Category: Dating

Types of Abusive Relationships and How to Recognize Them

The word abuse is used a lot in casual conversation. You may have heard about friends or family in abusive relationships, or seen abusive relationships on T.V. or in the media. Although this word is often thrown around, it’s important to know what it actually means. Simply put, abuse is any action that intentionally harms or injures another person.

There are many types of abuse, and all of them are harmful. Scroll down and keep reading to learn about three prevalent types of abuse, and how to recognize them in your own life.

Emotional Abuse

The definition of emotional abuse is any action that diminishes the sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth in a person. Emotional abuse can be difficult to recognize. Signs of emotional abuse could include bullying, criticizing, humiliation, intimidation, isolation, or verbal assault (yelling, swearing, name calling, insults, mocking, and threats).

These actions can be extremely hurtful to your identity and self-esteem by making you feel unloved, unaccepted, and unworthy. If you are the victim of any of these actions, you might be in an emotionally abusive relationship.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is mainly characterized by intentional acts that cause injury, trauma, and bodily harm through physical assault or violence. Signs of physical abuse could include slapping, pushing, grabbing, shaking, smacking, kicking, and punching. Physical abuse can cause major or minor physical damage, but all physical abuse is wrong. Domestic violence comes with criminal consequences for abusers.

If you experience physical pain—even only once or twice—you could be in a physically abusive relationship. Research shows that if a partner intentionally injures their partner, they are likely to continue to do so in the future.

Sexual Abuse

The definition of sexual abuse is when any person forces unwanted sexual behavior on another person. You can recognize sexual abuse if someone forces you to have sex with them without your consent. Even if you’re in a committed dating relationship, the consent of both partners is necessary before sex in order for it to be healthy. You can also recognize sexual abuse if someone touches your private parts without your permission—with or without clothes—and/or forces you to touch their private parts.  

These actions are often combined with emotional and physical abuse. It’s important to remember that there are no better or worse types of abuse. Even if you think what you’re experiencing “isn’t as bad” as some other sexual abuse story you’ve heard, it’s still sexual abuse.

If you are noticing any of these types of abuse in your life, it is important that you first recognize that what you are experiencing is not your fault. Don’t blame yourself. Try to build a support system of people you trust, and work on an exit plan—what you are experiencing is not okay. Many people survive abuse of all types. Things can and will get better. You will feel happy again.  

Here’s another article you might like: Signs You Might Be in a Toxic Relationship

Teen Pregnancy: Are You Prepared for Sleep and Playtime Expenses?

Teen pregnancy rates are heading down, thanks to more teens practicing abstinence and/or using birth control. More teens also realize the responsibilities which come with having a child, and that they are not prepared — especially if they plan on pursuing higher education.

Two of the activities new parents are going to have to adapt their lives around are sleep and play. And each of these carries expenses which new parents might not expect. Here are some examples.

SLEEP

Sleep does much more for babies than just resting them: it helps them grow. A well-rested baby not only allows the parents to have their time and sleep more peacefully but also develops quickly and properly. Sleep allows the baby’s essential systems to develop as required, especially the brain and nervous system. To sleep well, he will need to be comfortable. This, of course, refers to his bedding and the nursery environment.  Here are some of the items you can purchase to make sure that your little one is as comfortable as possible:

BASSINETS

For a mother who has just given birth, it is advisable to sleep in the same room as their little one. Between the age of 0-3 months, a baby will require constant attention from their parents. Baby bassinets (cradles) provide that security in the early stages. Their small nature enables the toddler to fit perfectly and cozy up to feel comfortable. Such comfort and sense of security are necessary for undisturbed sleep to aid in growth and development as mentioned earlier. Bassinets are mobile and easily fit next to your bed, so you can also bring them to your room. It will make it easier for you to feed your baby at night or check up on them when they wake up.

COTS

Most parents prefer getting cots for their young ones before they are old enough to sleep in a bed. Seeing as this is where they will spend most of their time, it is important to consider safety and comfort when purchasing one. It should fit your baby well without any safety hazards such as wide gaps that can trap the baby. Be sure to get a good fit that is neither too large or too small – comfort and a sense of security are important for good sleep.

BLANKETS

Baby blankets are necessary additions to baby bedding, especially if you live in a cold place. It is also important that you choose the perfect size made with aerated material to help control temperatures. A baby wrapped in a warm cozy blanket is more likely to sleep soundly throughout the night than one dressed in heavy clothing.

