“I thought I raised you better than this,” my mother said before walking out of the living room.
I cried and still couldn’t believe this was happening. Was I the same girl the doctor told two years prior that I would never have kids on my own? Was I the same girl who was on the varsity cheer-leading team and the big sis to her siblings? I was. But now I would become a mother in high school.
That was 13 years ago, I am now a mom to three, married to my high school sweetheart with a college degree under my belt & work as a free lance writer… And each week I see the look of shock on the faces of girls coming in for our Teen MOPS (www.mops.org) meetings while simultaneously seeing my mother’s look of shock on women who are too young to be grandmothers. With shows like The Secret Life of the American Teenager and MTV’s Teen Mom; girls are becoming desensitized to the harsh realities of sex outside of marriage. While our culture is saying, “Live while your young, do what feels right for you,” we as mothers are trying to protect the innocence and sense of invisibility in our teens.
Teen pregnancy has no boundaries, it affects church girls and non church girls alike, girls who come from good families and broken homes. And if you are becoming a grandmother, here are some tips for you and your daughter.
Having a pregnant teen can be devastating. While you are trying to navigate the waters of relationship with your child, she or he is still trying to grow up. Finding a godly counselor helps mediate the tough conversations and restore your relationship with your child.
Both you and your teen (son or daughter) need to find a godly and positive support system. Even though you are filled with disappoint and anger, now is NOT the time to be distant, your teen needs you more than ever. Consider finding a Christian counselor who can help YOU sort out your feelings, help you forgive your child and establish boundaries with your teen.
Without the encouragement of my mom, grandmother and aunt, I would not have been able to be a good mom at the early age of 18. Help your teen sort through her feelings and future. Encourage her to make good decisions, like staying in school and deciding what is best for her and baby.
I was overwhelmed with the new responsibilities of becoming a mom. Within five months, I graduated high school, moved out of my mom’s, got married and gave birth. I was left with the baby blues in a new city with a sore chest as I tried to get the hang of nursing. Help your teen see the bigger picture. What will her life look like in a year, three years or five years down the road. The sleepless nights and constant feedings will change. So will the amount of homework from school.
Whether your teen is pregnant or is a parent, keep in mind how you can gently guide and lead them as a parent. Support, prayer and encouragement are vital tools in helping your teen become the parent he or she needs to be.
Your teen may have made a mistake in becoming sexually active. Whether she did it once or several times isn’t the issue. What matters now is your teen choose the hardest option–to carry her child to term. Because her “sin” is out there for the entire world to see, give her grace at home. Grace means loving her where she is at. Grace is open arms and a warm smile in spite of what your friends and family think.
It’s been 13 years since I learned that I was going to be a mom at 17. God has done so many amazing things in my life. Had it not been for the support of family, I doubt I would be the mom I needed to be as a teen. As a teen, I needed to know I still mattered despite the mistake I made. I needed to know there was hope and future for me and my child. Grace, support and encourage were just some of tools I needed to get to the next stage of life and you can be the one to give them to your teen.