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Bomb was dropped.. (teen girl is pregnant)

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 

I don't know what to do.  I feel like I've failed my daughter.  I've always been there for her, I've always told her she could come to me and if she had decided to become sexually active, to come to me so we could discuss it more.  Come to find out she's always lied to me about everything and I'm so hurt. 

If the subject of sex ever came up, she'd always get defensive and say she's not like other girls who are easy and she has body issues, so not to worry.  She doesn't want to have sex until atleast marriage.


Well here we are and my daughter is 17, she'll be 18 at the end of October and she told me she's pregnant from her new boyfriend of barely 2mos.  She was on the pill for very painful periods and still missed days because she always forgot.


According to her, I'm too strict and she lied to me about being sexually active because she didn't want me to be any more strict.  According to her also, I'm ruining her life and she hates me. 

She wants to move out also because she can't be without her boyfriend and she doesn't want him to leave her.  Her boyfriend is only 16 and is currently dropping out of high school to get his GED.

She's trying to make demands that if she stays home, I have to lengthen her curfew and let her go out with her boyfriend whenever she wants. 


Another kicker here is that we are a military family and are due to move again in September.  So she for sure does not want to move with us.


I just feel so lost because I don't know what the right thing to do is.

I too was a young pregnant mom. I had my first child at 19 and I've told her how hard it really is.  But she refuses to listen.



post #2 of 51

Your DD is confused, sad, angry and a million other emotions right now.  I would take her to the DR to confirm the pregnancy and dates.  I would also let the DR provide her with health info.  Sometimes coming info from another source is better received.  


Until she is 18 she is still a minor and required to do as you say.  If that means moving in September than she moves with you in September.  


I would have a meeting with the parents and teens to discuss things.  How does the possible father plan on supporting this child?  What part of the pregnancy bills will he be responsible for?  


If she wants to be an 'adult' then I would get hard core with her and show her real life adult bills.

Rent, utilities, transportation, daycare, baby expenses, medical, etc.  How does she plan to finish school?  Will she be done in 2012 or 2013?  These are all questions for her to ponder and come up with possible solutions to.  Discuss the importance of child support with her.


I would also seek a family counselor to help everyone sort out what is going to happen.


Your DD is in for a rude awakening, that 16 yr old is most likely NOT going to hang around (you and I know that).   wouldn't change her curfew or anything at this point.  If anything she is not responsible for another human being and she needs to be more responsible!

post #3 of 51

I'm so sorry!  I know it's always been one of my fears. Especially since I didn't like my daughter's ex boyfriend very much.  (I pretended I did) and I couldn't imagine her being saddled with him forever just because of one pregnancy. 


It sounds like she's immature for her age.  (my dd was too) and wants to blame you for everything without having any responsibility.


So, I would take a step back, and have her explain how she plans to deal with all of this.  Since she obviously wants to move out and live on her own, ask her to go over every little detail with you.  (be serious, and helpful)  Make sure she understands and is able to handle rent, and supplies, and medical issues.  


She's still young, and isn't really able to think very far ahead yet.  She honestly doesn't have the ability to think into the future yet.  That's not her fault, or yours... it's just part of life.  So, she's not realizing that carseats cost money, auto insurance, and repairs, late night runs to Walgreens to buy Motrin or medical supplies.  


If she wants to do this on her own, help her figure out a plan, and help her carry it out.  It's not a good idea to count on the baby's father since reality is, he is only 16.... he's not ready for this.  Sure, he's responsible, but it's really hard to force him to stick around.  I don't know what the percentages are that the boy will still be there in two years, but I bet they aren't very high.  A teenage boy isn't equipped to deal with a relationship and a baby at the same time right now.  


Just be happy for her.  You will LOVE and adore this baby.  I promise.  You will have a special relationship with this baby, and it will turn out wonderful.  This is hard to deal with right now, but it gets better.

post #4 of 51

Curfew?! She has a baby. Her "curfew" is however long she can afford to be out and PAY the babysitter. DH and I pay $10-$12/hour for babysitting. So if we went out for 4 hours (7-11pm) that would be $48 plus the cost of whatever we were doing. I agree with hitting her with some cold hard reality numbers!

post #5 of 51
Thread Starter 

THanks for all of the responses so far, I REALLY appreciate them all!


