D.L. asks from Elma, WA on March 22, 2007
Looking for Help with an 18 Year Old Stepson Who Is on His Way to Being a Father
I have an 18 year old stepson who I raised since he was 7, we were really close at one point then he ended up getting a 14 year old pregnant who started spreading stuff about me harrassing her (not true) I did everything I could to help them both. Now he moved away the baby is due next month we have no contact with him at all or the girl and now were not even sure if the baby is infact his. Anybody have any suggestions on how to talk to him again?
R.C. answers from Portland on March 23, 2007
"...but girls nowadays don't care."
What in the world? I'm sorry, but that really upset me. I was the 15yo pregnant girl with the 19yo boy. We met when we were 14 and 18 so I understand completely where they are coming from. I'm not 14 or 15 anymore, but I still get so angry at this kind of prejudice. Everyone thinks that a teenage mom is a bad mom and that just isn't true all the time. Yes there are bad moms that are teenagers, but there are also bad moms that are in their 20s, 30s, 40s, etc. Stop judging a mother by her age. I still get the dirty looks when someone does the math on my age and my son's age and realize I was 16 when I had him. BUT guess what, he was reading at age 4, and not just little books, but full out reading, and he is in the Talented and Gifted program at his school. He is well adjusted, smart, thoughtful, kind, and a great kid and I would like to think that I had something to do with that. I also have a beautiful, smart, sweet, caring 5yo daughter.
Ok, off my soapbox. The only advice I can give you being from the other side of the story is start small. Apologize for coming across as harassing, even if you didn't or don't feel you didn't. That girl is terrified. She is terrified of being a mom, of being alone because statistically the dad doesn't stick around long at that age. Mine did, been together 11 years next month, married 6 years in May. But so many girls I went to school with (finished high school) didn't stick with the baby's father. Oh, and not a single one of the girls I went to school with had the baby to keep the father or to have someone love them unconditionally!
Ideally no one wants to be a single parent. It just works out that way sometimes and with many friends who are single parents I applaude all single moms and dads. If it is hard to be a parent as a couple, then it is hard to be a parent by yourself.
Again, apologize. Enjoy making blankets or little booties or whatever for your grandbaby. Ask if you could have a copy of the ultrasound pics and then show them to EVERYONE. Ask if there is anything she needs. Does she need advice for morning sickness. Does she need help getting some baby clothes. Take her shopping for baby clothes. Let them know that your aren't there to be a parent, but a grandparent. Enjoy that. If they know the sex of the baby and have a name picked out or when that happens, make something with that name on it. A onesie with the name or a blanket, or a little wooden sign to hang. Be supportive. Swallow all frustrations that you have and vent to your support groups, your friends, your husband, this board.
If you want to talk more, email me ____@____.com
1 mom found this helpful
C.C. answers from Eugene on March 29, 2007
I'm so sorry your having to go through so much stress and worry. If you have absolulty NO idea where they are then you probebly won't until they contact you. When that day comes, and I'm sure it will...be sure to be very open to him/her. They are very young and probebly want to do things "their way" like most teenagers do. They will need your help at some point, it is very hard to make it out there without family help, especially with a baby at such a young age. Good luck to you hun!
A.P. answers from Spokane on March 23, 2007
Do you know anything about the girl's home life? Many teenage girls deliberately get pregnant to 1)keep their boyfriend and 2)have someone who will love them unconditionally. If she has a rotten experience at home, she may not have trusted your friendly behaviour (maybe she thought you were going to try to take her baby, maybe get your son to break up with her, who knows).
At this point, all you can really do is just be available. It wouldn't hurt to send a small gift for the baby, just to let them know you're still thinking about them. No matter what happens, your son is going to need your support. They have no idea what they're really getting into,and even if everything goes fine in their relationship, they have a long road ahead of them. If things don't work out, it'll get even worse with cutody and child support arrangements (depending on your state's laws, he may be on the hook for child support, even if the child is not his biologically - if he accepts responsibility for the baby at birth, then it's his legally).
I wish you al the best in this situation. Just for reference, I taught at an alternative high school. I worked with a lot of teen parents.
D.H. answers from Spokane on March 23, 2007
Honestly sweetie he is going to have to find out on his own if that is his baby or not. If he wants to buy in to a 14 year old and her story there is really nothing us parents can do. I know you may miss out to begin with but give it some time usually women who are like that tend to give themselves away eventually and she is probably manipulating him so he doesn't have contact with family and question the baby's true paternity. Not unusual these days to find these kinds of dilemma's more now than we did when we were growing up. I don't think I would have ever known how to be so cruel to others but some girls are. I am sorry that he is so enthralled with this female now that you may not hear from them for a while but if you get the opportunity to talk with him avoid the paternity thing until he gets to the point where he has his own suspicions. It is hard but at least maybe then he will let you in even if she doesn't. I don't think the baby is probably not his but girls nowadays don't care. I wish you the best on this cause I am the grandma of my first grand child and she is the light of my life right now but my daughter realized the man who is the baby's father is not the man she wants to be with for the rest of her life. Bless you sweetie and good luck. Stay in touch if you just want someone to talk to!
T.P. answers from Spokane on March 23, 2007
At 18 he may still be immature, but he is technically an adult. You need to let him know that you love him and are there to give advice if he wants it. At this point, he seems to want to try to sink or swim on his own and after making the decisions that he has he really needs to learn from his mistakes. I have a 15 y/o and I know how much I would want to help him, but it might be considered smothering to him if he doesn't want my help or advice. Maybe, you should tell him that you will respect the choices he makes even if you don't agree with them. And, there is nothing you can make him do because of his age being consider a legal adult. It is also up to him if he wants to investigate whether this child is his or not, you may have doubts but he may not.
My next question would be: What do her parents think of her being with an 18 y/o and being pregnant. He may get into trouble if the state or her parents want to push a legal issue about this because of the age difference. She is quite young to be with an 18 y/o. Hopefully for his sake there is no legal involvement.
Good luck, a strained relationship with a child can be very difficult. My sisters and I have all had strained relationships with our folks over the years when we were being young and stubborn. When they go from child to adult, it is hard to let our children make mistakes because we want to take care of them still and to protect them. It may take some time, but he will need you again because having a little one is very overwhelming, especially when you are so young.