Telling your parents you are pregnant may seem like the hardest thing you ever had to do. Our counselors can help you work through a plan for telling your parents.
Before you tell them:
- Begin the process of confirming your pregnancy. We can provide a free pregnancy self-test kit and refer you to a health care provider to confirm the results.
- Just try to relax. Go for a walk or to a favorite spot to clear your mind and help you think.
- Choose a trusted friend, counselor, youth leader or relative to confide in your feelings and the steps you have taken so far.
- Write down ideas and plans for you and your child’s future—Keeping a journal will help you be prepared to talk with your parents.
- You can call 1-888-LIFE AID for confidential and non-judgmental support.
Try to imagine what it would be like to be a parent. No parents are perfect, but most are supportive and want to know what you’re going through. Parents have expectations for their children—to do things they never could or to make right the mistakes they made in the past. Maybe they’ve told you not to become pregnant, or to wait to have sex, but it’s because they love you and don’t want anything to get in the way of your goals and dreams.
Now, try to imagine how they would feel if you were to say, “Mom, Dad, I’m pregnant.”
They fear how it will change your life. So, be prepared for them to be shocked and say things they don’t mean. They may be hurt and angry for a while. But, as they see you taking responsibility, responding maturely and making your own conscious decisions, they are likely to respect you and even support you more than you could imagine. Not all parents react the same, but all parents need time to think things through, just like you.
Here are some ideas on how to break the news:
- Write a letter expressing your thankfulness to have them as parents and all that they’ve done for you.
- Compliment them on what you think they did well as parents. Tell them you are pregnant and share your plans with them. Most parents want to see that their child is taking responsibility for their actions and making sound decisions.
- Express your concerns about their reaction. For example, “I’m afraid you’ll kick me out or disown me.” “I’m afraid I disappointed you.”
- If you are afraid they will be angry and say hurtful things, place a letter or card where you know they will find it. This gives them time to read it and work through some of their emotions before being face to face.
- Set a time you would like to talk. This will help them prepare their words or response.
- If you plan to tell them face to face, you may want to have a counselor, a trusted friend or relative with you to help cushion their response.
- It may be easier to talk to one of your parents first and that parent can inform the other or be present when you talk to your other parent.
- Give them room to vent their initial reactions. Some parents see these situations as reflecting on their own parenting and they make the assumption that somehow they have failed you.
Even though this is a challenge for everyone, if you are positive about the future, and express your feelings and plans positively, then your parents will be more likely to think positively as well.
If your parents do not handle the news well, don’t panic. You are not alone. We have resources to help you and your family. You may be interested in family counseling, or making other living arrangements, like a maternity home. We can help get you the support you need.