One of the most difficult moments of my teen mom experience was telling my mom and family that I was pregnant. I was able to lie my way through what was really going on for about three months. To be fair, I was in complete denial and I did not know I was pregnant. But I did know that I had been sexually active, something I wasn’t ready to admit. So How do you talk to your parents honestly and openly, maybe for the first time?
Let us just acknowledge that it’s scary. Talking about your private life and relationships with a parent or adult can feel like there is too much of a gap for understanding. Maybe your parent(s) used scare tactics or fear based consequences when talking to you about sex in the past. Can I tell you from a parents point of view, this was done with your best interest in mind. Adults want to prevent trauma from happening to their children. Your parents have lived and seen struggle. They do not want that for you. Go into this talk knowing their feelings and emotions are rooted in wanting the best for your life. I know some teens may be thinking something like, “You don’t know my father” or “You have no idea what it’s like in my family”. I understand some situations can be harder than others, and I will give you my best ideas for handling those extreme cases. It will be emotional and it may be hard, but honesty is the only way you can move forward for the better.
Bringing any situation into the light allows for the best possible outcome. Only then can you gather all the knowledge you need to make the best choices.
1. If you fear for your safety or you believe things could become too high stress, plan for the conversation to be in a safe place. Your church, school, or a family members home may be the best place to come clean. This allows for a cool down period knowing your parent will maintain a level of self control while in public.
2. Consider having a support person present. This could be a trusted counselor or group leader or coach. It could be a friend, but make sure it is someone mature enough to be neutral. Don’t turn this talk into sides. This is about being honest with people who are responsible for your provision and well being.
3. Do your research. Look into what support is available for teens/teen parents in your area. Be educated and aware of all your options, then present them to your parent(s).
4. Write it down on paper. One of the best ways to be prepared is to get everything you want to say out on paper and then take a step back. Have you explained yourself? Is there something you said that was unnecessary or hurtful? Be ready by making sure you’ve said what you needed to say in a clear manner.
5. Take a deep breathe and be patient with yourself. Talking to your parents about sex is not easy. You need to have a sense that what you are doing is for the best. Know that like any good choice, once you’ve made it, the rewards will follow.
Judy Ringer is a conflict and communication skills trainer, black belt in Aikido, and founder of Power & Presence Training and Portsmouth Aikido. Would you like free tips and articles every month? Subscribe to Ki Moments!