Teenager Father - "Help! I am becoming a dad!'
"At first I thought Gabriella (16) was making a misplaced joke when she told me she was pregnant. She has not had a period of two months. The pregnancy test we have just done shows that she is really pregnant. Damn, what am I supposed to do now? What should WE do now? We are both still in school. I want so much. I do not have a penny and how am I going to tell my parents this in my name? And how will our environment react? Maybe first look together to see how we want to go further. Adoption and abortion are also options, although I do not know what the benefits are. Oh, what a lot of questions suddenly. Sigh ... "
We all know the programs about teenage mothers, such as 'Teen mom' on MTV. It shows how young girls deal with their unexpected pregnancy. Attention is also paid to the teenage fathers. Yet the boys are often forgotten, while their lives are also totally messed up.
What is it like to become a father of less than twenty? How can he build a relationship with the child? Does he want that?
Teenage fathers generally have a bad image. It is sometimes said that the father is an egoistic boy who has followed his lusts. If there is already a kind of sympathy and understanding for the mother, that is usually not the case for the father or much less. His irresponsible behavior is blamed on him. He is often excluded from play by the girl's parents. Usually the girl seeks help and is supported and assisted in her decision process. The father is informed, but in order to guarantee the independence of the girl, he often gets no voice in the process. They often assume that the boy does not want anything to do with it, but is that really the case?
In my eyes, the girl has been just as irresponsible as the boy in this story. Where two are, two are to blame. The lady in question might as well have come up with a condom or go to the pill. It has not been a conscious choice of both, and perhaps even a real accident. After all, a condom crack is in a small corner.
So why should the boy have no control over what will happen to the child? For the same, the boy realizes that he must now take responsibility for his (and also her) actions. Talk about it. Try to cross your shame and seek help from your loved ones or professional help. You do not have to do it alone.
Where can you go as a teenage father?
The many assistance that is available is usually offered to teenage mothers. Do not let yourself be fooled as a teenage father, because that help also applies to you. The group of teenage mothers is larger so that the amount of help to that same group is also higher. On the website of Fiom you can go as a teenage parent. You can ask questions online about the teenage parenting here. They offer help both to teenage mothers and fathers, but also to the parents of both parties. However, if you are looking for a one-on-one interview, they recommend you to the General Social Work or to Youth and Family Center in your area. Of course you can always contact your own doctor with questions. He knows exactly which agency he can send you to.
Fear and uncertainty
Not just in young mothers an unexpected pregnancy produces anxiety and uncertainty. Even with young fathers. The whole situation is new. A young father does not know where he stands and does not know what the future will bring and that is uncertain. In addition, teenage fathers are dependent on the choice of the mother. If she decides to opt for abortion, you as a teenage father can not do much about it. You can give your opinion about it, but the final decision lies with the mother. When you decide to take care of the child together, that uncertainty and fear does not immediately disappear. A decision (whichever) gives clarity and space to plan. That clarity will eventually give more peace.
How many teenage fathers are there in the Netherlands?
The number of teenage fathers is not automatically reported, but in 2006 it involved two hundred teenage fathers in the Netherlands (0.4 per thousand). This is shown by figures from the Central Bureau for Statistics. The GGD reports that in 2012 the number of teenage mothers has dropped. Never before have the statistics been as low as last year. Yet little can be found about the number of teenage fathers in our country. That worries me, because from that you can almost conclude that teenagers are little or not recognized as a father.
Plans are also being developed for central meeting and coordination points for teenage mothers in our country to prevent this type and other problems. The problems that occur among teenage mothers often arise because they do not have to take care of themselves and someone else before and now they are often alone. It is precisely when they are not helped by family or friends that they end up in a situation where they do not know where to go with problems and requests. These support centers must preventively prevent these problems and must support the group of young mothers who want to continue.
For boys, there is just as much change as for girls in an unexpected pregnancy. Although the boy's body will not change, his life does indeed change. A teenage father will have to learn to deal with the same "problem". He will also have to deal with emotions and responsibilities that were not there at first. He suddenly has to start thinking very consciously about his future: Is he going to acknowledge the child? Is he going to form a family with the mother? Does he choose for adoption or abortion with the mother? Or will he work to earn money so that he can take care of his child? All kinds of questions that he will ask himself when he hears that he is going to become a father.
You are not alone
As a teenage father, be aware that you are not the only one. For example, on the website of teenagemothers.nl you can not only read experiences of teenage mothers, but also some experiences of other teenage fathers. You can also give your own story there. Or take a look at the site of the Dutch Youth Institute. There you can find all kinds of important regulations that you can use as a young parent.
Enjoy the baby
But above all, if you decide to keep the baby and - whether or not together - to educate, enjoy him (or her) and love him! Because your child really does not care how old his father or mother is! For him (or her) you are simply the sweetest dad and mom of the whole world!