COT MATTRESSES

Your baby’s mattress can also easily define how well they sleep. Just like the baby bears, it should neither be too soft or too hard. Be sure to check that your baby’s mattress is made with the right material, fits their cot perfectly and stays clean all the time.

PLAY

Playing with your kids plays a vital role in the growth of your baby through emotional, social, physical, and cognitive development. Playing with your baby strengthens bonds. It also allows the baby to learn fundamental life skills and values such as sharing. The baby gets the chance to explore the world, feel, and touch objects as their curiosity increases. Everything they hear, smell, or taste is recorded in their brains to enhance their mental development. The baby will try to move around as they reach out for something, improving their motor functions. It will also help them to sleep more soundly when they get tired.

BABY PLAY MATS

Independence is one of the values that babies need to develop as they grow. Baby playmats enable the baby to be on their own while playing with other toys. You can stay at a safe distance and keep an eye on them while making sure that they do so on a clean and safe surface. It provides a platform for your baby to roll around and move to enhance their gross and fine motor functions. For instance, laying on their backs while playing on the mat enables them to strengthen their necks and backs especially as they try to get up.

Playmats are usually made of bright and contrasting colours to improve their visual perception as they grow. This helps them make distinctions in the colours around, and this, in turn, improves their vision rapidly. The benefits of a baby’s play mat are truly inexhaustible.

BABY GYMS

A baby gym is an even better upgrade. It has many more features such as hanging toys. The more advanced (and expensive) ones have mirrors, lights, and music in it. These features keep the baby entertained and engaged for long periods as you take a break or do something else. As the baby plays in the gym, his reflexes in grasping and reaching improve, as they stretch out for the dangling toys. The mirrors and music make the baby aware of their surroundings. Babies can notice themselves while they play, making them more self-aware. The sounds and bright colours stimulate their sensory organs as they engage themselves.

Conclusively, every baby’s growth is dependent on both sleep and play. Parents should be as keen on those two as they are with other aspects of the baby’s life including his health. These two aspects are crucial in the development of emotional, physical, social, and cognitive skills, but as you can see, parents must budget for certain items to achieve success in these areas.

Signs You Might Be in a Toxic Relationship

Your first boyfriend or girlfriend can set the tone for romance throughout your life. It’s important to spend time with someone who accepts you as you are and as you work to become the best you can be. If your partner is draining you or making you question your value, the relationship may be toxic.

Your Partner Makes You Feel Bad About Yourself

If your partner criticizes you constantly or calls you names, it’s time to back away. Anyone can make a mistake, but a boyfriend or girlfriend who berates you or belittles you can chip away at your confidence in yourself until you don’t know who you are anymore. Demeaning behavior and language, whether in public or in private, is unacceptable. In any relationship, it’s important that you have healthy sexual self-esteem. Your partner should support you in trying new activities and even new looks. While you want them to be honest, if you find that they’re unkind in their comments about your looks or behavior, you may be dealing with an abuser.

Your Partner Controls You

Control can come in many forms. Your partner may try to tell you what you can wear, where you can go, and who you can spend time with. If your partner is uncertain or jealous, do your best to reassure them and try to include them in outings if that might help. If they require you to give up friendships or activities that are important to you and want to monopolize your time, it may be time to step back. Remember, the center of your life and focus needs to be you, not the relationship.

You’re the Only One Making Effort

Relationships require flexibility and the willingness to compromise. Two people in a relationship means two people have to be willing to give a little. If you’re the only person working to make time for the relationship, you’ve taken over the position as parent, not partner. At every point in your relationship, there will be times when one of you needs to require a bit more flexibility and caring. If you need your partner to flex and care about your schedule and needs and they don’t, it may be time to step back.

There are countless things that are worse than being single, and being stuck with someone who uses you and treats you badly is definitely one of them. Be ready to step back if you find yourself wishing your partner was more kind. Kindness and caring are yours by right. If you’re not feeling it, the relationship is poisonous. Honor yourself and step back.

How to Safely Celebrate Prom Night

You have looked forward to your prom night for your entire high school career. Now that the event is finally almost here, it is a good idea to start thinking about how you can celebrate this momentous occasion safely. Here are four ways to ensure a safe and memorable night for you and your closest friends as you celebrate the end of your high school years.

