Statistics show that the teenage pregnancy rate in America is higher than in any other industrialized nation. With this being said, parents need to take an active role in supporting their teenagers during this time of life. Here are four ways you can help your teenager through parenting.
Have a conversation about sex and birth control with them early on. Make sure they know all of the facts about what pregnancy and birth control are. Also, help to ensure that they are informed of everything there is to know. This way, if the time comes where a pregnancy test returns positive, it won’t be because one or both of you were not prepared for such an event. It’s important to make sure teenagers who become pregnant have information in their pockets.
Get Some Help
Most teen girls can’t take care of a baby all by themselves. If you have the resources, baby care centers could be beneficial or a nanny can help out with feeding and changing shifts so that your teenage daughter and her child get some time together without outside assistance around them constantly. It’s a good idea to have a support system for teenage mothers if you can afford it so that she doesn’t feel like the only one doing all the work. Sending her friends over with food and gifts will help encourage positive relationships between your daughter and their peers after they’re born!
Help Them Stay In School
Studies have shown that a teenage girl who has babies while in school will most likely drop out of school. This is usually because they feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities and financial strains of their new child and because society does not support them staying in school during pregnancy or after birth. If you know someone with a baby in school, offer to help them with their homework or if they are having trouble sleeping because of the baby waking up at night, take turns watching the child so that one parent can get some much-needed rest.
Talk About Budgeting, Shopping, And Cooking Together
When a teenager is in charge of their food, they learn to budget and appreciate the value of money. Shopping with your teen also allows you to share what you know about nutrition and healthy eating. Cooking together can teach them how to prepare foods that are both cheap and tasty, but it can give them a chance to practice their math skills. Take your teen grocery shopping or to the farmer’s market and talk about how much things cost, what they buy, etc. Then, invite them on a cooking adventure in which you make something together! For example, spaghetti sauce is easy for teens to prepare with supervision, but very little skill is needed. Notice that they have a budget and how much they can spend on ingredients. Once the food is cooked, chat about the process together! Ask them what their favorite part was or any questions that came up as you prepared it.
As a teen parent, you can support your child by being positive and encouraging. Encourage them to go back to school or get their diploma, so they have more options for work when they are older. You can also show family members that teenage parents aren’t different from other families in the community. As long as everyone works together, this is something you and your child can overcome.