Archive for the ‘Pregnant Teen’ Category

Teen Pregnancy on the rise again

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

Think Twice

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

How you can support your pregnant teen

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

One of the debates currently taking place in many states is over the right of a minor child to have an abortion without parental consent. One of the arguments that some people make for this proposition is that teens may not feel safe telling their parents that they are pregnant, for fear of being ostracized from the family, told to leave their home or worse. This is a fear that as a society, we should try our best to eliminate, so that parents will always have the opportunity to know what is happening in their child’s life, and to be involved. Although no parent wants their teen child to become pregnant, sometimes in spite of the best discussions about abstinence and prevention, it can happen. How can you make your teen feel safe telling you about the situation that she is in?

 

Always keep open communication between you and your teenage girl. Let her know that no matter what may happen in her life, that you will always love her. This is not condoning extramarital sexual behavior, as you can certainly express that you would feel very disappointed if she were to end up pregnant at such a young age, and that you would not want either her or a child to experience the consequences of teenage parenthood. How can you handle the situation, however, if an unplanned teenage pregnancy does occur?

Your first thoughts and actions should be centered on the welfare of your child, and for the well-being of her unborn child, rather than worrying about what friends and acquaintances may think. Although many people put on very respectable fronts, it is the rare family who has not experienced a crisis of some sort or another, and people may be more understanding than you expect, especially if you do not act defensively. While you are certainly free to express your disappointment with your daughter’s choices, and probably should, your daughter needs your support at this time more than any other time in her life.

Try to determine what factors led to the situation. Is she involved with a long-term boyfriend and birth control failed? In this case, it would be appropriate to discuss what the role of the father will be in the care and upbringing of the child, as well as his continuing role in your daughter’s life. The father should also be prepared to discuss the situation with his parents. Both families should be able to get together and discuss the future of the unborn child.

What if the father is not someone who she is attached to? She may feel embarrassment at her predicament, and not want to notify the father of the child, or she may have already done so, and been rebuffed, which can be emotionally devastating. In this case, you will want to have a discussion with her about why she chose to engage in promiscuous behavior, and try to get at the root of why she has been acting out sexually, particularly if she is very young. A good therapist’s support can be valuable at this time. Regardless of her attachment to the father, and his interest or lack thereof, you must advocate for her to receive the child support that she and the child are entitled to. This may entail having an awkward conversation with the father’s parents, but remember that you are your child’s best advocate.

Talk to your teen about the options that you feel may be appropriate, such as adoption, abortion or keeping the baby. Many teens will want to keep the baby, and with support from the father, this is a viable option. Of course you will need to serve as a source of support for both your daughter and her baby. Try to resist the urge to insist upon your daughter having an abortion if she is against it. A perceived forced abortion can leave psychological scars and feelings of lasting guilt and helplessness. You may want to meet with different adoption agencies to see if this would be a good option for your family. If your family is against adoption, remember that it can be very damaging for a child to be raised by a mother who does not want that child. Likewise, forcing your child to raise her child if she is not prepared can also be a mistake. While you may naturally feel feelings akin to “you made your bed, now lie in it,” bear in mind that the unborn child will be the one lying in that hypothetical bed as well. Remember, as young as she is, she made the choice to engage in premarital sex, and she should have a voice in what happens after this point.  Don’t forget, you initially chose to have a child yourself. You have created a family. This ne unborn child is your family as well!

It is good to have a discussion about how the pregnancy will affect the family, and sacrifices that will need to be made. Before she makes a choice about the pregnancy, she needs to know the facts about what is involved in raising a child, both emotionally and financially. Does she want to stay in contact with the father? If he is an older man, and your daughter is young, you may want to look into filing statutory rape charges. Each situation is unique, and it will take every ounce of your support to see her through this situation and make sure that she is safe.

It is a good idea to take your daughter to the ob/gyn immediately for a prenatal check-up and general exam. It is important to make sure that she has not contracted any venereal diseases that could harm her fetus. If the pregnancy is a result of acting-out behavior, you may also want to request that a drug screen be done. In most cases, your child’s insurance should cover pregnancy as well, so the out of pocket expenses will be minimal. If you do not have insurance, check with Planned Parenthood, as they will be able to give you the appropriate referrals for adequate prenatal care.

Once you and your daughter have agreed upon a course of action, do not continue to express disappoint and anger towards her. It will make a situation that is already difficult unbearable for her. If you are having difficulty with your feelings of frustration and disappointment, which are perfectly normal, it is a good idea to talk regularly with a friend, or perhaps enlist the aid of a counselor.

You will want to be there for your daughter every step of the way, regardless of which course of action she decides to take with your guidance. You are a family, and strong families get through difficult times together. If your daughter decides to keep her baby, try to see the child as a blessing. This shift in attitude can make a big difference towards improving the emotional atmosphere in your home. Keep the lines of communication open at all times, while making it clear what her responsibilities will be. When parents are supportive during difficult times, as a society, we are able to keep difficult familial decisions out of the hands of the courts, and in the hands of the family, where they almost always belong.

— written by Michelle Gaut

Alternative Education Options for Pregnant Teens & Parenting Teens

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Implications for Both Male and Female Students
By Christine Cadena

• Teen parenting often results in increased high school drop out rates.
• Teens often drop out of school when becoming pregnancy.
• Alternative education is important for teen parents.
Across the United States, school systems are developing alternative educational programs for female teenagers who become pregnant as well as alternative education programs for both male and female teenagers who are parents. If your teen is experiencing the life challenge of caring for a young child while still in high school, it is important to know what options may be available through your public school system.