Smart Dressing

While it is understandable to want to look your best on this magical night, it is equally important that you make smart and practical wardrobe choices. Clothing that is too loose or poorly fitting could cause an accident. In order to prevent tripping and falling, be sure to choose clothes that fit well. This is especially important for girls and their choice of footwear. While those heels may look gorgeous, they have the potential of causing an injury if you are not accustomed to walking in this type of shoe.

Wise Partying

While it may be tempting to hang out with your closest friends doing your own thing after the dance, you should seriously consider attending the official school after-prom event. This controlled setting will ensure that nobody makes a bad decision that they will regret. Most after-prom events also provide transportation for the students, allowing you to relax and have a good time without having to get behind the wheel. If your school does not host an after-prom party, consider asking a trusted parent to host one for you and your friends.

Cautious Driving

The majority of prom mishaps happen when students are not focused on driving. You can help to mitigate this risk by being careful on the roads. Statistics show there are more drunk drivers than usual on prom night. Understand that under no circumstance should you consume even an ounce of alcohol and then get behind the wheel. As an added bonus, staying sober will ensure that your memories of this wonderful night are clear.

Sticking With Friends

Although it may sound cliche, it is true that there is safety in numbers. It is always a good idea to stick with your friends throughout the evening and make sure that everyone has a buddy to look out for them. Similar to this recommendation, it is also important to keep your phone charged all night should you need to get in touch with someone.

Make your prom a night to truly remember by keeping it safe for everyone. These memories will stay with you for a lifetime, so be sure to make them count.

6 Tips on How to Find Out that Your Relationship is Really Serious

Nobody wants to spend time on relationships that will end in a month. How do you know when things are getting real? Check out these 6 signs that your romantic relationship is really serious.

Its okay to have different likes and interests

The same hobbies and interests are often considered a sign of genuine intimacy between people in love, but this is not always the case. Your understanding that your values and perspectives may not match is much more important. If a loved one is busy with something without you, and you are OK with it, this is a sign of mutual trust. If you tried to introduce your partner to your hobby, and this idea did not work out, but you still respect each other – this is a sign of a mature relationship.

You don’t try to change each other

We all think, react to events, solve problems, and behave in everyday life differently. Another person will inevitably do something in a way different from you, your parents, or a former partner. And it does not mean that you need to change him or her.

Sometimes it is worthwhile to put yourself in the place of your BF or GF in order to understand how important things that seem insignificant to you are to them. The more eccentric interests a partner has, the challenging it will be to date him or her. If you are old enough to use dating apps, you can see these the online dating profile pictures of a person and tell what they are into.

In the so-called Gestalt prayer, written by Fritz Perls, there are the following lines: “I’m not in the world to live up to your expectations, and you aren’t in the world to live up to mine. You are you, and I am I, and if we find each other by chance, it’s beautiful.”

You have the same basic values

Personal characteristics and different interests are not a problem, but there are some global issues that can become a stumbling block in a romantic relationship. They can refer to where to live (for example, one loves cities, and the other dreams of a farm life), whether to have children and pets, or how to build relationships in general (perhaps you want a traditional family, and your partner – an open relationship).

For some people, religious, political, or other ideological issues are fundamental. Relations with a person who shares a different ideology can be quite passionate but full of conflicts, and so they are unlikely to last long.

Your conversations aren’t all about you

Stories like “how I spent the day” are rarely fascinating. However, sincere sympathy and interest can transform even the most ordinary things into something amazing. If you can actually listen patiently without getting aggravated and wanting t talk only about YOU this is one of the sure signs that your relationship is serious.

What was it like for your BF or GF growing up? How did she get that littel scar on her eyebrow? What does he think about this or that news? If you are not interested in such things, this is a warning sign. If a partner does not listen to your stories and never asks for your opinion, then you are unlikely to be an important part of his or her life.

You are ready to accept help and afford assistance

Self-sufficient people have the most successful and happy relationships. But sometimes we all need the support of loved ones. For some people, especially those who were brought up on the belief that complaining and crying are shameful, it is difficult to open up and ask for help. However, if you really trust someone, you can do it.

The same goes for helping the other person. If you love them and your relationship is serious, you are ready to go above and beyond for them.

You know their family

If you are familiar with each other’s mother and dad, this is quite a serious sign of a long and serious relationship. Now, there are some people who acquaint parents with ALL their dates. But as a rule, this is a gesture of trust. Also, it’s important not only that you are acquainted with the family of your loved one but also how it was done. The accidental meeting does not count — it should be something more formal, like a dinner, when its serious.

