How to tell folks about pregnancy shocker

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Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.

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DEAR AMY: I'm 18 years old and months away from graduating high school. I can't wait to venture into college. The only downside is that my girlfriend of 15 months is pregnant. It was a big shock. It feels as if everything I was planning is thrown away and I will never be able to experience college life and get a good job. I do look forward to seeing my little one, but I just don't have the smallest idea how to start planning for the arrival. I'm also having trouble telling my parents. What's the best way to tell them? Expectant Dad

DEAR EXPECTANT: One advantage of pregnancy is how long it takes -- you have many months to adjust and to figure things out. You and your girlfriend should take a couple of days to talk this through privately and make some decisions about what you want to do. Your school may have a social worker who can help talk you through your immediate decisions.

Then you should each tell your respective parents. Do your best to be intentional, respectful and calm. Take a deep breath and say, "I have something important to tell you. . . . " Your parents may be quite shocked and upset, but please also give them time to adjust. They will.

You don't have to give up your dreams -- either of you. But you will need to adjust how you are going to achieve them. You may not believe this now, but I assure you that everything's going to be OK.

DEAR AMY: A jogger wrote to you about calling out praise to fellow runners who were running on prosthetic legs and receiving an annoyed look in return. I liked your answer. Athletes don't need condescending shoutouts from fellow runners. It's an unnecessary interruption.Also Ran

DEAR ALSO: I'll take a pat on the back when I'm doubled over, gasping for breath, but more competent runners should be left alone.