You’ve taken the test, a few times, and each time it says the same thing. You’re pregnant.

You weren’t planning to be pregnant, you don’t want to be pregnant, but you are. And as you process all of the emotion, fear, anger, shock and guilt, the question pops into our mind, “How do I tell my parents I’m pregnant?” This question can be as overwhelming and scary as being pregnant itself.

We want you to know that you are not alone. For many teens and college students this seems like an impossible situation, but it’s something that many others have had to face and they’ve lived to tell about it. The biggest fear you probably have is how your parents will react.  Will they be angry or disappointed? Will they yell, cry or just sit there silently?

While every set of parents and every daughter’s relationship with them is different, there are a few things you can do to help the conversation go as well as possible.

Prepare Yourself

Taking some time to prepare for what will most likely be one of the hardest conversations you will ever have is a good idea. Here are few things you should think through before you talk with your parents about your pregnancy.

  • Prepare how you want to open the conversation. Don’t scare them or put them on edge by saying “I have some bad news.” Instead be clear and direct. Begin with “I have something difficult I need to share with you, I’m pregnant”.
  • Prepare how you will explain the pregnancy. Did they know you have a boyfriend? Did they know you were sexually active or did they forbid you from dating?
  • Share how you are feeling. While it might be tempting to pause and let them react, it’s important to let them know how you’re feeling.  Tell them how difficult this has been and that you need their support.
  • Anticipate their reaction. Again, there is no way to tell exactly how they will react to you telling them your pregnant, but you can plan based on how they have reacted to other news in the past. Is one parent more emotional or more logical? Have they reacted with anger and violence in the past? If so, don’t tell them the news alone, but make sure there is another trusted adult present.
  • Prepare to answer their questions. They may ask who the father is, if you used protection, when you got pregnant and how long you’ve been sexually active. Determine what questions you’re ready to answer and which ones you aren’t.
  • Practice. You’ve probably already told a friend or someone else that you are pregnant, so ask them if you can practice on them before telling your parents you’re pregnant.