Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A to Z Blogging "U is for..."

"...Unexpected Pregnancy"
From the series "Words Matter"
by Shelly Burke, RN, Author, and Publisher, Nebraska Family Times newspaper

When a Friend’s Unmarried Child is Pregnant
A parent who is faced with a unmarried child’s pregnancy is confronted with many issues and choices, and will be feeling a wide range of emotions. The following comments and suggestions are appropriate to say to both the child and her parents. 

What to Say

  • “We are keeping you and your family in our prayers.” 
  • “God bless you for choosing life for your baby.”
  • “I’m a good listener if you ever want to talk!”
  • “Your child is blessed to have your love.”
  • “We will support you all whether you decide to keep the baby or put her up for adoption.”
  • "A baby is never a mistake. It might come at an inconvenient time or less-than-ideal circumstances, but a baby is never a 'mistake'."
  • To the parents:
  • “You taught your kids well; as parents we just can’t have total control over everything they do; at some point they make their own decisions. It is not your fault this happened!" 

What Not to Say
To the parents:

  • “Does she even know who the father of the baby is?”
  • “How could she live with herself if she gave the baby up for adoption?”
  • “How were they so dumb to get into this mess--don’t they know about birth control?”
  • “Didn’t you see this coming?”
  • “They just have to keep the baby/give the baby up for adoption.”

To the child:

  • “How could you be so dumb?”
  • “How could you do this to your family?”
  • “You have ruined your life!”
  • “You have to . . . “ “You cannot . . . “

What to Do

  • Think before you speak when you learn about the pregnancy, especially if you are shocked.
  • Discourage abortion if they are considering it as an option; offer other options, provide the phone number for an adoption agency; offer to make an appointment and go with them. to talk with a pastor. 
  • Encourage the family to work with someone trained in dealing with this situation. 
  • Use the situation as an opportunity to talk with your kids about consequences of their choices. 
  • Be friendly and say “Hello!” when you see the child or family in church, at school, at work, or in the store.   
  • Send a card to the parents of the child, thanking them for choosing life for the baby, reminding them that kids make their own choices, and assuring them that you will keep them in your prayers. 

Don’t . . . 

  • . . . pass on any information if you’re not sure the family wants it made public. 
  • . . . speculate as to circumstances of the pregnancy, who the father might be, if the child will be placed for adoption, and so on.  
  • . . . plan a baby shower or give gifts unless/until you know their plans regarding adoption. 
  • . . . lecture; express your feelings and beliefs in a way that is godly and non-critical.
  • . . . feel obligated to attend a baby shower or give gifts if doing so is not in accordance with your beliefs and feelings about the situation.  
  • . . . accept plans for an abortion without expressing your pro-life beliefs. If you are reluctant to do this, remember that the life of a baby is at stake.
  • . . . react with shock regarding the details of paternity, plans for the baby, and so on. Ask the Lord to guide your words and take a deep breath (or two or three!) before saying anything. 

If a Friend is Unexpectedly Pregnant

It might take your friend some time to get used to an unexpected pregnancy! She will appreciate your friendship and support. 

What to Say

  • “How do you feel about the news?” and then, “Congratulations!” or “Oh, my!” depending on how your friend reacts to the news that she is pregnant. 
  • “It is OK to have mixed feelings about your pregnancy!”
  • “The baby is blessed to be coming into your family.”

What Not to Say

  • “Better you than me!”
  • “What were you thinking?”
  • “Don’t you know what causes babies?”
  • “Do you know what can go wrong in a woman your age?”

What to Do

  • Accept your friend’s feelings of confusion, joy, anger, and/or ambivalence.  
  • Let your friend talk, cry, yell. Accept her feelings and emotions.
  • When you sense the time is right, remind her that God has His plan, and babies are a miracle and blessing. 
  • Discourage abortion; encourage adoption if the situation is such that the person feels she cannot give the baby a good home. 

Don’t . . . 

  •  . . . buy gifts or offer to loan maternity clothes or baby supplies until your friend is ready. 
  • . . . criticize your friend’s feelings of confusion, ambivalence, anger, or disappointment. 
  • . . . share the news with anyone until she says it’s OK to do so. 
  • . . . accept plans for an abortion without expressing your pro-life views; the life of a baby is at stake!

 Have you been in either of these situations? What was the best or worst thing someone said to you? What did you say to someone in these situations?
This post is an excerpt from “What Should I Say? The Right (and Wrong!) Words and Deeds for Life’s Sticky, Tricky Uncomfortable Situations”
by Shelly Burke, RN. Coming soon!
 Download “What Should I Say” and be prepared for any of life’s sticky, tricky uncomfortable situations!
The mission of the “Nebraska Family Times” is to “inspire, encourage and motivate you on your Christian walk.” To receive local, state and national news from a Christian point of view, as well as devotions, Bible Study and articles about all aspects of Christian life, in your mailbox every month, subscribe for only $20 for 12 issues! Click “Subscribe” on the sidebar or send your address and payment to Nebraska Family Times, 209 27th St. Apt. #13, Columbus, NE 68601.
I am also taking the Blogging A to Z Challenge at Home is Where the Mom Is; A Christian Mom's Guide,

where the theme is “Lifehacks for Christian Moms.”

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