This is a parent’s worst fear, and it is no use shouting and berating your child. Labeling won’t help. Dealing calmly with the situation is your best approach. Tell her that you are disappointed and thought that she would have known better than to have sex with a boy at her age. Then push on to the talk you have avoided having with her which is now too late. Tell her that while it is fashionable to be a young mother, she is ill equipped to handle a pregnancy and will not finish her education. Your first approach is to sit down with her and discuss the following:
- Take an authoritative approach and tell her you will help her make the best decision for her and the child. If she is impressed by her peers she might not do what you want which means that she wants to keep the child. Speak to her and decide if she will listen to you and do what is best.
- Take your daughter to the hospital and have tests done for Aids and STDs.
- Take her to a pregnancy ward and show her the pain of birth. If you have a pregnant relative you might get permission for her to watch the birth.
- You might also get her to babysit your pregnant relative’s baby for a whole day to see what is in store for her; she would have to feed the baby at irregular hours, diaper and wash the child, and her free time will be over.
- Advise her or give her an option as to whether she wants to put the child up for adoption or keep it and not finish her studies. Tell her that there are very good women out there who cannot have children and who would love to have a baby and provide the child with everything it needs.
- Make an appointment with the child’s father and speak to him and his parents. Speak to them both together and on their own so that you can determine the best interests for everyone.
- Don’t slack off because while your talk might have jolted your daughter it does not mean that she will stop having sex. Sometimes it is necessary to be harsh to jolt someone back to reality; tell her that it will be a very stupid thing to do if she falls pregnant again.
- Her father will be very disturbed and disappointed, but tell him nevertheless to get more involved in his child’s life and help her make the right decision.
- Hard as it might be for you to do this, give her literature on pregnancy and books on raising a child and add a box of condoms. Your disappointment is not going to make things better; work with her in a patient and productive way.