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What to Tell a Teen Who Wants to Have a Baby

What to Tell a Teen Who Wants to Have a Baby

Ahhh, the teen years. This bid for freedom and autonomy is challenging for even the most experienced of moms. Take, for instance, the teen who tells her parents that she's thinking about becoming a mom herself — or the one who then does so, on purpose. Not only does this happen, as Alycia W.'s story shows (Her 16-year-old daughter moved out and had a baby), but it comes up frequently enough that it's an area of anguished discussion on Circle of Moms.

Here, members share what they would do or say if their teen announced that not only does she crave independence, but that to get it, she's planning to get pregnant.

Shoud You Say Whatever It Takes to Dissuade Her?

Lindsay S. and Doris N. both suggest using whatever means you can come up with to dissuade your teen from seeking motherhood. For Lindsay this means pleading with her: “Sweetie, please stop and rethink having a child this early in your life. Children are extremely hard to raise. When it is your time to have a child, you will know. Until then, finish high school and go to college so that when you do have a child you will be able to give them the best life possible.”

Doris N. ups the ante: “If I was the mother of a daughter who said this I would tell her my feelings would be incredibly hurt."

But Diana H. cautions that a teen who wants to get pregnant is crying out for attention, and counsels moms to tread very carefullly and react gently. "Above all you should validate your teen's feelings of [needing] love and attachment and not overeact." Luoise G. concurs: "I would try [to] be approachable and understanding and give as much support to my daughter as I could."

Tracey L., who got pregnant for the first time at 16 herself, echos this sentiment. She feels moms need to both show unconditional love and "point out the challenges."

“Don't give up on her," she cautions, as teen motherhood "never turns out well."

 

Confronting Her with the Facts

Teens tend to react poorly to shows of parental authority, so be prepared for a hostile reaction when you tell your daughter you think being a teen mom is an unwise idea. Louise G. recommends explaining what the future will most likely look like if she actually has a baby. “I’d ask her how she would provide for herself (and the baby). Bills are not fun to pay and the novelty will soon wear off."

Maria recommends being more blunt. “I’d be completely straight up with her and tell her that wanting a baby isn’t stupid, but wanting a baby at 13 is,” she says. She would confront her own daughter with a lot of hard questions, including: “Do you know what happens to your body? Do you know about labor and delivery? Do you know how much it costs to have a baby? Are you prepared to continue going to school and [to] take care of an infant?"

How would you react if your teen announced she wanted to get pregnant?

Image Source: iStock Photo

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

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ChetMC ChetMC 3 years
I completely agree with AlliWelch's comment. We know some parents who had their first child in their teens and who are wonderful, successful people. Our current babysitter was born when her mom was only 16. She's a fantastic young women, and her mom is a great mother and an upstanding member of the community. Our society today does not lend itself well to women in their teens becoming mothers, but that doesn't mean that there aren't some great teen moms out there who have raised some really wonderful children.
AlliWelch AlliWelch 3 years
Not to start any drama here, but speaking from personal experience, I am appalled that the last line on the first page of this article states that "teen motherhood never turns out well". Sure, some teen pregnancies do not turn out well or as planned, but it's absolutely ridiculous that people generalize ALL moms who got pregnant as a teenager to be bad moms and that it never turns out well. I got pregnant at 17. Not on purpose, not because I WANTED to be a teenage mom, not because I thought it was "cool"...it was an accident. Yes, I should have been more careful, but that's not the point of my posting this and how it happened it sort of off topic. Of course my parents were not happy and had a very difficult time with it but they chose to continue to support me no matter what people thought. I am now 22 and my daughter is 4.5. Yes, the father left us when I was pregnant so I am a single mother with no incoming child support. y parents let us continue to live at their house and helped support us while I worked part time and put myself through college and I couldn't have done it without them. Not my ideal situation that I imagined my life would be like when I had a child. HOWEVER, I finished high school, I put myself through college by myself and now have an amazing full time job that I have a wonderful future at and I worked my butt off to get to. My daughter is wise beyond her years, beautiful, sweet, polite, well dressed and well fed. She has a childhood just like all of the other kids in her class that have moms who were older than me when they had their kids. I would ask that people PLEASE stop using wording like ALL and NEVER when they write posts about teenage moms. Instead, since you are correct in saying that OFTEN teen motherhood doesn't turn out well, you could choose words such as OFTEN or MOST OF THE TIME. At least that makes me feel like I belong to that small group that does turn out great despite the generalizations about teen moms. You may think that what I just said is insignificant and how can changing one little word in your sentence really make any difference since I just admitted that most of the time teenage motherhood doesn't turn out well, which is essentially what this article is about, but you have no idea how hurtful it is when everyone assumes it is EVERY teenage pregnancy that doesn't turn out well. Give the small percent of us that really try and make it work and are wonderful moms (better than some 30-something moms..anyone can be a bad mom no matter your age) a chance to feel like people actually realize we are out there and exist. Please start acknowledging there is a percent of teen moms who don't fit in your posts about how it NEVER works when you are a teenager.
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