easy. My mother was in the room with me when I gave birth, and my father drove through the night to be with me as soon as she told him I was in labor. They stayed in the hospital with me, cried with me through signing relinquishment papers, and held me through the following days of anguish. They are still there for me when I miss my birth daughter. 
         I knew that no matter what, I wouldn't have to do it alone. Your daughter's unexpected pregnancy may actually be something that strengthens your relationship with her. I know that my relationship with both my parents is much stronger now than it was then. You might not always be able to do anything specific to help- in the end, she's the only one that can decide what to do. You can't take away her pain, but you can be there for her. Make sure she knows she is loved. That might sound simple, but it will make all the difference in the world. 
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