How To Surprise Your Crush For Sweet 16

Choosing a birthday gift for a friend can be a daunting task, and just imagine how nerve-racking it can be to choose the ideal gift for a girl or boy that you have a crush on–especially when it’s an important one like Sweet 16!

This is the time when teens start to transition into adulthood, and it is vital to commemorate that special moment with something unique that celebrates this moment. To narrow down your quest, here are some ideas for a perfect gift which would certainly surprise your crush for Sweet 16 while giving them a few hints as to how you feel.

Give a musical gift

Text your crush early in the morning on the day of her birthday to come to a place with significance, like the place you two first hung out. Then play or sing his or her favorite song, or one which you guys heard the first time here. End off by gifting a pair of tickets for a live show of the band or singer of the song next time they are in town. The condition: he or she must take you with them!

A sweet delight for a sweet someone

Everyone adores chocolate. And you can get a box of chocolate with special carvings. Many producers can carve anything you desire on the chocolate, or print on the paper wrap. A box of chocolates with personalized wrappers with nice wishes for Sweet 16 is a really original and surprising idea. Basically, you can have her/his name or lyrics to a favorite song written. For an even greater wow effect, you can get a bouquet of donuts. This gift might not last for eternity, but it will surely be a unique present.

A symbol of eternity

Many girls eagerly await their sweet 16 to be cherished and pampered all day. If you want to give a girl a present she would absolutely love and hold on to forever, then you had better go with jewelry. Jewelry will last for a lifetime and is a great way to symbolize your affection for that special someone. You can go for a cute bracelet, nice pearl earrings, or find beautiful silver infinity necklace which symbolizes love, empowerment and eternity. Since this costs $$$, make sure this person is worth it and has hinted at maybe having the same feelings.

A gift that enlivens his or her dreams

Once you turn sixteen, there will be numerous things that you start dreaming of. Every teen has a passion, so if your crush wants to be an artist, get him or her a white canvas and paint. If she wants to explore the world, get her a journal to plan her travel destinations. Encourage him/her to follow her dreams rather than make this all about YOU and your feelings.

An enticing book

Not many teens like to read physical books compared with a phone these days, but giving the right book to someone special shows you know their interests and is very flattering. If you want to honestly surprise your crush, knowing what they like to read and finding the book they want can definitely make them feel goosebumps. Getting an enticing and riveting book instead of a mug or clothes takes courage, but it can undoubtedly pay off.

If you put an effort into choosing the gift and truly do your best to find the most memorable present, your crush will know how to appreciate it. Keep his or her personality in mind and you will be on the right track and avoid cringey moments.


3 Ways to Make a Great First Impression on Your Date

Entering your dating years can be both exciting and scary. Before you head out on a first date, it is important to have a plan. Being prepared will help make sure that the date goes well. But how do you make sure you make a good impression so the person will go out with you again?  Take a look at these three great tips to make sure that your date night gives your date a great impression of you.

Get Creative

When looking to make a good impression on date night, be sure to get creative and think outside of the box. While dinner and movie is a fun activity every now and then, you will impress your date the most if you come up with something a little more inventive. Ideas to consider include volunteering together, hitting up a local farmers market for snacks and a walk around town, or a hike into the woods followed by a picnic.

Clean Up

When taking somebody out for the first time, you want to put your best step forward. The first thing that you need to consider is your physical appearance. Be sure to show up well-groomed and smelling nice in order to make the best first impression. Although you want to smell good, be careful not to overdo it with the cologne or perfume. While it can be a challenge to do it right, cleaning the inside as well as the outside of your car is key to a strong impression. You want your date to feel comfortable while riding in your vehicle. Taking the time to present yourself and your car in the best possible light will set a positive start for the date.

Be Engaging

While it may be tempting to talk about yourself on the date, be sure to make the effort to be engaging and involve your date in the conversation. It is a good idea to brainstorm possible conversation ideas prior to your date so that you do not feel stuck if you run out of things to say. Asking your date open-ended questions is a proven way to get them talking and conversation flowing. Really listen to what your date is saying, and you will be able to discern the best things to talk about. Maintaining good eye contact throughout the date is also a good way to stay engaging.