I will be going over the reality of bills with her again and the boy's father is suppose to call me tonight.

I don't even know what to say to him.  This is all new territory for me and not somethign I was hoping to have to go through.

I've always shared a lot of how hard it can be on your own.  She just doesn't think it will be hard no matter what I tell her.  She just got a part time job and is only a junior in high school.  She thinks she can manage it all.


I also grounded her so far until friday for staying out past her curfew on a school night.  She's been flippin out over that and right now I don't even want to see the boy near my house at this point in time.


This is so hard and her grades area already falling now as well. I can see how bad this can go real fast.  I want her to stay in school.

So I have to think if should I let her go and find out the hard way before the baby is here or do I fight her the whole way and have it affect everyone else as well because she doesn't want to do as her parents tell her.  My 15yr old has been crying so much over this already since she heard it all last night.  My 6yr old doesn't know anythign is going on so far thankfully. 






post #6 of 51

That boy won't stick around, and if he does, I doubt he can provide for that baby. Has she considered giving it up?


I can't imagine how you must feel in this situation, but I hope you have the support you need to get through it. If she's still 17 in September, she has to go with you unless you grant an emancipation, so I wouldn't worry too much about that. She will need you if she keeps the baby.

post #7 of 51
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by jdsf View Post

That boy won't stick around, and if he does, I doubt he can provide for that baby. Has she considered giving it up?


I can't imagine how you must feel in this situation, but I hope you have the support you need to get through it. If she's still 17 in September, she has to go with you unless you grant an emancipation, so I wouldn't worry too much about that. She will need you if she keeps the baby.



Thank you.  So far I'm alone in it all and my husband is in Okinawa.  My daughter is threatening emancipation as well and even came home saying her school counselor will help her with it and I have no say so in that matter.  I'm about ready to let her walk out right at this moment.:(

post #8 of 51

PM'd you.  Good luck, mama.

post #9 of 51


Originally Posted by marlne View Post

 I'm about ready to let her walk out right at this moment.:(

I don't know that I would let her walk out now.  But, tell her that you think she can handle this, and take her around to find out what it will cost for her to support herself.  Get her excited about her new future life alone.  Make sure that she understands that she will probably be doing this WITHOUT the boy.  So, she can proceed with him for now, but be prepared for him to leave.  


Hopefully, she'll realize soon that she can't do this alone.... she's just upset and scared right now.


I've known only ONE family where the boy stuck around and is still there 30 years later.  All the others (there have been a lot) have left the situation within a year.    But, it always works out.  Everybody moved on and did well.  Those babies are all adults now, and they are all doing well.  But, they haven't seen their birth father since they were babies....and, it's still OK.   The moms rose to the occasion and raised strong happy kids, most of them married another man when they were older and more mature, and the men took on the responsibility of their new family.   There have been no real regrets.  

post #10 of 51

Around here, there has to be a really strong reason for emancipation and/or the parent has to agree.  On what grounds is she "threatening" you?  That sounds like the kind of things my dd used to claim all of the time, but it was never accurate.  The court as far as I know wouldn't let her be emancipated against your will because you wanted her to follow your rules and finish school.  Here the minor has to show they are self-supporting.  Pregnancy surely doesn't accomplish that.


I'd first of all give her all of the freedom I reasonably could and reduce every possible reason you could fight her that isn't worth it.  Don't treat her like this is a tragedy, because that muddies the waters.  But also don't let her use the PG as a reason to manipulate you and get all of the rules changed.  She has broken trust.  She has been lying all of the time.  Don't suddenly give her everything she says she wants.  Keep her curfew.  Stick with your boundaries.  Thnik over whether they are unreasonable, and if you decide they are reasonable do not waver.  My dd is allowed to sleep over with her boyfriend but when she is at home she still has the same curfew, which is 11PM.  Because it disturbs us and the younger siblings when she is coming home later and we want the house locked up for the night.  Tell her that honesty and building trust are the way to get freedom and she doesn't get it just because she gets PG.  I would not give in to her demands.  Why in the world does she get to decide that you "have to" lengthen the curfew?  You don't need her to agree to stay home, she needs you to agree with her leaving home.  I would try to stay clear-headed and make the best choice and not be manipulated by someone who disrespects you, lies, tries to push you around.  She has lost your respect and trust and I would emphasize that she will have fewer privileges as a result.  Do not worry that you may be too strict right now!  She's just trying to hit you where it hurts, where you are sensitive.  To weaken you. 


