Bookmark and Share

Advice For A Teen Father-To-Be?

Published: December 02, 2013
Dear Advice For A Teen Father-To-Be?,

My girlfriend of a couple of years ended up getting pregnant and she is going to have the baby. I'm really scared about being a father. I feel too young and like there is too much I don't know and I'm not ready for. But I have to figure this out because I can't exactly turn back now. Do you have any advice for me?


Dear Advice For A Teen Father-To-Be?,

TeenHealthFX can appreciate your concerns about this. Becoming a parent is a huge transition for anyone and comes with its challenges for parents of any age. But there are certainly special considerations for teenage parents who in some ways are still growing and developing themselves in significant ways – whether emotionally, intellectually or related to school and career.

The fact that you would like to prepare yourself for what is coming and that you seem motivated to make this work in the best way possible says a lot about your character – and TeenHealthFX thinks that will bring you a long way.

As far as “advice,” FX recommends the following:

  • Read the Young Men’s Health website article on Becoming a Father. You will find information on how to help during the pregnancy, your role as the father, rights and responsibilities, providing for your child, and parenting resources.
  • Make sure you have good supports around you – your parents, extended family members and whoever else can be there for you with guidance and support.
  • FX wasn’t clear from your message whether or not you and your girlfriend are planning on staying as a couple – but either way it is important to keep open communication with one another about parenting this child.
  • Don’t forget about the long-term. You and your child will be better off if you complete your education and have a career that allows you to provide for both of you. So talk with your parents and staff at school about how you can continue with your studies and career plans while acting as a father to your child.  
  • Don’t give up or lose hope if things get tough at any point. Being a teen parent will present with its challenges at times, but try and stay as positive as you can and use the supports around you to get through any rough patches.
  • If you see you are having trouble coping with the situation consider talking to a school counselor or private therapist for additional guidance and support. If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.
  • For additional support and local resources you can always speak to the obstetrician working with your girlfriend.

Ratings