Mom, Dad . . . I’m Pregnant When Your Daughter or Son Faces an Unplanned Pregnancy Jayne E. Schooler
Available from Navpress at www.navpress.com
ISBN: 1-57683-482-4, 206 pp.
Few things can change a parent’s life so much as learning that their teen daughter or son is involved in an unplanned pregnancy. Most parents want what is best for their children, and will plan and sacrifice so their children can attain their dreams.
A premarital pregnancy disrupts those dreams and can leave parents wondering where things went wrong. Like a couple who plans all their lives to visit a foreign country only to find that their plane has taken them to the wrong destination, they find themselves navigating unknown terrain and grieving the loss of “what might have been.”
Jayne Schooler, author of Mom, Dad …. I’m Pregnant, is a life issues counselor and expert on family issues whose daughter became pregnant in college. Drawing on her own family’s experience as well as insights gleaned from other parents and those who work with pregnant teens and young adults, her book is a road map for parents who find themselves on this journey with their child.
Schooler writes that parents learning of a premarital pregnancy usually experience a tidal wave of unexpected emotions-anger, sorrow, fear, guilt, shame, loneliness, helplessness. Even parents who consider themselves to be pro-life may feel so overwhelmed that abortion seems like the only option. Seeing the pregnancy as the loss of their daughter’s future, they “take control quickly to get their daughter back on course,” even if that means pushing for an unwanted abortion.
For parents whose sons are involved in a premarital pregnancy, other issues can arise. Schooler points out that although some young men will abandon the mother or push for abortion, many do want a chance to be supportive and involved in their child’s life. However, the baby’s father is often overlooked not only by the girl’s family but also by organizations that serve unwed mothers, such as pregnancy centers and adoption agencies.
Instead, this book will help parents support their children in a way that serves the young parents and the baby. It addresses three major issues, (1) dealing with the initial news of the pregnancy, (2) making critical decisions for the future, and (3) healing the wounds an unexpected pregnancy can cause in a family. Each chapter includes questions for self-reflection and discussion as well as practical advice and resources for families that need assistance.
Most of all, Schooler offers hope to hurting parents that a premarital pregnancy doesn’t have to destroy their child’s life. Instead, they can help their daughter or son make good decisions for themselves and their baby. This book can put families on the road to healing and help break the cycle of behavior that leads to parenting problems, repeat pregnancies, and abortion.
While the book is clearly aimed at Christian parents (Schooler’s husband is a pastor), her honesty about painful issues and her commonsense advice make it an excellent resource for any family facing a premarital pregnancy. Every crisis pregnancy center, church, family therapist, maternity home, and adoption agency should have this book on their shelves as a resource for families.