Teenage Pregnancy Help: My Teen Daughter is Pregnant, Now What?
As a devoted parent, hearing the unfortunate news that your teenage daughter is having an unplanned teenage pregnancy can be earth-shattering. Just yesterday, you likely would have been in an uproar at the fact that your teenage daughter was engaging in sexual activity, or even dating without your knowledge or permission. Now, those worries are thrown to the wayside as you attempt to process the fact that your baby is now having a baby of their own.
You have every right to be upset, disappointed, furious and terrified. But, it's important to remember that delivering this news to you certainly isn't easy for your teen. It's very likely the scariest thing they've ever had to muster up the courage to do. And at this very moment it's necessary to put your disapproval aside and offer your daughter the teenage pregnancy help she so desperately need. Your daughter will soon become a parent, and as her parent, it is necessary for you to rush her through the transition between her teenage mentality and developing the mentality of an adult that is willing to set her wants and needs aside for those of her baby.
Teenage Pregnancy Help: Overcoming the Initial Shock
While you are upset, keep in mind that your daughter did not become pregnant in order to spite you. It was most likely a foolish mistake that can be attributed to youth. Now more than ever, your daughter needs your guidance, support and strength. Staying mad at your teenage daughter for months on end will solve nothing. Instead, take the time you need in order to get over the initial shock. But, do so in a way that isn't based around anger. There are only nine short months until your teen's baby arrives; this time needs to be maximized in order to ensure that this baby has a shot to a normal life.
It's certainly going to take time to come to terms with the realization that you're going to become a grandparent, and that your teen daughter is going to become a mom at such an early stage in her life. Throughout this time, it may be beneficial to seek therapy for yourself. This will allow you to pour your emotions onto an objective party that will help you find inner peace. Another beneficial option is to seek counseling for both you and your daughter. You'll be able to tell one another how you truly feel with a moderator present in order to allow both of you to have turns to talk and get to the core of your issues.
Master Your Teen's Unplanned Teen Pregnancy
Discussing the Teen Pregnancy and Future Plans
Having “the talk” with your teenage daughter, her boyfriend, and his parents about their unplanned teenage pregnancy is likely to be one of the most difficult hurdles to overcome throughout this journey. Nevertheless, it's a necessary step in ensuring that everyone is going into this pregnancy with the same expectations. Before engaging in the discussion, memorize a few points you'd like to cover with everyone involved. Some topics that may be of interest are outlined below.
How is the father going to provide for his baby?
When does he plan on getting a job?
Are the teens old enough to marry, if so it is something that they personally want to pursue?
Do both sets of parents approve of marriage at such a young age?
Where will the baby live?
Are the expectant teens going to move in together?
If so, in which home will they reside, or will they get their own apartment?
If the teens plan on getting their own apartment, how will they afford it?
Has your daughter considered going on the government-funded WIC program?
How much are the parents of the father expecting to contribute on a monthly basis towards the baby?
Once you've decided exactly which points you're going to discuss, schedule the discussion and remain level-headed. If the teens are set on getting their own apartment or getting married, assess your legal say in the matter. If your daughter is under the age of 18, you'll have to give her consent to move out of your home or get married. Therefore, you have more control over the situation. However, if your daughter is of age, warn her about the repercussions of doing so. Having a child doesn't necessarily mean that a couple needs to get married. Yes, it is tradition. But, it is a tradition that should only be upheld by two willing and knowledgeable adults – not kids. A new marriage, or the added expense of an apartment and utilities will only make their journey through teen parenthood all the more difficult.
Helpful Books for Your Pregnant Teen
Teenage Pregnancy Help: Let's Talk Education
Statistically, the odds are stacked against your pregnant teen. But, it is possible to complete an education as a teen mom. However, that education may not be very traditional. A 4-year high school education in addition to a 4-year college education may not be the best fit for your pregnant teenage daughter.
Your daughter will still have the same job opportunities available to her if she opts to receive a GED instead of a high school diploma. And, a GED can be completed in as little as one to three months in many cases. Fortunately, this can be completed throughout the pregnancy, rather than having to wait until the baby arrives.
After the GED is completed, it may be best to enroll in a certificate program that will allow your daughter to earn a fair living in just a few short months, which will in turn allow her to properly provide for her child.
Sure, it's unconventional. But, teenage pregnancy has thrown your daughter an unexpected obstacle in life. This obstacle can be overcome in many ways, including respectable alternatives to the traditional education system. Your daughter may not be able to go to prom, or graduate with her friends – but becoming a teen mom requires selflessness. And attending these events should not be held at the top of your, or your daughter's priority list.
Jobs that Require Less than One Year of Schooling
Finding a fair paying job in the near future will allow your teen to provide for her child. This offers the baby a chance at leading a normal life. And, it also relieves you, the grandparent, of carrying the financial burden of a child that is not your own. Below, is a list of jobs that require a certification that takes less than one year to complete. A breakdown of the time-commitment necessary and average starting salary is also included.
Certified Nurse Assistant:
Average Starting Salary: $20,000 to $31,000
Average training time: One year
Average Starting Salary: $20,000 to $32,000
Average Training Time: 6-months to 12-months (varies according to full time/part time class schedule)
Average Starting Salary: $20,000 to $32,000
Average Training Time: One Year
Average Starting Salary: $23,000 to $31,000
Average Training Time: On-the-Job
By pursuing one of these immediate career opportunities, your pregnant teen will be able to provide for her child. And, she'll be compensated far more reasonably than if she were to take a job at the supermarket or a fast food restaurant. Most of the courses necessary for the above mentioned jobs are often conducted at local community colleges, or even the Red Cross. Student financial aide will also be available, depending your financial situation, to help cover the costs of tuition.
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