Parenting a Pregnant Teen

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How should we respond to our teenage daughter who doesn't want to be part of our family after becoming pregnant?

Whether she wants to be part of your family or not, your daughter desperately needs your love and support

Let her know that you care about her and her baby. Remind her of the value of the precious life she’s carrying in her womb. Tell her that you’re ready, willing, and available to walk alongside her and help her weigh and balance her options. She won’t be able to do this well without your assistance and that of other wise, caring, and life-affirming adults.

For guidance in this area, we recommend Margie and Greg Lewis’ book The Hurting Parent: Help and Hope for Parents of Prodigals. Additional resources and referrals to local teen pregnancy centers can be found through OptionLine’s website. And Focus on the Family’s Counseling department maintains a list of residential options and can provide further personal assistance.

Support, guidance, and availability aren’t the same as control

There’s an important sense in which you can’t “parent” a pregnant teen. Your daughter has taken a step into a new and larger world. She has to learn to live with the consequences. You can encourage her to do what’s right and comfort her as she wrestles with the harsh realities of her situation. But you can’t make her decisions for her.

It’s unlikely that she will be able to provide for herself and her child on her own. For the time being, she’ll have to remain dependent on you (or somebody else) for her physical and financial sustenance. But she also has to realize that your relationship is shifting from “parent-child” to “adult-adult.”

Find professional counseling

Our staff counselors would be happy to discuss your situation with you. They can help you in your efforts to set boundaries, establish expectations, and clarify the consequences of your daughter’s failure to abide by them. Don’t hesitate to call us for a free over-the-phone consultation.

In the meantime, never forget that the Lord is with you. He won’t fail to lead and guide you as you place your trust in Him.

 

Resources
If a title is currently unavailable through Focus on the Family, we encourage you to use another retailer.

The Dignity and Sanctity of Every Human Life

I’m Pregnant. Now What?

The Hurting Parent: Help and Hope for Parents of Prodigals

Boundaries With Teens

Sarah’s Choice

Referrals
OptionLine

Articles
Your Daughter’s Experience

Copyright © 2010, 2020, Focus on the Family.

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