While dates can be intimidating, if you make sure you’re prepared, you’ll increase your chances of having a good time. You may feel like you don’t know what you’re doing, but do your best to be confident. That can do wonders for a good first impression. Dates are supposed to be fun, so don’t be afraid to let loose and have fun. If you follow the above tips, you’re sure to have a great time. Who knows, you might even get your first kiss!

How To Stay Safe In A Long Distance Relationship

Around 44 percent of all U.S. adults are currently single, and approximately 40 million adults use internet dating websites. For teens, online dating and long distance relationships are even more so the norm. Now more than ever, it’s important for teenagers and young adults to understand how to stay safe in long distance relationships.

Risks Associated with Online Dating

Since 2013, the proportion of 18 to 24-year-olds using online dating has increased from 10 to 27 percent. However, meeting someone from over the internet for the first time does pose some risks. Around 53 percent of all users lie about their physical appearance on their online dating profile. Over 40 percent of women and over 15 percent of all men say they’ve had a bad experience dating online.

Nearly 30 percent of users dating online say they’ve been harassed or made uncomfortable by how someone contacted them through a dating app or website online. The number of dating scams or confidence fraud cases increased from 2,500 in 2015 to 15,000 in 2016, amounting to $230 million in losses. The average losses in these online dating scams range from $5,000 to $10,000.

Researchers have also determined that around 10 percent of all sex offenders use online dating for meeting victims. Teenagers and young adults like to be independent, but when it comes to meeting someone for the first time, parents and friends should always be aware of your whereabouts. Fortunately, there are red flags to watch out for, and different tips teenagers can rely on to help make long distance relationships safer.

Making the Long Distance Relationship Work

When you’re starting out in a long distance relationship, it’s important to establish boundaries and discuss what each expects and wants out of it. If you’re transitioning from being together to staying together over a long distance, it’s essential to have this discussion before the move. The goal here is to try and avoid confusion or jealousy from ruining things later on.

You’ll want to discuss whether or not the relationship is exclusive and where it could be headed in the near future. Take the time to get to know the person well before committing to anything or getting carried away with ideas of what could be.

Staying Safe When Dating Online

You should keep personal information about your home and family private until you’ve verified their identity and gotten to know them better. You should also be cautious of anyone trying to curry your favor with money or gifts. If someone you’ve never met before is trying to get this information or entice you with gifts, they should be reported to the website’s operators and your parents.

Avoiding Online Dating Scams

There are a number of con artists that are solely interested in victimizing and exploiting people who are looking for love online. Being cautious of compliments given over the internet and keeping real friends close by is how many people can avoid making disastrous decisions while dating online. If not, people and their loved ones can be conned out of their entire savings within a few years’ time. It’s happened before.

In some cases, people have been victimized for close to a decade, being conned out of money by online users, disillusioned by what feels like a meaningful long-distance relationship. These romance cons are not just for the desperate or naive; the average person can full victim to these traps if they don’t have friends or family to counter the ploy. Romance con artists want to isolate their victim so all their time and resources are focused on the online relationship.

Many authorities consider this to be criminal activity classified as advanced fee fraud where the perpetrator cons victims in providing payments upfront for services or goods that never materialize. Despite all the connectivity we do have, it’s clear that many people still feel isolated and yearn for some form of companionship. There are currently international criminal organizations operating through online dating websites attempting to target and exploit these types of people.

Experts say that people with few friends to confide in are the perfect target for the online dating scammers. These people tend to have fewer people and limited networks that can help warn them or vet new profiles. It’s vital to cautious of overly complimentary acquaintances who may be putting on an act to present themselves as the ideal person they believe you’re looking for. With many of the scammers, there’s a proven formula that they will use to manipulate their victim.

The fake profile often has a career related to the military, finance or engineering. Many times they will say they are inconveniently overseas or have a heartfelt story about being a caretaker or a single parent. If meeting in person is not an option, then you should at least be able to video chat on occasion. If they continue to make excuses or put an image up instead of the video, this should be a huge red flag.

Playing it Safe with Long Distance Relationships

Even if they’re likely to disapprove, parents should always be informed about any long distance relationships or potential meets. Anytime your meeting someone online for the first time, it’s important to be cautious. You should also try and verify that the person is who they say they are before agreeing to get into any relationship. Finding mutual friends or running an image search on Google is an easy way to check up on someone online.

For many people, being scammed in a long distance relationship can be devastating. Victims often become isolated and may give up on interacting with others altogether. Long distance relationships can be a great thing when they are done right, and you take the proper precaution. You can go in with an open mind and still protect your financial, emotional and physical welfare.

