No parent wants to hear that their teenage daughter is pregnant. It’s a shock and may deeply impact the teens future. Recent years have seen drops in teenage moms, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that teenagers get pregnant. That is a fact no one can deny, and no one is happy about. Reality TV shows have encouraged many young women to keep their babies and raise them as single parents. There are plenty of programs in schools across the country designed to help young women raise their babies while attending school. Extended family is a vital part of this plan if the teen is going to complete school and be ready to launch into a successful adult life.
One of the first decisions the family must make is how to handle the pregnancy socially. Thankfully, the days of hiding a teenage pregnancy are gone. But many families feel uncomfortable celebrating a teen pregnancy with a baby shower. Why?
Every baby deserves to be celebrated, regardless of how old, or young, the mother might be. Plus, one of the biggest reasons to have a baby shower is to help the new parents get ready for the baby. Teenage parents are probably the group that needs the most help and are least likely to ask for it. So, throwing the teen mom in your life a baby shower is more than just having a party. It’s also about helping her prepare for a life of new and greater responsibility. Planning a shower with your teen mom might open up lines of communication and help her understand the changes she is going through and the support she has around her.
Guests It will be very important to invite the teen’s best friends. In fact, it might also be a good idea to include her very best friends in the party planning. But it is also important to remember that most teen friends will have no better idea of what she needs than she does. Instead, why not throw a mother and daughter shower. Including the girl’s moms ensures that you will have guests that can help shed light on the important role of motherhood. It can also be a great learning experience for all the mom’s friends. It may even open relationships between her friends and their own parents. Plus, it will help to ensure that the gifts the mom will receive will be more functional and meet the mom’s needs.
Gifts Helping the teen mom set up a gift registry is an important part of not only planning for the shower, but actually educating the teen mom. Sure, it’s fun to fill up the registry with cute baby outfits and adorable toys. But, you need to work with the Mom and see if that’s what she really needs. Babies use a lot of stuff, and your teen mom needs to start with what is vital before she adds what she would just enjoy. In addition, you can talk with the mom about budgeting. In many cases, her young friends are not going to be able to afford that luxury stroller. Instead, help her learn to budget her gift registry. Help her include things she will need such as bottles and diapers. Try to choose dual use items such as a pack-and-play that doubles as a newborn bassinette and changing table.
Games As a teenager, it is hard to know whether the mom will enjoy playing games or feel that she is much too old for such things. Instead of making the decision alone, why not include the mom in any game decisions. There are lots of fun things to do, especially for teens. Try the Blindfolded Diaper game. Blindfold several guests and give them dolls with disposable diapers. She who can “change” the doll fastest and most accurately. This dissolves quickly, especially if you have a sighted person turn the dolls upside-down after the players are blindfolded. Another game to try is The Price is Right. Purchase a few items that are not on the Mom’s gift registry. Have guests guess the correct price of each item. Just like in the game show, the person who is closest without going over wins a small gift. But the Mom is the real winner, as she gets to keep all the baby items. You can also give everyone the nervous experience of not quite knowing when the baby will emerge. Simply purchase tiny plastic babies from your local craft store. Freeze the little dolls in ice cubes before the party. As you are serving food, give each guest a glass with a baby ice cube. The first person whose baby melts out of the ice cube wins.
Dealing With Refusals No matter how carefully you prepare your own teen mom, there is one thing that will be difficult. Depending on the age of the mom, some parents may not want their daughters to participate in a shower for a teenage mother. It is important to talk to those parents and make it clear that everyone is making the best out of a situation that is difficult. It will be difficult for the mom and the baby as well as the rest of the extended family. A baby shower will not take those struggles away. Instead, they give the teen mom an opportunity to learn from “moms who have been there.” In that light, be sure to let the parents know that even if they don’t wan their own young teens to attend, that they, as mothers or parents are not only invited, but encouraged to attend and share their experiences with this very young mother.