Focus as best you can and try not to get too terribly caught up in the guilt and fear and emotional intensity of it when it is time to make solid decisions.  Be the grownup by keeping your cool so you stand your ground on the parts that matter and don't get sucked into all of those nasty side battles that don't accomplish anything.  Try to disengage when your dd pushes you down a useless argument pathway that's only a distraction.  Try not to accept the blame she throws your way.  She doesn't even care what is or isn't true.  So please don't let her knock you down with those reckless words.  I know it is hard to focus when things are so emotionally intense but that's a good goal anyway.  Take breaks to think things through when you need them.  It doesn't even matter whether it's a bad thing or a good thing right now for her to have a baby so try not to be focused on that because then it is another useless thing to argue about.


Now, if you really want to deal with this by letting her move out it probably isn't the worst outcome either.  And quite frankly if she is unwilling to keep her grades up there is probably absolutely nothing you can do about it at this point.  She will be free to live with her mistakes any way she chooses as of her 18th birthday, so there are only a few things you can affect that will make a difference for the next six months.  If she will graduate this year, then you may be able to get her through the next two months.  But if she has another year of school that will be quite out of your hands so tell her what you think and step out of it and tell her to make her decisions.  Or tell her she can't drop out until she is 18 and hope that she will see the light by then.  Say it is absolute, no negotiation. 


She is in full battle mode and I think it is okay for you to enforce a long grounding if you have to, restrictions as needed.  The police may be able to pick her up for you if she walks out after curfew, etc.  You can also declare her out of control and then she would be in contempt of court if she breaks any of the rules that are set.  Anyway I am not recommending this option but I am saying that if your dd acts like you have no authority over her and you want to claim that authority there are some ways to do so.  Check out the local laws for your area.  Call up local social services and ask.  I found out about this when my dd was a runaway.  We did not end up using this tool but it's available and not the worst thing in the world if you need help.  Your dd is legally a minor and it's not up to her--the law is on your side and if you need backup it's there.   


Whichever way you go it's good if you know what power you do and do not have and what you will do when challenged. 

post #11 of 51

If she turns 18 and he is still 16 or even 17 it could be considered a statutory rape situation (with her as the "rapist").  She should be very careful and investigate the statutes where you live.  You may want to consult a family law attorney if you can possibly afford it.  If she wants to try to make it on her own-- let her-- but don't "enable" her by paying her rent, utilities, grocery bills etc..  

post #12 of 51

When I was 15 I got pregnant.  The first thing my mom said was " you're having an abortion",  thereby all but guaranteeing I would carry the baby to term.  I could not listen to reason as long as she made it into a power struggle over who was in control here - me or her.  So far as I was concerned at the time, I was practically an adult and this was my problem to decide.  I resented being treated like a stupid kid who had nothing to say and no valid input; most 'hard knocks' talks came off as lectures and so I generally dismissed them as sensationalist fear mongering.   They said I couldn't bring the baby home; I moved out earlier rather than wait until I had to move with a baby.   I refused to move, and my parents left for Europe (they were also military).   They gave me about the same amount as welfare would pay me, and made sure I was set up with an older female friend, but it didn't take long before I was kicked out of there and wound up moving in with my abusive drug addicted older boyfriend.  Not to scare you, just trying to give a little background.  Once I was on my own, it didn't take long for me to realize I couldn't bring a baby into this environment, and I left her at the hospital to be adopted.  My heart has never hurt so much, but it was the right thing to do.  I was a mess for a couple more years, but eventually pulled myself together, ditched the a%%hole, got my degree, and no one would ever guess this was my story unless I told them.  I recently reunited with my dd, and she's beautiful, warm, caring and fantastic.  


