Q: Our teenage son’s girlfriend is pregnant. He’s seventeen and she’s sixteen. It’s difficult to admit this to anyone. What does he most need to hear from us?
A: We’re sorry to learn of this difficult situation. Your son and his girlfriend have clearly made a serious mistake, but mistakes of this kind can be important stepping stones to maturity and adulthood.
Our counselling team suggests that your whole family can play a role in guiding the expectant mother through this frightening new experience. She needs to be reminded of the value of the precious life she’s carrying. In partnership with her parents, you can help her weigh and balance her options and determine what her personal goals ought to be at this point. She won’t be able to do this without the assistance of caring, life-affirming adults.
Your son also needs your understanding. At his age he’s trying hard to become his own person. Unfortunately, his bid for independence has put him in an awkward position.
Unlike the girl, who has to deal with the realities of pregnancy, a teenage dad can find it easy to dissociate himself from the situation. Part of your role will be to see that this doesn’t happen. Gently but firmly, compel him to face the implications of his choices. Talk to him about the sanctity of human life. Help him think about the tremendous and awesome responsibility of bringing a child into the world. Encourage him to discuss these issues openly with his girlfriend and her parents. Urge him to explore ways in which he can take an active role in the pregnancy, the birth, and the crucial decisions that lie ahead.
We’d strongly suggest that all of you seek professional counselling as you attempt to navigate these waters. Contact our Family Support Services at 03-7954 7920 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org for a referral.
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