Michelle: Lianne is a sophomore accountancy student—a Dean’s Lister. She was a problematic child and it’s only now in college that she feels her parents are proud of her. She’s currently two months pregnant. Is Christmas a good time to tell her parents? Or will she spoil the celebration? When you’re young, pregnant and unmarried, I don’t think there is a good time to break the news to your parents. Whether it is Christmas or New Year, or Holy Week, it is always scary to reveal something that you have kept hidden because of guilt, shame or embarrassment. The good thing, though, is that once we say what we have been keeping in secret, we are freed from anxiety. We have no control over the reaction of others. What we can control is how we will say it, so hopefully, it will not be taken in a bad light. Whether you say it now or later makes no difference. Better say it now so you don’t have to carry the burden while you are in the early stages of your pregnancy.
DJ: Parents generally love their children. I suggest that Lianne starts from that space and work from there. Sure, telling them is likely to be hard. But it’s not impossible. Like you Mic, I also think telling them before or after Christmas won’t matter. Thus, I suggest that she tells them sooner rather than later. She won’t have to rush through the information. She can also give them enough time to process the shockwaves.
M: A parent always wants the best for their child. And if a child does something disappointing in the eyes of the parent, the love of a parent will eventually overcome the disappointment. There is nothing impossible when we love, forbear or forgive. Of course, a negative reaction is possible when adverse news is received. But understanding the person and the situation can turn the negative reaction into a positive one. Have the courage to say it. Pick a good day and time. Preferably not when your parents are tired or not in a good mood. Talk to your mother first. She can help you break the news to your dad. Or if you are closer to your dad, tell him, then you can both relay the news to your mom.
DJ: How do your parents react to stressful situations? Are they the quiet type? Be prepared for their silence. Are they emotional? Prepare for a blow up. Anticipation will help you manage the situation in the event that they react poorly. What are their possible questions? Do they know the father of the baby? Will he be participating in the course of the pregnancy? Does his parents know? It’s easier when you’re prepared to answer their possible questions rather than responding on the fly. This will also show her folks that she’s taking responsibility, and will likely to treat her as an adult while they process the news.
M: Advent is a time to prepare for the coming of Christ, and Christmas Day is when we celebrate and commemorate His birth. Telling your parents on or before Christmas Day that you are with child will no doubt impact how you celebrate this season. But the reason for the season is not about parties, gifts or lots of food to celebrate a very special occasion. The reason for the season is God giving us His son to become man like us so we can be saved. There is no sin too great that cannot be forgiven. Have faith and believe that all will be well.
DJ: Lianne’s folks might respond with hurt or anger but I hope she’ll keep in mind that they’re just shocked and will likely need time to work through it. Every parent is different and it’s her who knows hers best. I suggest for her to have friend or ally as support so she won’t feel alone while her parents work through the news just like she did. Having reliable people in her corner—friends and family she trusts—keeps things in perspective. Most parents eventually come around after the initial surprise sinks in. In fact, a difficult situation, at times, brings people even closer, where unconditional love, support, kindness, forgiveness, acceptance are rediscovered and even strengthened. Who knows, they might even turn out to be her strongest support she’ll ever have.