Tips for Telling Your Parents

Before deciding how you will tell your parents that you are pregnant, give yourself plenty of time to think about everything that has happened. Start by taking a few steps like calling the Helpline at 1-800-672-2296, confirming your pregnancy, having an ultrasound to determine how far along you are and meet with a counselor to talk through all of your options. Take some time out for yourself.

  • Go for a walk to a favorite spot to clear your mind and help you think.
  • Carefully choose a trusted friend, school counselor, youth leader, or relative to tell how you are feeling, and what you have done so far.
  • Jot down ideas and plans for you and your child’s future. Keeping a journal will help you be prepared to talk with your parents.

Thinking It Through:

As a pregnant teen, the next step may be hard to do, especially if you don’t feel good about your relationship with them already. Try to imagine what it would be like to be a parent. Though no parents are perfect, most want to know what you are going through.

Keep these things in mind:

  • Parents have expectations for their children; maybe to do things they never could, or make right the mistakes they made along the way.
  • Maybe they have told you not to become pregnant, or to wait for sex.
  • Parents don’t want anything to get in the way of your goals and dreams.

Now, try to imagine how they would feel if you say, “Mom, Dad, I’m pregnant.”

  • One of their biggest fears is that they will be left having to be a parent all over again.
  • They fear how it will change your life.
  • Be prepared for them to be shocked and say things they don’t mean. They may be hurt and angry for a while.

As they see you taking responsibility, responding maturely and making your plans they will respect you and may even support you more than you could imagine. Not all parents react the same, but all parents need time to think through everything, just like you.

Breaking The News:

Finally, it’s time to think of some ways to break the news; here are some ideas:

  • Write a letter expressing your thankfulness to have them as parents and all they have done for you.
  • Compliment them on what you think they did well as parents. Then tell them you are pregnant and share your plans with them. Most parents want to see that their child is taking responsibility for their decisions and actions.
  • Express your concerns about their reaction. For example, “I’m afraid you will kick me out, or disown me.” “I’m afraid I’ve disappointed you.”
  • If you are afraid they will be angry and say hurtful things, place a letter or card where you know they will find it. This gives them time to read it and work through some of their emotions before being face to face.
  • Set a time you would like to talk face to face. This will help them prepare their words and response.
  • If you plan to tell them face to face, consider having a counselor, a trusted friend or relative with you to help cushion their response.
  • Purchase a gift for them that would give them hope that you are going to be o.k. (a grandparent brag book, or toy for times they would babysit.)

Any teen pregnancy will probably be a difficult situation and you have challenges ahead, if you are positive about the future, and express your feelings and plans positively, your parents will be more likely to think positively as well.

If your parents do not handle the news well, don’t panic, you are not alone, there are services that can help you and your family. You may want to ask about family counseling, or making other living arrangements; like a maternity home. The Helpline can help you get connected to services in your area.

Last updated: 09/2017