Teenage pregnancy and teen parenthood have been major social problems in the United States in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. It has also become more common in our country. Life as a teen can be very challenging. That is the reality. You spend long hours in school and college. In addition you need to work hard in extracurricular activities. All these can be overwhelming. Life is difficult enough. The worst news would be if your girlfriend says “I am pregnant”! That would be devastating. You may feel guilty, worried and even angry at the situation.
- Telling your parents
Telling your parents or carers that you have got someone pregnant can be really difficult. Many young people worry that their parents will be upset and react badly. You may not want to involve your parents. However you might find that they can help you to talk about the different options and help you with difficult decisions. Be clear about what you want to say before attempting the conversation. Try to be honest about how it happened, as this will help them to see that you are taking responsibility for your part.
- Accepting responsibility
Accept that as a teenage father you have a responsibility towards your partner/teenage mother. Remain kind and caring towards your partner. You will need to be nice as you share parenting duties. An unborn child needs both you and the mother and a loving home too. You need to support your partner as she needs to make some difficult decisions over the next few days and years. She needs to plan pregnancy care and decide on postponing her schooling. She needs to handle her mood swings associated with pregnancy and the possible stigmatisation by friends and family. http://fatherandchild.org.nz/programmes-and-services/teen-dads
- Forgive yourself
You need to forgive yourself. You may feel guilty. You may feel ashamed that it may negatively reflect on your parents too. People often blame teenage fathers. However even if you think you have made a mistake by becoming a teenage father, the unborn child is of concern and you have to remain strong to deal with the situation.
- Gain parental responsibility.
Depending on your age, marital status and religion there will be implication in birth registration of your child. As parental right you need to get advice and support from relevant authorities
- Strive academically
Caring for a child is expansive. Improve yourself academically. Poor academic performance and dropping out early from school are major risk factors in teenage fathers. Try your best to complete your secondary schooling and further if possible. Completing at least secondary schooling will help you get a reasonable employment. It is important for you and your child. Even older married parents take up studies. They can do it. You can do it too!
- Be caring
Once the child is born, spend time with the child. Love the child and never let the child feel unwanted. You will be shaping the child’s behaviour and future. Children should always come first. If you and/or your partner are not confident, get help from your family members who are more capable. You have the responsibility to emotionally care for your child and to ensure your child’s need is met. You need to ensure your child grows up in a safe environment. You must make decision in the best interest of your child. Often we hear how adults blame their parents. You wouldn’t want your child to blame you in the same manner.
|Last Reviewed||:||3 Disember 2015|
|Accreditor||:||Dr. Nik Rubiah binti Nik Abdul Rashid|