Hey Auntie, I am 19 years old and found out I was pregnant when I was around 5 weeks. I am currently 3 months pregnant and still haven’t told my parents. They are separated and I am scared to tell them because I don’t know how they will react. I am an adult. I did graduate high school and college. I have a career, but I know they won’t see how I see it in my eyes about being an adult. What should I do? How should I tell them? I really need your advise on how to approach them. #askauntie
Yes, transitioning into adulthood can be complicated. Especially when it comes to your parents seeing you as someone other than their baby. And this is really what it is…your parents letting go of you. It’s not that they don’t see all the qualities you listed (and didn’t’), it most likely just comes back to them not being ready to move on.
However, in your case you’re not only moving into adulthood, but you’re going to become a parent yourself! This might take some careful planning.
First thing I would do is to do a little research. You can get on Planned Parenthood’s website to find tips for talking to your parents. Next I would make a plan for talking to your parents.
Talk with your parents. You’re right in knowing that you’re going to have to talk to your parents, and the sooner the better. Here are some tips for how to do this.
- Get ready – by doing a little research on how to talk to your parents and calling hotlines like Planned Parenthood 1-800-230-PLAN (7526), you’ll feel better prepared about having the talk with your parents.
- Got a plan? You know your parents better than anyone. Think through their possible reactions and concerns. This might make you feel better prepared and it can help in keeping the conversation positive. It would also be good to write down everything you have done and plan to do in ensuring your and your baby’s health and future.
- Pick a location –think of a neutral, semi-public place to talk to your parents. Think coffee in the park, or a place where you won’t get easily distracted or interrupted. Decide whether you want to talk to your parents together, or separately. If having one conversation vs. two seems less stressful, you might want to do that. However, if your parents are likely to start arguing with each other and blow you completely off course, you might consider talking to them separately.
- Tell them – Sometimes parents are shocked or angry, and sometimes they’re understanding. There is really no way to know exactly how your parents will feel and react unless you talk with them about it.
Think through exactly what you want to say to them and rehearse it. Practicing with a friend, or trusted adult can be helpful in thinking through what you want to say. You can say something like…
“Mom, Dad, I’m feeling scared about telling you this, but it’s important to me to be honest with you. I’m three and a half months pregnant. I have been scared to tell you because I thought you might be disappointed in me, but I could really use your support now. I trust you both and I need your help in moving forward for me and my baby.”
If your parents do get upset, they may just need some time to calm down. Even though it probably feels scary, it’s important you talk with them.They can go over your future options with you, and make sure you’re getting the proper medical care.
I’m wishing you the best of luck in talking to your parents and for the future of you and your baby. Thanks for writing in.