While some school districts continue to encourage pregnant and parenting teenagers to continue in the traditional high school setting, the fact is, the challenges of home and family life may only serve to impose a greater risk for dropping out of high school. For this reason, the alternative high school option caters to the time schedules of pregnant or parenting teenagers, both male and female, providing for an opportunity to complete high school while fulfilling their responsibility with teen pregnancy.

Because teen pregnancy and teen parenting is often correlated with a lower socio-economic status for your teenager, it is important that the educational curriculum not only support the traditional high school academics, but also support the not-so-traditional education needed to support the emotional and psychological aspects of early childbearing. Often, teens who become parents while in high school feel as if they are unable to achieve the same educational and professional goals of their non-parent peers. With the right educational setting, however, these fears and false perceptions can be negated, thereby providing for a greater opportunity to improve the long term socio-economic status for your teenager.

If the public school system in which you reside does not offer alternative educational programs for your teenager, you may want to consider an alternative educational program in a proximate location. For example, many young pregnant women, and parenting boys and girls, are attending public schools in school districts within their state, with funding supported by the state educational programs. The key to making this transition for your teenager lies in the investigation into the options.

Within each state there is a state board that regulates and oversees educational programs, including curriculum and funding from both a state and federal level. By contacting this government agency, you can obtain resource information on the education and academic alternatives offers for teen parents or to those who have become pregnant.

While teen pregnancy is not something, as a parent, that you appreciate occurring in your child’s life, the fact is, teen pregnancy continues to be an epidemic in the United States. When choosing to continue through the pregnancy, it is important, as a parent, to find the educational programs that will cater to your teen’s pregnancy and parenting time schedules and demands, while allowing for continued education. In many cases, leaving the parenting teen in the traditional academic setting only results in an increase in high school drop-out rate and, ultimately, will place your teen into a risk for living in a lower socio-economic status.

Voices for the Children: as featured on One World

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Ok, so you are thinking that dreaded thought “I think my daughter is pregnant”! What am I going to do?

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

It is no longer uncommon. Our nation has one of the highest incidences of teen pregnancy and the statistics are not getting any better, in fact, they are getting worse. Girls are now having sex as early as 8 and 9 years old! They watch MTV, commercials, general programming on prime time TV and believe that this is what real life is all about. Their entire self esteem is linked to sex. Now, what do we do about it…?

The United States has the highest rates of teenage pregnancy and births in the western industrialized world. Teen pregnancy costs the United States at least $7 billion annually. Keep reading for more interesting facts on teen pregnancy statistics.

The fact that just under 1/3 of all girls in the United States will get pregnant in their teenage years is a sobering thought. Obviously, teen pregnancy is a problem in the United States. And the following statistics back that up: 

  • Every year around 750,000 teenagers will get pregnant. 
  • Depending on the state, teenage birth rates are incredibly different. Nevada has the highest rate: 113 per 1000 and North Dakota the lowest 42 per 1000. 
  • Unmarried teenagers having children account for 24 percent of all unmarried expectant mothers. 
  • More than 2/3 of all teenagers who have a baby will not graduate from high school. 
  • Billions of dollars are spent taking care of teenage mothers and their children and they are more likely to be in the poverty bracket. On the flip side, millions of dollars are spent in prevention programs.

Well if your child is not pregnant there are a lot of ways to intervene now and make this tragedy less likely, however if she is…you have found the right place at the right time.

There a number of reasons a young girl may find the concept of being a parent alluring. Perhaps she is looking for attention, needs unconditional love she isn’t getting from her family or boyfriend or perhaps she is just searching for some self worth. Regardless of the issues, another one is on the way, and it is a lot bigger than the previous ones…..

But now, this isn’t just your daughter or son’s problem, it is yours as well. Not to mention the unborn child’s.

So how do we handle this delicate situation? The questions are endless and choices are few. I have been where you are, whether you are a teen parent or a parent of a child who is expecting without the lively hood or resources to be a new parent, I get it, I understand.

  • Should I tell my son/daughter what I want them to do regarding the choices?
  • How is my daughter going to get through a pregnancy? She is just a baby herself!
  • What if there are complications? Is she too young to carry full term?
  • Will her health insurance cover the cost of termination/pre-natal care?
  • What about her education? Can she finish school pregnant?
  • What will our friends and family think?
  • Should we consider adoption? Could we live with that?
  • Where will she live, she can barely get up in the morning for class, how will she take care of a baby?
  • How are we going to pay for this? Diapers, formula, baby furniture, a nursery, childcare, education, pre-school, clothes, healthcare.
  • What if there are health issues?
  • What about the father and his family? Will they participate? Do we want them to?
  • We don’t know who the father is! What do we do? How do we go about the legal issues?
  • Have drugs/alcohol been involved during pregnancy?
  • How will she continue to go to school or work?
  • Is it my responsibility to step up and be the caretaker/financial assistance?
  • I didn’t expect to have to do this at this time in my life. Starting over?

The list goes on and on…

There are many things to consider when you yourself become pregnant even in the best circumstances, but when your own child is facing such a huge life change it will affect all of you. You will need help and guidance from a source that is not emotionally charged from the situation. That is where I come in. I am able to see the situation, find solutions and put things into perspective. YOU will have to deal with the situation; YOU must be able to be calm and see the options and make the right choices for your child as well as the grandchild on the way.  This is not easy. Don’t forget we are dedicated to leaving a Legacy 4 Kids- one of Love, Honor, Courage and Grace. I can help you do this even during this very painful time.

If you are looking for help and need resources to help you and your family get through this trying time, contact me today for a FREE 30 minute evaluation regarding both you the parents and your teen and start on the path to peace and grace during this most difficult time.

Acceptance is key. Once you are able to do this, the tasks are clear and solutions will be visible.