Teen Pregnancy – What You Need To Know as a Parent

The first decade of the new millennium saw a staggering increase in the number of teens getting pregnant. According to statistics released in 2007 by the U.S. National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 31 percent of teenage girls get pregnant at least once before they reach 20 years old.

Most cases of teen pregnancy occur as a result of sexual pressures from their peers and media. Thanks to movies, TV, and ads, sex has become the measure of self-esteem and popularity among teenagers. Many teenage girls are pressured into having sex because their friends and everyone else is doing it.

Other teens harbor a false sense of invincibility and security. Because they have had unprotected sex many times in the past, they believe that they will not become pregnant.

Even more disturbing is the small population of teenage girls who have sex because of the genuine desire to get pregnant. These girls have been featured many times in talk shows like “Maury”. For them, having a baby is they way of emphasizing their independence and adulthood. Ironically, subsequent follow-ups with these teenage moms revealed how incapable they are in caring for their child, and that they have even relied on their parents to take care of their baby for them.

Facing teen pregnancy in the family can be very devastating for parents who have tried to protect their girls from all harm. However, teen pregnancy need not be the cause of strain between the parents and their daughter.

Here are some valuable advice tips to help you to deal with a teen pregnancy…

First of all, never forget that the pregnant teenage girl standing before you is your own child. If the news of her pregnancy is a great shock to you, you could only just imagine the inner turmoil that she is going through. The fact that she told you about her condition took a lot of courage because she is admitting her mistake and needs your help. Rather than get mad and yell at her for her irresponsibility, take several deep breaths and let the reality sink in. Do not react at once. Think carefully about what you are going to say to her.

Second, once you have accepted the reality of her condition, sit down as a family and discuss what you should do next. Explore all the options that are available to you and determine which one will best solve your daughter’s dilemma. As distressing and controversial as it may be, one such option is terminating the pregnancy. Another is giving the baby up for adoption. If your teenager chooses to keep the baby, you need to be prepared to support both her and her baby’s needs until she is old enough to take care of the child on her own.

Rather than dwell on the problem day in and day out, face the prospect of being a grandparent and keep yourself busy preparing for the baby’s birth. Go out shopping for baby clothes, baby bottles, and other necessities. You can also go about setting up a nursery in your home.

Last but not least, learn to accept what has happened to your daughter and forgive. The mistake has been done and could not be undone. Instead, focus on the little bundle of joy that will soon be coming into your lives.