How can I help 17 yo sil?(7 Posts)
We've found out that dh sister is early in pregnancy with her boyfriend of about five months. She isnt in education, training or employment and while her mum is supporting her - theyre living with mums boyfriend, who is an alcoholic, at his house.
The circumstances are less than perfect, but sil mum is really worried about sil maturity, she is 17 but actually more around 14 in terms of head on shoulders
Does anyone have any advice as to how to support and guide sil? She is booked in with a midwife and has a key worker for education, but she really and truly doesnt get prioritising a babies needs above her own. Any gentle conversation around her smoking, or healthier eating or budgeting or work get pretty much silence or shrugs or a blank look - im guessing she must be absolutely petrified, but she isnt showing it.
Can anyone with experience with teenagers suggest some gentle ways to start her talking about the pregnancy or open up a bit? The only thing she is vocal about so far is the £1000's pram shes picked out (family means would never be able to stretch to it without it being on tick, but half the family would bend over backwards for her, while the other would cheerfully give a flea in her ear for even thinking it).
How awkward and worrying for you all.
I was pregnant at 17 and had my son at 18. Kind of stuck my head in the sand until about 6 months gone then it really hit me hard.
I was In full time training job so was earning very little but my parents helped me out loads and so did friends and other family.
I lived at home with my parents and dc until he was 8 months old and then (through my own choice and determination) I moved to a flat nearby.
I worked through to get my qualification. I paid a childminder to help and did part time hours but a huge amount of work from home to get me through.
I moved back home briefly when dc was 2.5 to save for a deposit on a house.
I moved into my house when dc was 5
I met my now dh when dc was 7 and have three dc and a lovely home through bloody hard work.
I've also recently celebrated a major 20 years within the company I started in and am now a director so it can be done !!!
BUT without the support and help from friends and family and not just financial,I would not have got through that time in my life.
I look back and think how the hell did I blag that but I made it 😀
Your sil can too as long as she has the determination and motivation as well as support.
ofudginghell im so glad thing worked out so well for you, none of the situation sil is in is unmanagable - but she's never had any real motivation.
Its reassuring to hear you stuck your head in the sand in a weird way, its like she got this ticking clock to grow up by, which makes me feel so achingly sad for her - but at least i wont have to wear out my voice until it hits like a tonne of bricks down the line.
Do you remember anything in particular that helped around that time?
It was a very stressful time and I almost felt like I shouldn't get excited at all as it wasn't planned and I was young etcetc. It really was difficult.
My mum tends to have a negative outlook on many things and I remember her almost telling me I'd never manage or cope but it was tough as I needed to grow up
Things like that didn't help at all.
My sister was not around much and we went close anyway.
I think when friends and friends mums started getting positive about things and would give me bags of clothes and bits it hit home and I started to get a little excited but was filled with panic.
I think a positive calming person is what she needs. Someone to have a coffee and make a list of things needed with maybe?
That's sort of thing really helped me feel normal.
I lived in a small village aswel so it was very hard at the time but looking back I surprised the worries and anxieties for fear of comments from anyone about how they were right and I'm not managing
Being told by a friends mum that she worried about every one of her pregnancies and how she would manage helped as at 17 you just assume grown married women that plan don't worry,which we all know isn't the case!!
A positive calm female presence will be what she needs right now op
The first thing would be some counselling about whether she wants to keep the baby or not. How pregnant is she? is termination or adoption an option?
If not, then she needs to start being realistic about how she is going to support herself and a child, and who exactly is going to buy this thousand pound pram, let alone everything else a bay requires.
Perhaps help her look at what needs organising and planning, such as finances, housing, employment childcare skills, support, role of boyfriend/maintenance? the responsibilities involved in being a parent etc etc etc
it's not going to be a smooth ride....
Thank you both, her mum has definately run through the options with her - even as far to say that abortion would be the best option, but she goes silent when asked what she wants.
innagazing I think everyone around her has tried the reasoned approach of how the heck are you going to do this? For the love of god make a plan!! - but I think there is some sort of magic teenage code speak going on because it really isnt resulting in any action from her, and shes still a kid - never handled a bank account and a bit too immature still to watch my two (7 and 9 year olds).
ofudging i can do calm and positive! Being in a tizz really wont help, i just worry about her not being assertive about what she needs, its more that life is a thing thats happened to her. I worry the lack of omph is going to lead to early parenthood being very lonely and limiting when all her friends are earning and clubbing
I did give her my copy of parenying for dummies, her eyes widened in horror and asked if she needed to read all of it
What i can add is that I have a very young for her age daughter who got herself pregnant at 15, was not in education or training etc, she also showed no interest in budgeting, the practical aspects of parenting etc, she also would not stay at home with us preferring to stay with her bf. BUT actually she did really get it together, her little girl is now 3 years old & she has done pretty well. Obviously its not an ideal situation to bring a child into but really I think you are wise to offer her support, tell her you are there for her & will support her whatever she decides. Does she feel she has enough information about her options/ pregnancy / childbirth/ looking after baby / finances.
From what you've said she is probably completely overwhelmed by the whole thing & it's hard to do anything when you feel that way. If she goes with having this baby she will have to grow up quickly but it has to be her choice, its so painful & infuriating to watch our teens walking into a potential disaster but at this time she needs as much support as she can get.
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