Dear Barb—The GrandParent Trap

Dear Barb:

My fifteen-year-old son is going to be a father again! er Three months ago his fifteen-year-old girlfriend (at the time) gave birth to a baby girl.  I am a grandmother at 35, not what I planned for my life, or my sons’ life.  In fact, I am almost finished my degree at AU, now I will probably end up being pretty busy with these babies since their parents are so young.  I am a single mom and thought I had educated my son so there wouldn’t be an unwanted pregnancy, but I guess not.  When the first pregnancy happened I was angry but tried to maintain my composure and had a good talk with him.  I’m afraid I might lose it this time and end up alienating my son.  He said the girl told him she was protected and he believed her.  I just don’t know what to do; he is obviously not listening to me.  He has been educated at school as well, but he’s just not getting it.  Is there something I am missing, something else I can do so this doesn’t happen again? Desperate Grandma. 

Dear Grandma:

As parents we can do all the right things and teach our children to be responsible, but they mess up.  Unfortunately, teenagers are often governed by their hormones, not their logic.  I can definitely understand your devastation at this happening twice in such a short time.  You have every right to express your disappointment with your son, but that’s really all you can do.  If you become angry and lose contact with him, you will also most likely lose contact with your grandchildren.  Your son needs your support, as does the mother of his child, and his pregnant girlfriend.  Have you considered talking to the parents of these girls, perhaps you could come up with a plan to help these young parents? I know this was not your plan for the future, but life sometimes throws us a curve and we have to adapt to a new normal.  Your son is very young and with the proper support and love he will hopefully be able to get this life together and become an awesome adult and father.  Without your support, he really doesn’t have a lot of options and could easily go down the wrong path.  Also, I believe your grandchildren will benefit from having you in their life.  I found a booklet with information about the rights of young parents in Canada, although most of the referrals are to locations in New Brunswick, the booklet applies to legal rights, responsibilities and obligations in all of Canada.

Thank you for your email and remember grandchildren are precious gifts.

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