Maybe this isn’t at all what you’ve planned. Maybe it isn’t at all what you want. Maybe you feel angry or sad or guilty or scared to death – maybe you feel all those things. And now you’re thinking, “How do I tell my parents that I’m pregnant?”
First, we want you to know you aren’t alone. We have met many other teenagers or young adults who were surprised by an unexpected pregnancy. This may seem like an impossible situation, but you will get through this.
One of your greatest fears may be telling your parents. You might be afraid they will be angry or disappointed. Or you might have no idea what to expect at all. We don’t have all those answers for you, and everyone’s situation and relationship with her parents is different. But there are a few things you can do to help the conversation go as smoothly as possible. Here are 8 tips for telling your parents you’re pregnant.
8 Tips For Telling Your Parents You’re Pregnant
- The sooner you tell them, the better. It may be tempting to put off the conversation. But the longer you wait to tell them, the harder it will be both for you and for them.
- It may be helpful to tell a close friend first. This gives you a little practice for telling your parents. At the very least, you can practice by writing it down in a journal or by saying the words in front of a mirror.
- Just say it. Don’t beat around the bush. Don’t scare them by starting out with, “I have bad news.” The more you talk in circles, the more anxious your parents will become. Say it simply and straightforwardly, “I have something difficult to tell you. I know this isn’t what we’d planned, but I’m pregnant.”
- Prepare to answer questions. They might ask who the father is, if you used protection, how long you’ve been sexually active or when you got pregnant. Think ahead about what questions they might ask and be ready to answer them.
- Anticipate their reaction. Most likely, you can’t be sure how your parents will react to this news. But how have they responded to difficult situations or bad news in the past? Chances are, that might indicate how they will respond to the news that you’re pregnant. If they have ever responded in a violent or abusive way to bad news in the past, you probably don’t want to tell them this news alone. Have another trusted adult present when you tell them.
- Give them time. Sometimes the first reaction to shocking news can be hurtful. Try not to take that first reaction personally. Give your parents time to process. Allow them time to feel anger or grief or sadness.
- Share your feelings. Tell your parents how you’re feeling. Tell them how frightened you were to tell them this news or how scared you are about the future. Your parents need you to tell them how you’re feeling and what you need from them. You will need help from your parents, so now is a good time to be straightforward and up-front about what you need from them — time to process, love, support, understanding, advice.
- Be patient. Words like adoption or abortion might come up. Your parents may have strong opinions right away about what is the best way to respond to this situation. You don’t have to make any decision right away. Take your time and let everyone calm down and get used to the idea before you make any big decisions.
Most parents love their children and want what’s best for them. Most likely, that’s how your parents feel about you. You might be surprised at how well they handle this news. Some parents don’t handle the news well, though. If you find yourself in that situation, don’t think you have to do this alone. We are here to help you.
If you are pregnant and still aren’t sure how you’re going to tell your parents, we’re here for you too. Please contact us, and one of our staff members will help you.