Parenting

If you’re faced with the possibility of becoming a teen parent, there’s a lot to consider.  You might find it helpful to list the advantages and disadvantages of becoming a parent at this point in your life or ask yourself these questions:

  • How do I feel about becoming a teen parent?
  • How do I imagine my future? In college? Working? Raising a family? How will having a baby help or hurt those goals?
  • Am I ready to give a child all the love and security he or she will need?
  • Will I be able to support a child financially or live on a tighter budget?
  • Will I be able to deal with having less time to myself to do what I want to do?
  • Does my family support me in my decisions?
  • Am I ready to be responsible for another person?
  • Would I rather have a child at another time in my life? Is it too soon?
  • Is anyone pressuring me to end or continue the pregnancy?
  • How would my life change if I had a baby now?
  • Do I care what other people think about my decision?
  • Can I deal with the physical and emotional changes that happen in pregnancy?
  • If I stay in school or work, who would take care of the baby?
  • Would I be able to pay for child care?
  • Do I want to stay in school? How can I do this with a baby?
  • Do I want a child? Do you think it would be personally fulfilling for me?
  • Will I be able to provide for my child? (Food, health insurance, schooling, clothes, etc.)
  • Do I have anyone to help me raise the child?

Thinking about the answers to these questions might help you understand that choosing to continue your pregnancy is a huge step in your life and will bring major changes.

If you choose to continue your pregnancy, it’s important that you make an appointment with a doctor to make sure you are in good health and talk about prenatal care.  You want to be as healthy as possible so your child will be healthy, too.

The best place to get information about prenatal care is from a doctor, but in the meantime, you can visit Planned Parenthood’s website for more information about what prenatal care involves.

If you’re worried because you don’t have health insurance, you can get assistance through FAMIS (Family Access to Medical Insurance Security) MOMS program.  This program provides health care coverage if you met certain requirements.

To learn more about or apply for FAMIS MOMS, call toll-free 1-866-87FAMIS (1-866-873-2647) or apply online here.

The website of The Child Welfare League of America provides helpful tips for parents on topics, including play, discipline techniques, toilet training, communicating with young children, building your child’s self-esteem as well as humor and perspectives on parenting. Visit this website to find information that will make your job as a parent more enjoyable and effective.

Becoming a parent is a huge step, and will dramatically change your life. These changes can be rewarding for many people, and you might find it to be a good experience and a good choice.  But raising a child is a challenge for anyone, and you need to think about these and other issues that might come up as a teen parent.

It might be helpful to talk to someone you trust about how you are feeling, the concerns you are having and the help that you need: a parent, a friend, a relative, or a counselor.  You might even know a teen parent who you can talk to and learn about their experience.

An additional resource is the Backline hotline is at 1-888-493-0092. Their talkline provides confidential, judgement-free support to callers at any point before, during or after an experience with pregnancy, abortion, adoption, or parenting and supports the full spectrum of decisions and feelings.