If your teen is about to become a parent, it can be overwhelming for both of you. How can you support her through the changes
and challenges that are ahead?
It may seem hard to believe that someone can have a child when you still consider them to be a child, but teen pregnancy does
It can be emotionally draining and very upsetting to find out that your teenager is pregnant. Most parents feel the urge to
punish their teenager as they would punish a child. Some parents blame themselves or wonder where they went wrong. Others
criticize their child and scapegoat the child's partner. Still other parents support their child emotionally as she struggles
with and makes adult decisions. It doesn't help the situation much. Your teenager has some very important decisions to make,
and it is best to set a mature example for them to follow.
Many practical issues must be considered. Will your teen keep the baby or consider adoption? If she keeps it, will she raise
the baby herself? Will she continue to go to school? Will the father be involved in the baby's life? Who will be financially
responsible for the baby?
The answers to these questions often depend on the support your teen receives. Some teens raise their child alone, some have
the involvement of the baby's father, and some rely on their families for support. As a parent, you need to think about your
own level of involvement and commitment and discuss it with your teen.
As a parent, you can have a great impact on your teen's life and on her baby's. You may still wish that she had made different
choices. But by supporting your teen, making sure she gets good prenatal care, and listening as she shares her fears and anxieties,
both of you may find that you're better parents in the long run.
Your child is probably terrified and is in need of some grown-up help. You can't turn back the clock and prevent the pregnancy
from happening, so help your teen deal with the situation by providing support. Assist them in getting the information they
need to make the right decision and offer emotional comfort.
Signs of an Abusive Relationship The abusive partner is very controlling. He or she
calls a lot, just to check up. He or she makes all of the decisions about what the couple will do and decides whom they can
hang around with. Abusive partners will isolate their girl- or boyfriend from friends. Parents may notice that their teen
no longer hangs out with her or his friends much, only with the person she or he is dating. Abusive partners have short tempers.
They are known for getting angry and "losing it.". Some have a reputation for getting into fights. Many get worse when they
are drinking alcohol or using other drugs. Abusive partners will often belittle or put down their partner. They will say things
like, "You're fat," "You're ugly," and "No one else would have you." Abusive relationships don't start with a black eye on
the first date. Abuse is much subtler. There is a lot of emotional abuse that occurs before the first slap, push or grab.
Abusive partners usually show a lot of jealousy or possessiveness. Parents should try to help their teen understand what a
healthy relationship is. Healthy relationships are based on trust and genuine caring. If teens disclose abuse, believe them.
Make sure teens know that abuse or sexual assault is not the victim's fault. Contact a local sexual assault or domestic abuse
program for help.