Questions a teen needs to ask herself before even thinking of having a baby include:
1. “What can I give my baby?” Most of us want the very best for our children: unconditional love, a fair amount of economic security, freedom from hunger, and ideally, the loving support of two parents are some important basics. Parenthood can be tough, and more about giving than getting. It’s a job for mature adults.
2. “Am I ready for this responsibility?” Being a parent is more than cuddling a cute baby – it’s a twenty-four hour a day commitment lasting many years. A teen should consider whether she is ready for such intense responsibility.
3. “Should I be a parent at all?” Adolescence is not the time to make a final decision about this, but it is a time to get in touch with feelings, needs and goals. Maybe your teen’s dreams for the future need to be addressed, and will preclude parenthood for some years.
If a teen wants most to be a parent, waiting to grow up first can insure that she will be the best parent possible. Let your teen know that parenthood is much too important to be left to chance.
An expert in the field of adolescent behavior, Ms. McCoy has authored eleven books on the subject including the best selling “The Teenage Body Book”. Additionally she has written hundreds of articles for major national magazines. Coordinator of the Clinical Ph.D. Program at California School of Professional Psychology and Staff Counselor at the Center for Individual and Family Counseling in North Hollywood, California.