MOORE — Question: I am 16 years old, and I just found out I’m pregnant. I haven’t told anybody yet, because I guess I’m still in shock. I really don’t know what to do. Can you help me at all?
Answer: You’re shocked? Excuse us for sounding like mothers, which we are, but if you’re sexually active then you know that pregnancy is a definite possibility.
We hope you didn’t actually think it wouldn’t happen to you. Now that it has, the first thing you need to do is talk to your parents. Yes, you need to be prepared for them to be angry, hurt, and disappointed —they have a right to be; however, they will be your biggest support so you need to trust them.
In addition, you need to see your family physician as soon as possible. Your physician, along with your parents, can help you explore your options. You also need to stay in school! The various districts will have different programs for girls in your situation. We urge you not to just focus on your immediate circumstance but to see the importance of your education to your future.
Question: My friend and I were discussing at what age it's appropriate to take children to a funeral, and we disagree on the answer. What are your thoughts?
— Olivia, Oklahoma City
Answer: Even though we feel this question doesn't directly deal with school, we wanted to take a stab at it because it could have indirect effects. There's no right or wrong answer as to age appropriateness. So much depends on the combination of your relationship with your child and the closeness to the person who passed away. You just have to do what feels right, because your child will let you know if they feel comfortable or not.
It’s difficult enough on all of us to lose people close to us, but it's especially difficult when children don't understand.
What we do urge parents or family members to do is to let someone in the school know when your family has been affected by death…a favorite teacher, counselor, coach … someone with whom the child feels a bond.
We’ve seen it happen over and over where a kid will have a breakdown of sorts at school, and no one knows what's going on or how to help.
Sally Phillips and Jeannie DeLancey are certified school counselors with 49 years combined educational experience. Jeannie has two children and Sally has three. The responses presented don’t necessarily reflect the views of any certain school district. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Class Act, The Norman Transcript, P.O. Drawer 1058, Norman, 73070.