Your sonís girlfriend is pregnant and you are going to be a new grandma. You might be feeling too young or that this couldnít have happened to your son. Despite any grief you may by feeling, itís not the end of the world. Time for having some very important discussions on what your son or sonís girlfriend may be planning. Have they discussed abortion, or could they be entertaining the idea of parenting, does that mean a wedding or single parenting? Are they exploring adoption? Is grandparent parenting something they are interested or considering?
These discussions are best held in person where everyone can communicate openly and freely. Be mindful of your sonís girlfriend as she may be feeling shy or uncomfortable in her newly impregnated state. Consider inviting her parents as well so that you can all communicate and be on the same page while discussing possible options. Go over in as much detail as possible what each option might provide. Discuss the pros and cons and long term effects each decision may hold for them.
If they are considering marriage or parenting, decide what level of support they might be expecting and identify ways you feel comfortable in supporting their decisions. Most children turn to their parents with life changing decisions, hopefully youíve established a loving and trusting relationship and they will feel comfortable coming to you now. A lot of parents might feel the need to jump right in and take control of the situation. Remember, they were old enough to get themselves into this; theyíll need to do quite a bit of growing up in order to prepare for parenthood and providing for the needs of a child. Allow them their opinions and feelings while offering advice or counsel. Forcing a decision on them might not have the desired results intended.
If they are considering Adoption, talk about your feelings as grandparents. If you are supportive, give encouraging comments. Help them locate some adoptive agencies or attorneys that might be able to address any concerns or questions they may have. Adoption is a big step, and a lifetime decision that will affect all of you. If you have any concerns or questions make sure you voice them. You may be feeling a bit possessive of your sonís unborn child. Understand that from their perspective, adoption may be what they feel is best for their child.
If theyíve asked if youíd be willing to parent their child as a grandparent, talk about what that would mean to you. What kinds of boundaries youíd establish, visitation, child rearing, financial support. You could be nearing retirement or on a fixed income. What would you need to rearrange in your life if you were considering a second round of parenthood.
Itís a good thing that pregnancy lasts nine months. This time will help you, your son and his girlfriend research and plan what is best for the baby. Making an informed decision and working together for the best interest of the child will ultimately insure the best outcome for everyone involved.