Helping Your Daughter When She Is a Teen Mom
What do you do when your teenage daughter comes and tells you she is pregnant? Strangling her isn’t an option.
The “real world” is already too hard on teenagers and now your baby is having a baby. How you respond will be the factor of her success or her failure. You have spent time educating her on abstinence and birth control and it all went out the window. You’re asking yourself what you did wrong. You’re feeling you have done everything right, but now your teenage daughter is pregnant. These types of things still happen and your daughter is going to need you more now than ever.
At this point your parenting goes from prevention to preparation. Your feelings need to be compassion and empathy. She is trying to deal with all the emotions she is going through and she doesn’t understand how to deal with them but as her mom you can help her examine them and talk about them. Believe it or not many teens try to get pregnant, she simply lacks the maturity to make responsible decisions. She doesn’t have the maturity it takes to raise a child, she hasn’t experienced life enough to understand what affects her decisions will make both immediately and future actions she takes will affect both her and her baby for the rest of their lives. Teens not only lack the experience and maturity but their brains actually aren’t fully operational, as her parent you have the opportunity to teach her the skills she is going to need.
Creating a plan:
She may have extensive experience babysitting, which is great because she is going to have the basic skills required to raising this child but has she had the experience of being extremely sleep deprived? What about all the problems that come with raising a newborn: Only experience can give her the coping skills she is going to need. Have candid conversations with her. What is her plan? Most likely she doesn’t have a clue. Sit her down and help her come up with a plan, the plan should address where everyone is going to live, are you going to allow the father to move in? Are they going to get married? What about childcare? Is homeschooling an option for her? What is the father’s plan? Is he going to give her monetary support, moral support, what is his position in all of this?
Just remember, your teen daughter has no clue what is coming he is even worse off than she is. As a rule boys just take longer to mature so all the mistakes he is making also have a life changing effect on him and his family.
Don’t put her on a guilt trip. There is nothing you can do at this point except help her make good decisions. She is pregnant now and other than give it up for adoption she is out of options. There is such an important event in her life don’t drive her away, she needs all the support she can get even if she acts like she doesn’t care or even happy about the little grandchild that is coming into the world. There are so many things your teen is feeling. Teens are already of the mindset that this word is all about them, they simply lack the ability to see the future proving once again that her brain is immature and can’t make real adult decisions. Think about when you were a teen and made decisions they were all about you right?
Unless you were a teen, you really can’t put yourself in her place but just thinking back what stupid decisions did you make?
Both you and your daughter are most likely feeling embarrassed now. Most times the teen is embarrassed especially if she hasn’t told anyone. It’s a scary time for her. Make sure you keep the communication open. She is really going to need it. What about your guilt and embarrassment. Of course you are embarrassed because this is happening right under your supervision. You don’t know what you did wrong, this didn’t happen to “good girls”. Reality your daughter is the same person she always has been but has made some bad decisions. Deal with your embarrassment by talking to your spouse or understanding friend. Don’t put your guilt on your teen daughter.
Reported in 2010 studies found the following.
1. Teen’s moms are at higher risk of not finishing her high school education.
2. Less than 2 percent of teen moms go to college. 3. Babies born to teen moms are 50 percent more likely to be behind their peers the same age.
4. Information on teen pregnancy can be found all over the internet. Try www.TeenPregnancy.org
5. CDC suggests that one of the most effect and efficient ways to prevent teen pregnancy is educating teens in school with school curriculum.
The role of the grandparents:
Let your daughter be the mother. Many times the grandparents intervene because they want to help their daughter but because she doesn’t know what to do. Offer support, which is your job. Teach her how to take care of the baby and let her learn. She has to make her own mistakes as a mother. You are going to see what mistakes she is making or things she is doing different then you would. This is her baby and she has to learn to either make mistakes or she will ask for help. As a grandparent this should be one of the greatest joys in your life. Let it be. Have faith in her and most important, keep the communication open so she won’t mind coming to you for advice.
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