Once she hits her teenage years your baby girl isn’t a baby anymore. Accepting this fact is hard for many parents, but what’s even more difficult to accept is your teen daughter’s pregnancy. Feelings of guilt, disappointment, tension, and fear arise- in both parents and the pregnant daughter. As a parent, it is your job to help your daughter deal with these feelings and advise her of options to shape her and the baby’s futures.
Support and Understanding
Although it is easy to react negatively when learning of your teen’s pregnancy, remain calm and in control of your emotions. You are still the parent in this relationship and your daughter is looking to you for support, even if she claims she can handle it on her own.
Options – Abortion
Abortion is an option to get rid of the baby. The pros include getting your daughter back to school and her extracurricular activities sooner than if she was to grow the baby full term and give birth. However the very large con for many individuals is viewing abortion as taking away a life.
If your daughter decides to go this route, be sure to take her to speak to a doctor or an agency like Planned Parenthood to gather more information. There are two options available: an abortion pill or an in-clinic abortion. A doctor or an agency’s specialized representative can help decide which works better in your daughter’s situation.
After the abortion be sure to discuss safe sex practices with your daughter and check in on how she’s feeling. Ending a teen pregnancy can be very traumatic, and some teens may require therapy to help put their emotions in order.
Options – Adoption
Another option that allows your daughter to return to her normal teenage life is adoption. She may have to miss some school depending on the timing of her pregnancy and the school’s rules on pregnant students, but after birth she can go back to living a teenage life, to include completing and graduating high school.
The American Pregnancy Association offers information on the adopting process. Your daughter can work through an agency to find a couple who are willing and more than able to raise a child. She would essentially be giving the gift of life, something very admirable.
Options – Raising Child
Of course your daughter can choose to raise the baby herself. Statics garnered by the Teen Pregnancy Statistics website show teens in this situation are more likely to be single parents, less likely to complete their education, and live in poverty. A strong-headed teenage girl may assure her parents that the father will stick around and she has a plan to finish high school and even attend college. This would be the opportunity to step in as a parent and provide information on the negative future that may arise from trying to raise a baby when she isn’t ready.