Not many girls complete high school once they become pregnant. This is especially true if the baby is due before their graduation date. For those who do, it is a testimony to their determination and probably to their families. Even fewer still make it to a college degree although a significant number are able to get some form of specialized education that is short-term in nature.
Despite all of the warnings, teen girls still continue to conceive babies while unwed and still in school. The reaction of their parents can make a tremendous difference in whether or not they are able to complete high school. Many times parents feel a sense of enormous embarrassment when the news is revealed. Because of this, they can become extremely unsupportive of what is in the best interest of their daughter.
Often after the conception is known, a forced marriage can ensue. At other times, they expect the girl to stop her education and immediately get a job to bring income to the home to support the medical expenses and a new mouth to feed. College funds are sometimes raided to provide for the new person coming into the world. It can be a very frustrating time for the teen and the parents.
With so many choices to make in such a limited amount of time with the high degree of tension in the air, this is a good opportunity to go to a pastor or counselor to explore the options available. This will help the family make better more forward-looking decisions.
With the drop in self-esteem that most girls feel, comes a willingness to accept anything that seems like it might improve relationships and make a place for the baby. While it would be far better if these types of eventualities could be planned, it is a rare parent that has a strategy mapped out ahead of time. Parents always plan for the best and are caught off-guard by the worst. This isn’t bad parenting. It is just a reality of life.
The pregnant teen needs encouragement to just face the world and continue her education. Although having the baby can complicate things and even make for additional planning and expenses, it is possible to help the young lady complete high school and at least two years of college. A four-year degree should be the goal.
Yes, it may be a little embarrassing and change many plans. But, the long-term well-being of mother and child should be the priority. This requires an education that will allow her to support her new family, even if it is without a husband.