MY TEENAGER IS PREGNANT! WHAT MUST I DO?
To be confronted by the reality of your teenage daughter being pregnant is usually a very traumatic experience for most parents. Very often the parents were not aware that the teenager has a boyfriend let alone being sexually active! A pregnancy is the last thing they expected.
Unfortunately the reality is that teenagers become sexually active at a young age. Being sexually active is often the norm rather than the exception and parents are not always aware of this. Their first reaction when they learn about the pregnancy is one of total shock and anger and they might say things during this time that they do not always mean. This is unfortunate as it can negatively influence the relationship with the teenager and the outcome of the management of this event.
So how do parents manage this situation?
Try to be as calm and rational as possible. It is no use to say horrible things to your daughter and to chase her out of the house. It is not going to change the reality of the pregnancy. It is going to cause more problems and solve none.
You do have the right to tell your daughter how you feel. You have the right to be shocked, angry and very disappointed but it is important that you tell your child that this does not change the love you have for her. You might need some time to get over the shock and come to terms with the pregnancy but it does not mean that your love for her will be affected.
Parents often feel that the pregnancy is their fault. It is not your fault! Your teenager is sexually mature, although she might still be very young, you have to respect her right to make decisions about her own sexuality. She usually did not ask the parents for permission to be sexually active and the parents were also not involved in the sexual activity of the teenager. This happened without the parent’s consent or knowledge and the parent is therefore not responsible for fact that the teenager is pregnant.
The teenager made the decision to be sexually active although they do not always anticipate falling pregnant but adult games come with adult responsibilities and the decision about the management of the pregnancy must be the decision of the teenager. The parent has to respect that even though it can be very difficult.
The parent may have an opinion and have the right to give that to the teenager but the teenager has to decide which option to choose. This is very important as the teenager can feel that the parent is forcing her into a certain decision and she can blame the parent for the rest of her life if she is not comfortable with the decision.
REMEMBER: This will not be you baby. This will be your grandchild and you are not the primary carer of this baby. If the teenager chooses to keep the baby she also needs to have a workable plan of how she is going to look after the baby and provide for it. What is going to happen to school and her future as well as the future of the baby are important questions to answer.
You have the right to choose how far you are prepared to help the teenager financially and emotionally if she wants to keep the pregnancy. Not all parents are able to feed another mouth or look after another child and you can distance yourself from the responsibility of looking after the new baby. It is your child but she is pregnant and she has to make her own decisions and accept her own responsibility. Bringing another baby into a poor family put more pressure on the financial means for that family.
God will not punish you if you support your child to terminate her pregnancy. God is a God of forgiveness and empathy and He wants a good life for you and your children and terminating a pregnancy can sometimes be the better option to choose. Help her to make sure she has a legal abortion in a good abortion clinic and does not have an illegal or backstreet abortion.