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What if your teenager gets pregnant?

Teenage pregnancy for any parent is one of life’s most dreaded experiences. It is something every parent worries about. As a parent, you may not know for sure if your little girl is having sex but chances are that she is.

Every day, we hear stories of pregnant teenagers and how most of them ended up in hospitals with botched abortions attempts, in baby factories where they put to bed and abandon their babies to baby merchants. Some of them even dump their babies in gutters or waste bins or even kill them.

Most of the irrational decisions taken by parents in times like this include ostracizing the pregnant teenager, whisking her away to birth her baby in secret, forcing her into marriage with whoever got her pregnant or forcing her to get an abortion.

It doesn’t matter to these parents if her pregnancy came about as a result of rape, in-house incest or lack of sex education. All these parents know is that it is an abomination, a disgrace and must be sanctioned using a knee-jerk approach.
As a parent, how you react and behave when you find out that your child is pregnant makes a big difference on how you all can overcome the situation.

The deed is done, your child already feels like a failure. She has let you down beyond words, but it is in your place to help her make responsible choices so as to remedy the already bad situation.
Ostracizing her or forcing her on a man that got her pregnant doesn’t solve the problem in any way. When you ostracize her, you leave her alone in this wild world and this doesn’t end well often.

If you end up forcing her on whoever got her pregnant, your child might end up being abused and inhumanely treated by the fellow that knocked her up in the first place. This is made worst if her pregnancy is as a result of rape. The rapist just got rewarded and encouraged to continue inflicting more pain on your child.

Teenage pregnancy is very much on the rise, more teenagers are becoming parents at a young age, and some have become serial abortionists. Times have changed and we must face the situation head on from a reasonable point of view.

We cannot continue to behave like our parents did and expect our children to get better. Your teenager is pregnant and she needs you now more than ever.

Of course you are angry, hurt, afraid and disappointed from shame, which is very normal, but you should know that she feels ten times whatever you are feeling.

You have to consciously avoid negative emotional outbursts such as beating her, dragging her all over the community, and disgracing her.

You must not over react. Society can think or judge what they like, just allow your child feel safe around you. As a parent, you must remain strong, open, relaxed, calm, fearless, and loving.

There are questions that need to be answered, like who the father is? Once you do things right, she will reveal all these to you. Your teenager getting pregnant is not the end of the world for her or for you once it is handled with caution.

She will definitely have to take a break from school to have her child but make sure she returns to school to complete her education. If you decide on an abortion based on your family belief, it should be something your child agrees to, don’t just shove it down her throat.

Avoid the temptation of constantly insulting and comparing her to her mates, it will kill her self esteem. Do not marry your child off to an old man with many wives or force her on the man who got her pregnant, such knee jerk approach has never healed any pregnant teenager.

Admitting that your teenage daughter is pregnant is not a death sentence. It is natural to worry about her future. Many pregnant teenage moms from supportive families ended up successful.

Families must start sex education early enough for both sexes. We cannot continue to shy away from it or live in denial that our little ones are not having sex with one another.

Boys must be taught the use of condoms to protect them from deadly infections as well as saving them from becoming unprepared fathers. They must know that rape is a crime and it is not allowed.

Girls must be encouraged to report to mummy anyone who touches them inappropriately including teachers, uncles or even Daddy.

The key in relationships with your children is to maintain a good level of openness and communication. When you fail to allow your children access to you, they begin to keep secrets and they might end up in bad situations that they can’t handle. If your child can’t talk to you, he or she is bound to make a lot of wrong choices that might haunt you for life.

When parents become more enlightened and open to talking to their children about safe sex, there will be less teenage pregnancies, less risky abortions and less abandoned babies in gutters and dump sites.

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Online Editor: Aderonke Bello
Telephone: 08189015120
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