“Give them a chance, they might surprise you.” This is probably not the first thing a girl thinks as she is biting her nails trying to figure out how she will share the news of her pregnancy. Having to tell her mom and dad that she is pregnant is just about the scariest thing a girl can imagine doing. Even with loving and supportive parents, one will still probably face anger, disappointment and accusations. It is never an easy thing to do. However, there are better ways than others to share, ways that can help them process this major event well. It is very important to remember that doing anything in isolation, especially processing decisions about pregnancy, can be harmful. It is good to go to your current support system, mom and dad or caretakers, and ask for help and counsel. More than likely, they will want to be involved and will want to be there.
Prepare what you want to say and how you will say it. It is good to be as calm and collected as possible when sharing the news. Leaning on a well prepared script or even reading your words from a piece of paper, will help you to deliver without being overwhelmed by emotion. Tears and emotions are absolutely okay, but allowing emotion to take control might cause your parents to react in a worse manner than they might have otherwise.
Timing is so important. Be sensitive to when you will have the conversation with your parents. Do not bring it up as they are walking out the door for work or coming home from work, but choose a time of day when they tend to be more relaxed. With that said, it is not wise to put off telling your parents about the pregnancy either. Telling them as soon as possible can show trust in them and build trust in the situation.
Accept that they may not react in the most loving of ways at first. And listen. Your parents will feel so many different things in response to the news and it is good to allow them time to process and go through the stages of shock, anger and disbelief. Allowing them time to vent those feelings is a sign of maturity and they will appreciate it in the end. Especially when you are not defensive. Just because your parents seem disappointed, please understand they may not be disappointed WHO your are, but in WHAT you have done.
Answer their questions. They might have many questions, many of them personal. Another sign of maturity is to respond to their questions in order to give them insight into what happened and what you are feeling and your thoughts.
Talk about options. This may not happen immediately. But it is an important piece of the puzzle and eventually will need to be discussed. Once again, making a decision on your own is not the most wise thing to do and allowing your parents to speak into the decision will give you more perspectives and hopefully wisdom.
Take time and have more conversations to truly digest the situation and possible outcomes. Your parents love you and even though they may be disappointed and angry, they want to be there for you and to help and love you through this life changing event. One of the biggest mistakes is to assume that you know exactly what your parents are thinking, feeling, and how they will react. Assuming that you know what is in their heart and not telling them might lead to regretful decisions later on. Give them a chance, they will most likely surprise you.
Need help? Spero Center is here is support you, consult with you on your options, and even help you practice telling your parents. Schedule an appointment.