Guest Author - Joyce Orzak
When your teenage boy brings home the news that he got a girl pregnant, your situation is very different than that of the girl’s family. Here are some of the differences and similarities between boys and girls involved in teen pregnancy and ways to get involved.
1. Boys are very likely to be in denial and distance themselves from the situation. This is the time for a trusted family member or loved one (preferably male) to sit down with the boy and firmly explain that while it is the girl carrying the pregnancy, the boy is every bit as responsible as she is in having created the situation. At the time of this writing, a teenage boy is financially responsible for the child in all fifty states and territories of the United States.
2. Make sure that when explaining a boy’s responsibilities to him, you encourage him in a positive manner to step up to adulthood, and not make the consequences of his actions disciplinary.
3. Now is the time to look at the big picture. An abortion might seem desirable at the moment, but the boy’s outlook on life is guaranteed to change in the next decade or two. How will he tell a future spouse of the child he had aborted? Will his views on abortion change and he’ll end up regretting the child he could have had? He needs to understand that even if he temporarily “solves” the problem by having the pregnancy terminated, the issues will crop up for him later in life. The fact of the matter is that a child’s life resulted from his actions and no amount of covering up or denial will take that truth away.
4. Oftentimes, a girl’s parents will push marriage on the teenagers. The majority of teenagers who get married due to an unplanned pregnancy also get divorced within a few years. While it is an option, marriage needs to be approached and considered with the utmost of seriousness. If this path is being considered, professional counseling (local churches and crisis pregnancy center are excellent sources) for both families is highly recommended.
5. A visit to the local crisis pregnancy center is very valuable. Counseling is highly recommended for everyone involved. Most crisis pregnancy centers offer counseling for the entire family, support groups, answer questions and explore options such as adoption and raising the baby. They will be able to direct you to financial aid, adoption services and child-care services. Many centers offer a cash to learn type of program to teach your daughter vital life management and child-rearing skills.
6. Encourage your boy to get a job and save money, if he doesn’t already do this. Financial responsibility is never a bad thing and this will teach him valuable work ethics that aid in being a responsible parent.