Wednesday

What to Do When You Discover Your Son is a Father

In his early forties, he would have never thought it would happen to him, a father, former boxer now a grandfather. His handsome 16 going on 17 year old son, popular, a high school football player, now a father! “How could this be?” the father thought. He cussed, fussed, acted violently with anyone who was in his way. “I don’t want to be a grandfather! He told me he was using condoms! He said she put the condom on! I told him never let a girl put the condom on! She poked holes in it! I can’t believe this!” But he had to believe it. After the anger wore off, he and his son’s mother had to figure out something, but what?

You may be in a similar situation. So what do you do? The first step is to find your peace of mind, so that you can be of assistance to your child and his girlfriend. What that means is find someone or something that can help you take control of your thoughts and emotions so that you can think clearly. Some people take vacations during the heat of a crisis and others consult with a beloved family member or friend. Without peace of mind, you will only further aggravate the already complicated situation.

In the true story described earlier, the girl’s mother had a hard time hearing about her 15 year old daughter being pregnant. The gorgeous girl was an honors student and all her mother could do was witness her child’s future flash and then disappear before her eyes. She was so hurt by her daughter’s irresponsibility that she said some hurtful things about her boyfriend and her daughter to the both of them, the kind of things that may forever scar both children. The mother wasn’t ready to be a grandmother. She was so emotionally wounded, that she kicked her daughter out the minute she heard the news. The girl had nowhere to go, but to her boyfriend’s home. At least his parents had found their peace of mind in time to open their doors to her. But it wouldn’t be easy for the girl to live in her boyfriend’s parent’s home, for they would now preach abstinence despite it being less than a couple of years prior to the pregnancy that the boy’s father was providing him with condoms. The mother-to-be was to sleep on the couch in the basement while the father was to remain in his room during the night. They could never be in any part of the house alone.

So how do you handle the news that your son and his girlfriend are pregnant?

Assuming that you already spoke to your son, meet with him again. Find out if his thoughts about his situation have changed. How are the girl’s parents handling the news, that is, if she told them? Does she plan on getting an abortion? Does your son want her to abort? You may run into a situation where he doesn’t want the child and she does. Then what? He may be willing to give over all his rights to the child’s mother, but does that mean that future child support payments will go away? Can she still sue? You will need to consult with an attorney to find out all the details.

Your son and his girlfriend may agree to give the child up for adoption. Someone within your family or hers may want to care for the baby until they can manage. Whatever he and his girlfriend may decide, avoid the temptation to name call, talk about how miserable their life will be, or say or do anything that could jeopardize your relationship with your child and future grandchild. Your son and/or his girlfriend may be in a fragile state of mind and you don’t want to be responsible for pushing him or her over the edge.
    
Meet with the couple

Once you and your son have talked, arrange a date to meet with his girlfriend. You will want to know what her intentions are. There may be discrepancies in their story, she may have changed her mind concerning the baby, and she may be having trouble communicating with her own parents and friends. Provide any advice that could help the both of them.

Meet with the parents

You will want to notify the girl that you will be contacting her parents. Arrange to meet with them either in the presence of a school administrator, a teen pregnancy counselor, or some other person who can act as a witness. In the event that there is ever a future legal battle, you do not want to be making agreements with these people that could be used against you later. Think about what questions you will ask her parents such as what are their intentions concerning the care of the baby. Will they be buying diapers, food, milk etc. for the newborn as well?

Meet with the school

Contact a school nurse and/or counselor to provide you with a list of teen pregnancy resources in your area. Your son and his girlfriend will need to be present so that they can apply for free aid.

Arrange parenting classes and any other special program you have heard about

Once you, your son and/or his girlfriend have made appointments, he or she should conduct any research on obtaining employment until the baby arrives. Unfortunately, now that a baby is on the way, some of those extracurricular activities may have to be dropped temporarily unless the family is willing to chip in for the care of their future addition while the children start focusing on completing high school.

If neither parent on either side wants the young couple and their newborn to live with them, learn about independent living programs in your area for teen parents. The program criteria is different depending on where the teen lives, how old he or she is, whether they income qualify, etc.

Make room in your home

If the children do not qualify for independent living, you or her parents will need to figure out how to make room in your home for baby items. You will also have to consider finding some place in the home for your son to care for his baby when he or she awakes through the night especially if there are other young children living in the home.

Join a support group

Receiving news about your child having a child isn’t easy and being around others who understand and can empathize with your struggle can bring your spirits up. Avoid being around people who can’t be of any assistance to you or your son. The last thing you need right now is someone igniting your fire by blaming and judging you as a parent or negatively commenting about your child’s action or inaction.

As a believer, remember to pray.  You will need the hand of God to help you during challenging times with your son and his family.

Nicholl McGuire is the owner of this blog and the author of When Mothers Cry and Tell Me Mother You're Sorry.



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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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