The test was positive. Pregnant. The ultrasound at PRC confirmed it. Now the thoughts and questions are swirling around in your head. Questions like, “What am I going to do?” and “How am I going to tell my parents I’m pregnant?” It’s easy to freak out a bit, but before you make any decisions, before you just blurt it out to your parents, take a deep breath. Sure, it’s going to be hard, but it’s not impossible. Taking some time to process the news and come up with a plan will help.
Now that you’ve taken that breath, here are five tips on how to tell your parents you’re pregnant.
1. Consider timing.
Don’t wait until the last hour of your weekend home or late at night to spring the news. Leave enough time so you are not rushing through the information and then give them time to come back to you after the shock wears off. If your parents are divorced you need to decide if you will tell them together, and if not, which one you’ll tell first. Obviously, this will depend on how they communicate now and if they’re on good terms? This will be important to consider when you set up a time to talk.
2. Keep reminding yourself that your parents love you and want the best for you.
Even if they initially respond with hurt and anger, keep reminding yourself they are just shocked and they will need time to work through it. If your parents aren’t great communicators they may not say anything. Or, they may blow up. Preparing yourself ahead of time will help you manage the situation if they react poorly. Did we mention that they love you and want what’s best for you?
3. Prepare for questions.
The normal who, what, when, and where may come up. Work through how much information you want to share ahead of time. Prepare yourself for questions about the father of the baby as well. Do they know him or not? If they don’t know him, how much do you want to share about him? Will he be involved in the pregnancy? Think through the questions they will have and be ready to answer as many as you can. You will need to also consider that they may be shocked that you were having sex to begin with. How they react and what questions they have for you will have a lot to do with their views and values about relationships and sex. It will make it easier when they start asking questions to prepare this information in your mind before you tell them rather than responding on the fly.
4. Start making a plan.
You probably don’t have to have all the details worked out. But, having at least some ideas in place will show them you are taking responsibility and will help them see and treat you as an adult while they process the news. This is where we can help you. At PRC we can provide you with information about your pregnancy and make you aware of services in State College and help you plan out what the next few months could look like.
5. Have support.
Take a friend or ally with you so you don’t feel alone. This will give you support and security if you feel like you are not being heard. It will be emotional and sometimes having someone in your corner helps keep things in perspective.
After the initial news sinks in, most parents come around to supporting their daughter (or son) after they find out about an unplanned pregnancy. And, many times, parents end up being the strongest support to you will have! They usually need some time and space to work through the surprise just like you did. In the mean time, know we will be here to help.