Teenage pregnancy has declined dramatically in recent years, but it’s still an issue for many young girls age 19 and younger. Some education programs focus on ways to prevent teen pregnancy, but these won’t be 100% effective for everyone. Thankfully, help is available, with some clinics offering free pregnancy tests and other resources to teens and adults alike.
One thing that many pregnant teens struggle with beyond locating a pregnancy test is telling their parents. If you’re been dreading this conversation, you’re not alone, but there is help available for you before you begin the talk. Here are three things you can do to prepare before telling your parents that you are pregnant:
- Practice by telling friends. If you’re like many teenagers, then you probably talk to your friends about things you wouldn’t normally tell your parents. Practice what you want to say when you tell them, or ask them to pretend to be your mom and dad. You might also have a friend come with you when you tell your family members, so you have some moral support.
- Read about other teens’ experiences. Because you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re already a savvy internet user. Look around online to see how others have approached this topic. Remember, too, that you’re not alone: approximately 49% of all women have had an unplanned pregnancy in their lifetimes, which adds up to about 3 million babies per year. Look for blogs, message boards, and social media sites to see if anyone else has advice. (As with anything on the internet, though, take it with a grain of salt — you never know who’s on the other end of that conversation!)
- Look for free pregnancy help. If you’re still stuck, it may be time to look for advice from teen pregnancy centers in your area. In addition to offering free pregnancy tests, they also give teens information on pregnancy, so they can be informed when they go to talk to mom and dad. If you visit one of these centers, you might also ask if they will also work with you and your parents as you go through this challenging time.
Have more questions about talking to your parents about a pregnancy? Leave a comment below.