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Question
Posted by: teenage mom | 2004/02/23

what should i tell my child

hi, I was 16 when I had my daughter. She's now in grade 2 and I'm 24.. My concern is what should I tell my child when she start asking questions about me and falling pregnant so young. For instance a girl at her school asked me today how old I am.What if they do their math and "snap" it? and what if they tease her about it? How shuold I explain the whole thing to her? I married her father after she was born, but we got divorced 4 years ago. I've also been telling her that you should only have a baby after you get married. If there's anyone with some advice-pls advise!!!! The whole thing about teenasge pregnancy and the whole unwanted baby thing is not what I would what her to hear. I dont want her to feel unwanted or a burden or what ever! cause I love her to bits!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Dear tm,
I understand your concern, but things are likely to turn out fine. As you recognize, not only is it not wise to lie to one's children, as a general principle, but in a situation like this, the truth is likely to be disclosed by events and simple logic, anyway. Wouldn't it be best to at least open up the topic with your child, as something she can talk to you about, and base your discussions on the truth ?
For a start, kids are often more matter-of-fact about such things, not necessarily worrying about the larger social implications to the extent that we adults do, and are often less bothered by these issues than we might expect. As Glynis' experiences illustrates.
She is likely to form an impression of the significance of the facts, based much on your own reaction to them. If you behave towards her as if this is some enormous digrace, it will seem to her as if this must be so. If you convey that though you regret the timing of events, but that love is important though not always predictable, and that no-one has any right to criticize her about this, she is likely to absorb that attitude, too.
Secondly, the main parts of your message to your daughter are, surely, that you are her mother, and love her very much, and that you have been caring for her, as you will continue to do, since her birth. And your own experience could be used to warn her gently that teenage pregnancy is not a great idea, and is worth avoiding, but that it doesn't mean anything bad about the mother, or father, and especially, it means nothing bad about the resulting child.

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Romantic coach | 2004/02/24

Yep, I would agree that you need to be open an honest and clear in your explanation so that it is understandable ie not too complicated.

And also let her learn from what you went through. And encourageher, let her know that she is NOT a burden and that you love her muchly.

Reply to Romantic coach
Posted by: Glynis | 2004/02/23

Hi there... i too was a teenage mom... i had my son when i was 17, i'm 25 now and he's currently in Grade 3, i have aleardy explained to him that i had him when i still @ school and amazingly enough.. he actually remembers fetching me from school with my mom when i was in Matric.. so its not a bad thing in my opinion....i've explained everything to him from the time i found out i was pregnant up until i went into labour and also told him that i went to school everyday while i was pregnant and then he surprised me by telling that he had bragged to his friends that his mom had him while she was still @ school and to those Grade 3's... it was mega kewl... so dont stress over sumthing this trivial.... Just enjoy your bundle of Joy and make the most of it.

Reply to Glynis

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