Ask Kari: How can I help my young pregnant daughter?

Dear Kari,

My 20 year-old daughter is in her second year at college and has been in a relationship with her boyfriend for two years. She recently told us that she is almost 3 months pregnant.  I am overwhelmed with what she has ahead for her now. Her life is going to be different from what I thought it would be. How can I best help her?

--Too Young to be a Grandma

Dear Too Young to be a Grandma,

I realize that your college age daughter becoming pregnant at 20 is a surprise for you, as it is probably also for her and her boyfriend. First, tell her that you love her and it will all be okay. Tell her that life sometimes turns down a different path from what we plan, but more often than not human beings develop the coping skills to make their way. Next, ask her how she needs to be supported, and how you can help her with her pregnancy and her plans to finish her education, if possible. Include her boyfriend in the process. Help them build a support system, and plan for their baby to be welcomed into this world the best that they can as young parents. Remember, your love will grow for her, and the grandchild you will soon meet. Good luck.


As published in the February 2014 issue of Connections.

About Kari:

Kari O’Neill, MSW, LICSW, is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and the owner and Clinical Director of Issaquah Highlands Counseling Group (IHCG), which is now Kari O’Neill Counseling.

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