Idk your dd, and maybe she's very different from who I was, but I know that as long as I felt patronized, condescended to, lectured, not taken seriously, bossed around, or like someone was trying to control me or make my descions for me, all I was thinking about was reclaiming my so called independence.  I could not process what was right for the baby, or what would work in the long term.  I'm not saying that you should let her do what she wants, but this is a grown up problem and it is ultimately her grown up problem.  IMO, nextcommercial had it right when she said  " I don't know that I would let her walk out now.  But, tell her that you think she can handle this, and take her around to find out what it will cost for her to support herself.  Get her excited about her new future life alone.  Make sure that she understands that she will probably be doing this WITHOUT the boy.  So, she can proceed with him for now, but be prepared for him to leave."   In your situation I would be doing everything I could to preserve our relationship without enabling her.  I would push for her to move with us tho, even if she hated it. 

post #13 of 51

How far along is she?  Has she considered all of her options at this point in time? 

post #14 of 51

I'm sorry you are in this position.  It's weird, but I was thinking about this today regarding my own DD (who is only 11 and boys still have cooties to her).  It was b/c I watched the most recent episode of 16 and Pregnant this afternoon, and I had thoughts going through my head as to how I would want want to support but not enable my own DD if this ever happened in the future.  It's a real rough place to be in, I'm thinking; not at all like you imagine becoming a grandparent on better terms would be.


Anyhow, I don't really have much advice (cue my rambling), b/c of course, every family is different and every situation different, too.  I do think *almost 18* is too old for a strict curfew, personally.  That's one thing I agree with her about.  I mean, what kinds of trouble are you hoping for her to avoid late at night? She's already pregnant.  Even my own (fairly strict) mom didn't control when I came home at 17/18/19 as far as I remember, as long as I communicated with her so she could sleep soundly not worrying about me.  That all said, of course life will change by a 180 degrees when your DD becomes a mother.  Curfew will the least of her concerns, considering if she was out and about she'd either have to have baby in tow or find someone responsible to care for her kid while she went out at night.  That's the real world, when you become a parent. 


I know I wouldn't kick any of my kids out, or I say that now as they are still fairly young, but you can't let her take advantage of you.  She (and her boyfriend) need to grow up real quick if they plan to parent this child she is carrying.  Your job, IMO, is to be supportive and helpful along the way, but still let them do the majority of the figuring out and work involved in starting a family at such a young age.  That means they need to find a way to provide for the baby's basic needs, or at least make an effort to do so for the majority of what is involved, while still finding their way in the world. 


DH and I had our first baby at 20/21, but we already lived on our owns and were at least out of high school.  It still had it's challenges, and I don't really wish parenthood on anyone much younger than that, unless they truly know what they are getting into.  But, it is absolutely possible to make it out just fine and be wonderful parents at a young age.  It just means a heck of a lot of work and determination, and hopefully a supportive family to guide them along the way. 


Best of luck to you and your DD. 


***Honestly, I'm a bit scared as to what it will be like to raise 4 teenagers in the near future.  Really freaked out, actually.  I'll take toddler problems any day over these huge life-changing issues!

post #15 of 51

With two older ones of my own (18 & 20), this is a scenario I've considered many times, from both sides (my daughter getting pregnant or my son impregnating someone)...


I think the initial reaction is almost always shock and anger (I would be SO pissed off!). For ALL involved. As angry and upset as you are, I am sure you know that she is the same - as well as scared. All of those feelings come out pretty forcefully, especially towards those we feel safest with. What you say or do now will not change the fact that your daughter is pregnant. But it will strongly affect what your future relationship will be - with both her AND her child. You said that you were a teen Mom - how would you have liked your parents to talk to you? To help you? Would tough love have helped you? Or a Mom who was willing to put aside her disappointment and help her work through the options?


Tere is much to be said for laying down the law. There is also much to be said for scaling that back a bit, and being the support she needs now.

post #16 of 51

I think that the "you're a kid who lives under my rules!"  has sailed.  She got pregnant and will now become a mother (barring other circumstances).  That is being a adult.  I think the natural consequences are built in to this.  I agree with zebra about this.  She made an adult decision, now she needs to get her adult self in order.  


Being mad, shaming, threatening, punishing isn't going to help this at all.  


