My teen is pregnant. How do I help her make the right choices?
Real Mom Problem
“My 16-year-old is pregnant. I just want to cry. What do I do now?”
- 1. Moms suggest that supporting your daughter during this time instead of being angry will make the outcome better for all involved
- 2. Help your daughter consider all her options, including adoption, abortion, and raising the baby
- 3. Your daughter may benefit from counseling during this time; help her find someone to talk to
Real Mom Solutions
Is your teen daughter dealing with an unplanned pregnancy? Learn how to move forward with your teen and help your daughter choose the best option for her.
Discuss All the Options
Help her find resources, and do what you can to make it easier for her. Talking is not all that you need to do with teens; they need to have dreams, purpose, interests, value, an education, and of course decent birth control. These are the things that prevent pregnancy most, and even with all of that, things happen. Grieve for your disappointment and sadness, and then get clarity on what you can and will do. Once you get it together, sit with her and make a plan. There is nothing else you can do.
I would make a sheet that lists all the expenses in life, including small child-related expenses. Then I'd show her what the take-home pay is for a minimum-wage worker, then list a few jobs that she can maybe get that pay a bit more than that, which require a diploma or training, then list a few jobs that pay a bit more that require a two-year degree, then a few that require a bachelor's and their take-home pay... After she graduates, daycare will be added into her expenses, substitute full-time work for school, then she picks up her baby and comes home and takes care of her and studies until bedtime, throwing in a load of laundry every other day since now she's not just responsible for her own laundry but her baby's too. Repeat. Day after day. You'll babysit whatever amount you are willing. After she graduates, daycare will be added into her expenses, substitute full time work for school, saving every penny to be able to take a year or two off to go to school to get more training to increase her hourly wage. She needs to know what she's signing on for if she decides to keep the child. Then give her the deadline for her to decide (the week before the final date she could abort if she chose to. She should know that date). Go over the pros and cons of aborting. Go over the pros and cons of giving the child up for adoption, open and closed. Go over the pros and cons of keeping the child. She has a huge decision to make. She needs all the facts, and lots of help to process through what she wants to do, and why, and really know what her choice means for the next one, five, 10, 20 years, eyes wide open.
First off, support your daughter in whatever decision she makes. If I was in similar shoes, I'd sit her down and go through all of her options to be sure she's truly aware of them and what each would entail; both short term and long term: abortion, adoption, keeping the baby. Be as impartial and factual as possible. Your daughter has to make the best decision for her and needs your support and comfort no matter what that decision is.
Option to Consider: Adoption
Typical adoptions of infants include the prenatal care and post-natal care of the mother. This way she does not have to be burdened with guilt in the future and will know that she gave something wonderful to a couple who couldn't have their own.
I am going to speak on behalf of your grandchild. Abortion is permanent. Adoption is the loving choice. There are so many GREAT people waiting to adopt. I had a friend in high school that adopted out her child. She was being pressured (gently) by her parents and her boyfriend to abort. She stood strong. He is now 27 today and she doesn't have that permanent regret of aborting her child.
What about adoption? There are open, semi-open and closed adoptions. If it is open or semi-open adoption, at least she would know the baby was ok.
Option to Consider: Abortion
If your daughter and her boyfriend decide abortion is the choice for them, I would get it done ASAP. I would speak with his parents and the kids together. If your daughter needs counseling after to deal with her choice, I am sure you will find her the help she needs. Not all women regret their decision to abort. It can be a pretty smart choice.
Ultimately what she chooses to do is her decision. If she really wants an abortion, I don't see that you can stop her from doing so. Please get her counseling afterwards if she does, and whatever she chooses, please get her on some reliable birth control afterwards.
Option to Consider: Motherhood
If she is keeping the child she will just have to figure it out. She will just have to grow up very fast and be a mom if that's what she wants. All you can do is come to terms and keep going forward with life. Try not to let it get you down too much.
I would make sure she understands the baby is hers. You are the grandma and the baby will be her responsibility.
It's not the end of the road for her or for you. Be her support. Let her know that she can do it, and she will make it as a teen mother. I believe that knowing you have a support system is one of the best tools you can have when raising a child young. Yes, some of the ones who feel like they have nothing or no one to help them do make it, but most of them end up feeling hopeless, lost and confused. I believe that when they get to the end of their ropes and they feel like quitting, just to know that someone is in their corner brings them back up. I'm a teen mother, gave birth at 17, made my mother a grandma at 34. Yes, she was upset but never did she turn her back on me and every decision I made with my child she was there to back me up and let me know when I was making another mistake. Let her know you love her, you are there for her, and you pray for the best with her and her baby. Please don't tell her how disappointed you are in her; she already knows this and it will only make her feel worse to hear you say it.