For some, finding out they’re pregnant can be the happiest moment ever. For others, it can feel like the world is going to end. Regardless of their initial reaction, there’s one question which worries a lot of pregnant young people: “How am I going to tell my parents?” Luckily, there are some effective steps you can follow, and professional services available if you’re still feeling unsupported by your family.
Read this if:
- You are pregnant and worried about how your parents will react
- You need some guidance about how to prepare for the convo
- You want to support a friend who is pregnant
Some steps you can follow:
1. Plan what you want to say
They say practice makes perfect, and with such a nerve-wracking situation like this, planning your speech will take some of the pressure off. Take the time to jot down the main points you want to cover, and even practice saying it out loud a couple of times.
2. Speak to someone else first
Having a chat with someone you trust can help you test the waters and gain a great supporter. Find some time to confide in a friend, partner, close family member, or even a GP or counselor who will help you talk through your worries and concerns in a safe way.
3. Prepare yourself
You can never really know how your parents will react, so prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Try to visualize the different ways the convo might go. Focus on how you feel and what techniques can help you through those emotional responses - go for a walk, take some deep breaths, and repeat some positive thoughts.
4. Find the right time and place
It’s really important to pick an appropriate time and location for the conversation to take place. Make sure it’s private, as calm as possible, and that everyone has enough time for the conversation to take place (ie – don’t drop the bombshell when your parents are about to have the whole family around for Christmas lunch).
5. Do it the way you’re most comfortable
There are no rules for HOW to tell your parents, so find the way that makes you feel the most at ease, especially if you have any concerns at all about your emotional or physical safety. There are heaps of options: have a friend or relative with you, write your parents a letter, tell them together or separately, over-the-phone or face-to-face. Have a good think about what’s going to be best for you – it’s important you feel as safe and supported as possible.
6. Give it time
This isn’t just big news for you. After all, your parents are about to become grandparents! So be prepared to give them time to process the news, and don’t be put off by their initial reaction. It helps to make plans in advance so you have somewhere to go while everyone cools down.
Getting professional support
If the convo doesn’t go as well as you’d like, or you just need a good chat afterwards (or before), there are heaps of organisations that are there to support you through this new stage of your life. Family Planning operates across Australia, so check out their website find a clinic near you . They’ll help you look at all your options in a confidential way. You can also contact Relationships Australia. Alternatively, as with any issue, you can start by speaking with your GP, a youth worker, counsellor or mental health worker.