Again, take zebra's advice and sit down and start figuring out the logistics.  I think that's the best place to start.

post #17 of 51

Just reading through responses and thought I would offer what I know about emancipation and curfew. My older half brother had sort of a rough go of it as a kid, his father had battled my mother for custody for something insane like 4 years and told all kinds of horrible lies about her to get custody. When I was a baby we were investigated by CPS numerous times and they eventually told him "No, we're not going anymore, stop wasting our time" and granted his father primary custody after my parents were too tired and broke to keep fighting him, and they were 2 hours away by plane so split custody wasn't an option. Anyway, he only wanted custody of my brother to stick it to our mom, and put all of his efforts into his new wife and new kid who is a couple years younger than me. Surprise, my brother rebelled and his dad sent him back to us after he had gotten his ear pierced at 14 and said he was done with him. By this point, he was used to fending for himself and honestly couldn't function in a "family" situation, so my mother did all she could to keep him in school, to the point where she would hand him off to the vice principal in the morning, but he still managed to run off. My mother had no choice but to let him become empancipated, since she would end up going to jail if he remained excessively truant thanks to the laws in our state. She was willing to do so, only because of the legal issues, and he got his G.E.D. the same day and moved out. If she had wanted to make him stay, my brother couldn't have left on his own. The law requires the parents to be negligent or otherwise incapable of providing for the child, mentally unfit, or abusive, so as long as you're a decent parent, she needs your consent in most places. I don't know about Florida or any other state that just makes up whatever they want to, but for the most part, them's the rules.


My mother imposed a 10 o'clock curfew through my senior year after I had turned 18. She let me stay out til midnight Prom night but that was it. I still managed to get into plenty of trouble. If you impose a more reasonable curfew, they are more likely to respect it than if they feel it's unfair. I had friends who could stay out til 2 am if it was a concert in 9th or 10th grade and I always resented my mother making me be home so early. I think if cell phones weren't the size of a book back then, it might have been different, but she always said "It's not you I don't trust, it's other people" which always feels like a BS reason to miss out on something when you're a teenager. No matter how well meaning you are, they still expect you to give them freedom until they screw it up, and even then they still might expect it.

post #18 of 51

I haven't been in your shoes, so it is impossible to know what I would really do, but I think that once the initial shock wore off, my primary concern would be how my DD would complete her education.


Every baby is a blessing. Every single one, even when the timing isn't what we would chose.


I'm in my late 40s and know several women my age who ended up without kids because either they never met the right guy or they had fertility problems. One had a child who died very young and she never got over it enough to have another child.


I hope your DD stays healthy and well during her pregnancy, and that the baby is born strong and healthy.



post #19 of 51

I started college at 17 and lived in the dorm. I wonder if it's time to re-think how you are approaching your near-adult child.


Congrats to her on the baby and to you on your impending grandmotherhood.


I can't imagine getting through this without a good family counselor, especially with the move in September.


She must be overwhelmed - feeling happy about the baby and boyfriend and upset and scared at the same time.


Hopefully a counselor can help you all, especially since you were open to talking and supporting her around sex before her pregnancy.


I have doubts that calling the police to enforce curfew is going to help any...but, of course, my perspective comes from my then 17 year old self being at college. So it's hard to imagine how weird a curfew would have felt.

post #20 of 51

I can only imagine how angry, worried and stressed you are feeling! I did the same thing to my parents TWICE before I turned 18. My advice having been there....


The baby already exists. I believe children are meant to be regardless of the circumstances. Your daughter is nearly an adult by US law standards but merely a child, IMO. I thought I "knew it all" at her age. I thought I could handle motherhood and all that it entails. It was my dream to become a mother. That's all I ever wanted to be. Then, then, I grew up in my mid to late twenties and looked back and realized how young I really was. There is medical proof now that we are all unable to make good choices until our mid to late twenties. So, in my eyes, your daughter is a child having a child. She must be terrified inside but is putting up this "I'm a big girl now" front out of her own anxiety and  a very age-appropriate desire for independence. So, the baby is here already. The best you can do is support her. She now has to make adult decisions in spite of being a child. You have to support her unconditionally. Trust me, it will be hard to see her make bad decisions but keeping her under lock and key will only drive her further away....probably into the hands of a loser boyfriend whom she will then become dependent on and for the sake of pride, stay with! 


Support her in all her choices. Statistically, she will get no where fast....but at least at that point, she has had the unconditional support she needs to make the choice to come back home! If it's all done without love or support, pride and pain of rejection will keep her on a road to future self-destructive behaviors! Love, love, love her regardless of her choices! Do whatever you can to help her! 

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