Getting the support they need
“It has taken a while for me to accept my teenager is a parent herself, but I’m helping her be
the best mum she can.”
Your teenager may be finding it hard to cope if she seems very tearful, finds looking after the baby
hard, shows little interest in the baby or seems too protective and is not eating or sleeping well.
Your teenager needs to learn to look after the baby, but help when you can and ensure your teenager
is eating well and sleeping while the baby sleeps. Local organisations can offer support and advice to
teenage parents. Advice can also be given on returning to education, training or work.
What to say
Offer support and encouragement when you can and let your teenager know that you will give advice
when asked. Avoid telling them that they are doing things wrong, but try to suggest different ways of
doing things if you need to. Your teenager may be happier to get advice from friends rather than you.
The majority of young parents stay at home with their own parents after the birth of their child. If
your daughter is living at home with you, she will need your support but may also want to look after
her child in her own way. This means being there for her, but knowing when to let her make her own
decisions. Even if you do not agree with them, (unless they are putting the baby’s life at risk), it’s
important she tries things out for herself. Give the baby’s father the opportunity to get involved too.
If your son has become a father, encourage him to see his child as much as possible and to be a part
of the child’s life. Even if the parents are no longer a couple, help them to make decisions together
about their baby.
It may be some time before your teenager returns to school or college. They will be missing their
friends, going out and even their schoolwork. Offer to look after the baby while they see their friends
or find out about returning to school. Think about taking some childminding or parenting courses, as
things have probably changed since your child was a baby.
There are organisations that help
support teenage parents. They
can advise on parenting skills,
eating well (and feeding your
baby well), benefit assistance,
and returning to education,
training or work.
There is also advice and help
with childcare and travel costs
for young parents going back
to education. You may want to
look after your grandchild when
your teenager returns to school,
college or work. If you want to be
paid for this you may need to be
registered as a childminder.
Supporting your child as a
teenage parent will help them
to become good parents