Getting input from the people you trust and being honest with them about how things are going does help you stay safe in long distance relationships.

References:

Romance On The Internet – Beware The Dating Scammers | Psychic2Tarot.com

10 Ways to Catch out a Catfish | eHarmony.com

6 Tips for Maintaining a High School Relationship When College Starts

You and your high school sweetheart are written in the stars, but there’s one thing that’s standing between you: college. You are going to different schools – perhaps thousands of miles apart. Splitting up would break both of your hearts, but you’re worried about how the distance is going to affect you.

Going off to college doesn’t have to be the end of your high school romance! Here are some tips that will help you maintain your relationship and keep it going strong while you’re both earning your degrees.

Trust Each Other

Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship, and it’s particularly important when you’re long distance. When you can trust your boyfriend or girlfriend, you can both be happy and confident with your relationship. Remember to behave how you would want your partner to behave. Even innocent flirting could have serious repercussions, so before you act, ask yourself, “Would this betray my other half’s trust?”

Communication is Key

Maintaining your high school relationship when you’re both away at college may be challenging, but remember that you’ll get out of your relationship what you put into it. It’s extremely important to communicate with each other. Even when your class schedules are conflicting and the assignments are piling high, make time to speak with each other on a regular basis. Phone calls, texts, emails, and even snail mail (there’s something so romantic about receiving a hand-written letter from a loved one), are all great ways to stay connected. Plus, it will strengthen your bond and nurture your love.

Space is Important

While communicating on a regular basis is certainly an important part of maintaining your relationship, you also have to give your partner some space. You’re both in college. If you’re constantly texting, calling, Skyping, and emailing each other, you could miss out on the whole college experience. Plus, if you’re the one who is constantly reaching out, your partner may feel like you are being too clingy and could become a major drag.

Remember to give each other some space. If you trust one another, giving each other space shouldn’t be a problem.

Send Care Packages

To a college student, getting a package in the mail is like winning the lottery; when that package comes from a high school sweetheart, it’s like hitting the jackpot! Send a care package every once in a while. Fill a box with one of your old T-shirts, a stuffed animal, books that you have read (and jotted some notes down in the margins), scrapbooks, and some of your other half’s favorite snacks. Nothing says “I’m thinking about you” better than a care package filled with goodies.

Be Open Minded

Things are going to change a lot when you go to college, including your relationship with your other half. Have an open mind and be willing to accept those changes. If you are deadest against them, you’ll only put up roadblocks in your relationship, which could do serious damage. Navigate through those changes together and you’ll be even better and stronger than you were before!

Speak Your Mind

If something is bothering you about your relationship, don’t be afraid to open up and talk about it! If you bottle it up and try to ignore it, it’s only going to fester. It may even make you end up distrusting your partner and ruining your relationship. Be open and honest about how you are feeling. If your other half is truly committed, he or she will listen attentively and make changes to correct whatever is it that’s bothering you.

 

 

Where to Look for Help with an Unplanned Teen Pregnancy

If you’re facing an unplanned teen pregnancy, you are not alone. Women between the ages of 15 and 19 gave birth to 229,715 babies in the U.S. in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While the teen pregnancy rate has been decreasing in recent years, many teens still face an unplanned pregnancy every year, and it can be a terrifying, lonely experience. But for these teens, help is available.

Counseling Services

Many teens aren’t sure what they want to do when they first learn they are pregnant. Many church-affiliated organizations may offer counseling at little to no cost. Ask for information about all your options, including the pros and cons of each.

Teen Parenting

Support centers exist for mothers want to keep their babies, including support groups, parenting classes, and things like baby clothes, diapers, and infant car seats. Some hospitals offer support groups, childbirth classes and parenting classes specifically for teens, too. Finally, many high schools now offer special services for teen parents. Ask your guidance counselor.

Adoption Services

If you are considering placing your child for adoption, you can contact your state’s adoption services for more information, or go through private companies that help you navigate the process. Every state has an agency with a name like the Department of Health and Human Services or the Department of Social Services that has a department that handles adoptions.

Pregnancy is intimidating, especially if you’re facing it alone. But help is available, and you should feel confident that you can still have an abundant, rewarding life. Pregnancy is the start of a new life, not the end of yours. There is help and there is hope. Never forget that!