Telling your parents that you are pregnant may be one of the hardest things you will ever do. You may feel like you’ve let them down or that they may never forgive you. Please remember that no matter what their initial reaction is, this reaction will most likely change over time if you maintain a level of maturity and stay calm.

Before deciding how to tell your parents that you are pregnant, give yourself plenty of time to think. Start by taking steps like confirming your pregnancy, having an ultrasound to see how far along you are, and meeting with a counselor to talk through all of your options.

Take time to think for yourself:

• Take a walk 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.
• Write down your game plan. If you plan to parent, you will you provide for your child? Will the father of the baby be involved? What about your education? Does your school offer childcare?

Once you are ready to tell you parents:

• Expect anything.
• Give your parents room to vent their initial reactions.
• Stay calm. Never add ‘fuel to the fire’.
• Do not use swearing or sarcasm. Stomping off will get you nowhere.
• If you are afraid that they will be angry and say hurtful things, place a letter or card (even this pamphlet) where you know they will find it.

As your parents see that you have made your own conscious decisions and are responding maturely, they are more likely to support you and respect you.

If your parents do not handle the news well, don’t panic. You are not alone. We have resources to help you. You may want to ask about family counseling or making other living situations like a maternity home.

Remember, this is YOUR decision, and if you plan to carry the baby to term, no one, not even your parents, can legally force you to have an abortion.