You’re pregnant. Now, how do you tell your parents?
You just found out that you’re pregnant. With so many details to think through and decisions to make, this can be a very stressful time. Even more so when you realize you have to tell your parents.
Maybe your parents are divorced and can’t stay in the same room. Or you come from a single parent household. Maybe it’s your grandparents who have really been your parents for as long as you can remember.
No matter your situation, these relationships are often the most significant relationships in your life. Telling them that you are unexpectedly pregnant can be very intimidating and scary. But you are not alone! Here are a few tips to help you prepare for this conversation.
What’s your Plan?
You’re probably still processing the fact that you’re pregnant. You have a lot of questions and haven’t figured out your whole plan. That’s ok! All you need to have is a rough draft of a pregnancy plan. Even if your plan is not complete, be prepared to talk through it with your parents. This will show them that you are maturely approaching your decision and taking it seriously.
If you need help figuring out your pregnancy plan, we’re here for you. Care Net can provide support, guidance, and resources that will help you prepare for this pregnancy, your baby, and your conversation with your parents.
What are the Facts?
Once you tell your parents that you’re pregnant, they’ll probably have a lot of questions, many of which you can be prepared to answer.
Who is the father? Will he be involved? How far along are you? Who have you told? Have you thought through your options: parenting, abortion, adoption? What options are you considering?
You had many of these questions when you first found out you were pregnant. Be prepared to address these questions and share what the facts of your situation are. You’re scared, and they likely are, too. You’re strong! Fight that fear with the truth.
When’s the Right Time?
The best time to tell your parents is when you are ready. You might be thinking, “What if I’m never ready?” You got this! Start by looking over your plan. Then, schedule a specific time to talk with them. This should not be a spur of the moment conversation.
If you have a relationship with both of your parents, you get to decide whether to tell them together or separately. For separate conversations, start by sharing your news with the parent that you think will be more supportive. Beginning with the easier conversation can provide you with more confidence going into the more difficult conversation.
You may only have a relationship with one of your parents. Whether you’re coming from a single-parent household, or estranged from one of your parents, telling your parent can be additionally stressful. While you may have one less conversation to have, that conversation becomes more important than ever. To help all persons involved, you and your parent(s), it’s vital that you choose the right time and place.
The moment and setting that you choose to tell your parents will affect their reaction and your delivery. For example, if you try to tell them when they are upset or in a hurry, they may respond poorly. Or, if you choose to tell them when you are tired or stressed, the conversation can quickly become overwhelming.
Create a controlled and calm setting. This will help prepare you to clearly deliver the news and for them to receive it. Plan a day when you’re all available and a place that is private and quiet.
Be Prepared to Listen
While you’re the one who is pregnant, you’re pregnancy affects more than just you. You’re going through a life change and so are they. You may be feeling overwhelmed, but you need to be ready to hear their emotions and feelings.
They want to be heard just like you do. Be ready to be patient while they process their thoughts and be gracious as they respond. This may be challenging, but it will help your parents feel heard and affect how they respond.
Your Parents Care for You
Your parents’ initial responses may not be as smooth as you hoped for, but remember that they love you. They may be surprised like you were when you first found out that you were pregnant. They may already suspect that you’re pregnant. If they first respond in anger, try to remain calm. They may express disappointment and even anger. These reactions ―at least initially― are common.
Like you, they may have strong emotions about an unplanned pregnancy. Most likely, they will eventually calm down as they have time to process the news. They care about you and are concerned for you. They want the absolute best for you and your baby.
What if your parents are not supportive?
You may have to face a different response from your parents. Perhaps they are very upset and unsupportive of your pregnancy. They may even threaten to kick you out. You may feel pressured by them to make a choice or decision that you do not want to make. If this is the case, know that it is illegal for your parents -or anyone else- to coerce or force you to have an abortion.
Find an adult that you trust, like a school counselor. Share your concerns with them and talk with them about your plan. If you need additional support, Care Net Staff will come along side you and help you navigate these relationships.
There is not just one perfect way to tell your parents because every family is different. You have your own story with its specific and unique challenges. If you’re struggling, we are here to help you.
Give us a call to schedule an appointment today.