What should you do if your teen daughter or friend is pregnant?

What should you do if your teen daughter or friend is pregnant?

Many couples expected to have children. Doesn't everyone? So they let nature take its course and give little thought to whether they should or should not become parents. Some couples want children in order to have a stake in the future. Others want children so they can relieve their lives through them. Still others have a strong desire for self-perpetuation or feel that a home is not complete without children.

The truth is that the whole idea of having babies has been over-romanticized. And this romantic picture is reinforced by relatives and friends who respond to the news of pregnancy with same enthusiasm that they do news of a wedding. However, easy availability of contraception has been accompanied by an increase in pregnancies of unmarried women and girls despite the hopes and promises of promoters of contraception for all.

A few of these may have been planned by women who wanted a child without the tie of marriage. More were the result of living together by couples with a commitment which they regard as binding as marriage or which later led to marriage. The majority of conceptions were the unwelcome consequences of giving way to desire or persuasion. The father is often too young to take up the role of husband, provider and father. The biological and emotional drives moved ahead of economic capacity and mental and emotional maturity. The boy can walk away, and often does. The girl does not have that option.

What should you do if you are single and pregnant, or if your daughter or friend is in that situation?
  •     Unless both parents-to-be want to marry, a shotgun wedding is a poor start. “We had to get married” implies a forced contract, not a freewill choice. Both boy and girls can feel trapped and baby may be resented as the cause of it all.
  •     Keep the child and face the joys and the sorrows of single parenthood. This is perhaps the bravest of the three possible decisions. Being a single parent means economic hardship, restricts social life and may lessen the chance of marriage. There is now far less stigma than formerly on unmarried motherhood. It is not the end of the world.
  •     Abortion is the quick, readily available ‘easy’ way. While the physical operation may leave no damage, it is likely there will be emotional scaring. A human being, albeit very small and not yet fully sentient, has been destroyed.
  •     Have the child and offer him or her for adoption. While parting with the child may be an emotional wrench, a new life has been given a chance.
If you daughter is pregnant, be supportive. This is no time for stern moral judgment. The concern must be for daughter and child, not the family reputation. The bible is not ashamed to list an unmarried mother among the human ancestors of Jesus. Children are a joy, a “heritage of the Lord.” “Having a baby” sounds like such fun! But babies grow up to be challenging 2-year-olds, disrespectful 7-year-olds, sloppy 12-year-olds, and rebellious 15-years-olds. But remember training children is listed as the biggest problems that parents face.

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