You took the test…positive. You took another…also positive. It was completely unintended, but it’s official…you’re pregnant. Now that you’ve gotten past the initial shock, you realize you need to break the news to your parents, which can be overwhelming. While nothing will make that conversation an easy one, here are six tips that we hope will help you out.
MAKE THE DECISION TO TELL THEM
Whether or not you’ve decided for sure what you’re going to do about your pregnancy, it’s important to make the decision to tell your parents. They often play a key role in supporting you during and after your pregnancy. Keep in mind that it’s probably better to tell them sooner rather than later. The longer you put it off, the harder it may become, and they may become suspicious anyway.
You may want another person present with you during the conversation, especially if you have a difficult relationship with your parents. Depending upon your situation, this could be a sibling, a friend, an older relative, or the father of the baby. Telling this trusted person in your life will help you practice breaking the news, and it will also help you not to be alone. This person knowing about the pregnancy will give you added support and encouragement. Having that person with you when you tell your parents may help you feel more at ease, and they can back you up if you feel like you’re not being heard.
PLAN IT OUT
Think through when, where and how you’ll tell them. Consider the timing of the conversation, and pick a time when they will be available to talk for a while in a more relaxed setting rather than blurting it out when they may be distracted or rushed. When you tell them, it’s best to get to the point quickly. Be calm and direct, simply sharing that you’re pregnant.
ANTICIPATE THEIR REACTIONS
After you share the news, wait for your parents to react. Many factors can influence parents’ reactions including your age, your parents’ values about dating and sex, and their view of your significant other.
Your parents’ personalities will also have a lot to do with their reaction. Think about how your parents have reacted in the past to other disappointing or surprising news that you have given them. You know your parents. Do they usually get upset and yell? Cry? Get really quiet? Stay calm? Although it’s impossible to know for sure how they may react to the news that you’re pregnant, try to imagine based on those past reactions in order to prepare yourself.
Remember that it’s normal for parents to be disappointed or even angry when they get news like this. They may even say things that could be hurtful to you. Try not to take it personally and to be understanding toward them as they take in this shocking news – they need time to work through it too.
PREPARE FOR QUESTIONS
Your parents will likely ask a lot of questions. These questions may include things such as when and where it happened, how long you have been sexually active, whether you were using some form of contraceptive, who the father of the baby is, and if he is going to be involved in the pregnancy and beyond. Try to think through your answers to these questions and decide ahead of time how much you want to share with them during this initial conversation.
START MAKING A PLAN
Your parents may also ask you what your plan for the pregnancy is. So although you don’t have to have all the details figured out, it would be helpful for you to have an idea of the option that you’re leaning toward.
They may tell you that you should have an abortion or place the child for adoption. Consider these things before your conversation with them so you’ll be prepared to discuss these options maturely, as well as stand up for yourself if you don’t agree with what they are suggesting. Although your parents can give counsel, this is ultimately your decision, so you don’t have to be pressured by anyone to choose an option you’re not comfortable with.
Keep in mind that, after the initial shock wears off, most parents are supportive of their daughter and the decision she makes about an unplanned pregnancy. In fact, many times, parents end up being the strongest support system in this situation.
If you need confirmation of your pregnancy, Valley Women’s Clinic offers free and confidential pregnancy tests. Also, our staff is here to talk with you about your situation and your pregnancy options. If you are worried about telling your parents that you’re pregnant, we can also help you think through how to break the news to them. Request an appointment at our Blacksburg or Radford office.