How to cope with being parents in adolescence?

Being parents in adolescence happens more often than imagined. It should be a topic of conversation and not a taboo.

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Elena Sanz on October 23, 2021.

Last update: October 23, 2021

Being parents in adolescence is news that will surely be received with surprise. It happens, but it will not be usual, to expressly seek to become pregnant. In general, it occurs due to lack of communication, misinformation or carelessness.

Parents who become grandparents inadvertently should intensify their attention to their children because now is when they need them most. Surprise in the adolescent can be accompanied by fears and anxiety that parents must handle with love, patience and dedication.

After all, it is life that reaches the family and if it is welcomed, it will give joy in abundance. Together, the challenges of the arrival of a baby will be manageable and surmountable. Read on for some tips on how to cope with teen parenting.

Top Obstacles Teen Parents Face

Teen parents face uncertainty in several essential ways: housing, work, economic stability. They are in a process of formation and learning when they come across the experience of parenthood. So they are forced to take up parenting and continue their studies.

In the case of young women, they will have to interrupt them when the delivery is approaching or before, if it is a risky pregnancy. Likewise, at least the first 6 months should be devoted entirely to caring for the baby. If it is a young man, he must share his studies with work and learning to be a father.

Being a parent in adolescence has its advantages

Among the advantages is energy. Being parents in adolescence is a waste of vitality to take on the intense work of parenting. Another advantage is that, in a world where so many changes happen in such a short time, the generation gap between parents and children will be smaller.

Children born at an early age ensure fertility and the possibility of making a family. Although the cases are more frequent in contexts of low-income populations, which sometimes worsens the situation of poverty.

In countries with better economic and social conditions, on the other hand, couples are inclined to have children at a later age, with the consequent increase in treatments to reverse infertility.

Teen couples, in general, are not looking to be parents at this time. The news is usually a surprise.

Risks of adolescent motherhood

Studies classify teenage pregnancy as a public health problem. Mothers frequently suffer obstetric complications, which increase maternal and infant mortality rates. The adolescent’s body is not yet mature for the process of pregnancy and childbirth.

It is also important to know that the mother is growing at the same time that a life grows inside her. There will be an internal struggle for nutrients, which can affect the weight and height of the fetus. Babies therefore tend to be born with low weight.

Teen mothers are more susceptible to pregnancy-induced hypertension. Similarly, preeclampsia, anemia, and sexually transmitted infections are common.

5 tips for teen parents

The arrival of a child in the family involves all its members. Undoubtedly, it will be more so if the next to be a father or mother is a teenager.

There will be an initial bewilderment. Once this moment is over, the task of accompanying this intense and novel stage will arrive with the best of spirits.

1. Understand and support

The first thing is to understand the situation, stop to look broadly at the family scene and place the adolescent in the place of the one who needs the most of all. Your immediate surroundings should be looked at or focused inward, since the family is a complex and integrated whole in deep interaction. The silences speak and the words, sometimes, do not say everything.

It is necessary to activate mechanisms of understanding and emotional support, because the adolescent who opens up to fatherhood does not have all the information they need. You are not prepared and will have to learn to be in a very short time. It has the parents and grandparents of the child who is on the way.

2. Help and teach

Parents have learned to be parents during their upbringing. They probably became one after making a decision. Although the statistics say otherwise. Indeed, teenage parents are usually the children of teenagers.

The point is that the time has come to face the challenge of parenting when it was not in the plans. The help of grandparents is essential; they have the experience and they handle secrets and procedures that young people have to learn. When there is love and powerful desires to protect, learning is mutual and rewarding.

3. Sustain economically and boost

One of the basic fears is how to support the baby that comes to the family if the parents only study and do not work. Concern is natural given the many expenses that raising a child brings. It is very likely that grandparents bear a large part of the expenses.

But teen parents should be encouraged to seek part-time employment. One that allows them to study and care for the baby’s upbringing. It is forced and complex, because without qualification, the jobs will be low paid. That is why the support of grandparents and other family members is important.

Stability is not only economic, but personal and collective construction of responsibility. The task of growing is everyone’s. Thus the family will be strengthened and the home will be rewarding and protective for the child.

4. Teen parents need to study

The importance of the adolescent studying is that it will translate into better jobs and higher pay. Which will mean greater security for the growing child. At the same time, it provides grandparents with the peace of mind that a teenage parent gives off on their own feet on the path of life.

Parental support in the context of a teenage pregnancy is essential.

5. Contribute to the shared construction of responsibility

Adolescent parental responsibility precipitates maturation. As is often the case, the adolescent mother is closer to that quality, who not infrequently has to assume the upbringing without the presence of the father and alone with her family.

In the case of males, the grandparents are obliged to claim the assumption of responsibility. The child of a pair of adolescent parents is a loving responsibility of both families.

Being parents in adolescence: a reality with many edges

Globally, 1 in 8 births are to adolescent mothers and the trend is on the rise. The numbers cause concern. On the other hand, a tendency to hypersexualization of society cannot be hidden; a phenomenon that affects children and adolescents.

The body is a source of emotions and an object of consumption in the framework of an economy aimed at capturing the desire of young people. Faced with this reality, pregnancy may be the consequence of immaturely assuming relationships fostered by exposure to aesthetics and fashions of sexualized roles.

For this reason, the family is key to the healthy and full development of adolescents on the way to youth, with responsibilities commensurate with their age.

It might interest you …