When you heard the news, you felt like the world was crashing down on you. You are a teenager and you are pregnant. Or your daughter is. Or your son’s girlfriend.
The initial reaction for a teenager is often despair. How will you tell your family this shocking news? As a parent, you would first feel anger, then shame. How will you face your relatives, neighbors, church mates, colleagues and friends? Accusatory questions and finger pointing will follow. Whose fault was it? The mother who was too lenient, the father who was too strict, or the child who just didn’t listen? Whose ever fault it was, the reality is that there is a teenager who will soon become a young mother.
How do you handle this situation? If you are the pregnant girl and the father-to-be, do not make any rash decisions that you will surely regret later. Instead, seek the guidance of your parents or a trusted and older person. Know also that as a consequence of your sin, you will go through a lot of negative emotions. Thus, you must seek forgiveness from God and from the people who love you. Then you must be willing to be humble and follow wise counsel. You will certainly encounter a lot of challenges and thus, it is necessary for you to have the support of the people who love you and will understand you.
For the family to get through this difficult situation, they will need to seek God’s help. They should be willing to forgive and provide understanding, patience and love for one another. Though the unwanted pregnancy will create complications in your lives, know that God is willing to embrace you and celebrate with the new being that would soon become part of your family.
- The teens must seek forgiveness from God and from the people they hurt and disappointed.
- Instead of making hasty decisions, seek the wise counsel of your family and Godly people.
- The family must be willing to talk about the situation in order to be prepared for the challenges that they will soon face.
- To avoid early pregnancy, parents should discourage early, steady dating. Talk to the kids early and often about sex, contraception, morals and values.
- For teenagers, do not let yourself be pressured into having sex. This should only be done within marriage.
- Parents must make the future attractive by teaching their children to dream so that teenagers would want to focus all their energy and time to achieving those dreams.
- Be involved in your teen’s life. Spend time with them and their friends. Be active as a family and show your unconditional love.
- Not Even A Hint : Guarding Your Heart Against Lust by Joshua Harris
- Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot
- Quest for Love by Elisabeth Elliot
- True Beauty by Andrea Stephens
- Love and Courtship by Evelyn-Miranda Feliciano
- How to Survive Your Teen’s Pregnancy : Practical Advice for a Christian family by Linda Ellen Perry
- Pro-life Philippine Foundation, Inc. : www.prolife.org.ph
- Saying No to Teenage Sex : http://prolife.org.ph/home/index.php/promoting-life/teen-touch/saying-no-to-teenage-sex
- Pregnant Teen Help (US website) : www.pregnantteenhelp.org
- The term “teenagers ” refers to persons between 13 to 19 years old.
- In 2006, out of the 492,666 reported total marriages, 83,796 or 17.0% percent were teenage marriages. (NSO 2010)
- The estimated sex ratio for teenage marriages was 22.4 grooms per 100 brides. (NSO 2010)
- Most teenage brides got married either in Roman Catholic ceremonies (28,218 or 41.2%) or civil rites (27,471 or 40.1%). (NSO 2010)
- Majority of teenage pregnancies belong to low income group, often associated with an increased rate of delinquent behaviors including alcohol and substance abuse. (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 2008)
- Children born to teenage mothers are less likely to receive proper nutrition, health care, and cognitive and social stimulation. (PDI, 2008)
- The various risks for teen pregnancies: malnutrition for the mothers and the baby, inadequate prenatal care, higher rate of abortion (25:1,000 women in the Philippines), fetal deaths and acquiring cervical cancer.