I understand that support for pregnant teens and young parents can be hard to come by. In my own life, I had the support of my mother who picked me up from school and took me for my doctor’s appointments. She took time off work to make sure I never missed a single doctor’s visit. Honestly, I didn’t do nearly enough to thank her for her time, sacrifice and support. Looking back to that time, I recognize the huge difference that support made in my life. If you’re a pregnant teen or young parent, have you taken time to appreciate the people around you who are supporting you?
When I say support, I’m talking about the person or people who are feeding you, giving you a place to live, reminding you to take care of yourself, taking you to the store, or paying your fees so you can continue with your education. In many cases, they may be doing things they don’t have to do. My lesson and I hope it will be yours too – recognize and appreciate support. You can show your appreciation for their support in a few ways:
Saying thank you often
There are many ways to say thank you. The key to saying thank you is being specific about the thing you are grateful to them for. For example, you can tell them how much you appreciate the time they take each week to take you to the doctor.
You may also have heard the saying, “show, don’t tell”, that’s another way you can say thank you. For example, if someone is giving you a place to live, do chores around the house like the laundry, cleaning up after yourself, or even taking out the trash. In short, be a joy not a burden to the person supporting you.
Have you ever received a thank you note? If you have, you know how it feels to receive a note recognizing the good you’ve done in someone’s life. Even if you haven’t received a thank you note, you can imagine how it would feel to get one. Consider writing a thank you note to your friend, parent or mentor who has shown support to a pregnant teen and young parent.
Doing your best
When someone puts their life on hold or extends themselves to show support for a pregnant teen and young parent, the least you can do is your best. Doing your best says “I appreciate your support” even more than a simple thank you. It shows the other person you acknowledge them and what they’re doing for you. Your best means taking your education seriously by showing up in school daily, doing your homework and assignments, studying for tests, and asking for help when you need it. It also means thinking and planning for your future – not leaving them to do all the work for you.
Getting things done – like you’re supposed to
Your doctor may have asked you to take care of a few things like watching what you eat, saying no to stress, and exercising to stay active. Do exactly what you’re supposed to do. If your school requires you to complete some activities, do them. If the friend, parent or mentor who is supporting you pays for you to attend a program for young parents to prepare you for life as a teen parent, you show up and do the work.
As a teen or young parent, how can you recognize and appreciate the support systems in your life?
I’m Summer Owens, and my passion is helping youth and young adults realize success no matter what obstacles they face. As an international resilience and leadership keynote speaker, author, S.O. What! Success Coach, and creator of the S.O. What! Literacy, Life Skills, and Character Education curriculum, I empower people to say, “So what!” to even their greatest challenges. provide a framework to help people see past their challenges and focus on solutions using the S.O. What! Success System (Overcome Obstacles + Eliminate Excuses + Calculate Choices = S.O. What! Success). Through keynotes, workshops, books, online courses, and workbooks, I use life’s challenges and my own story of resilience as a rape survivor and teen mom success story to help others confidently pursue their dreams.
Looking for an inspiring college motivational speaker? A high school literacy curriculum? A middle school life skills workbook? A great example for teen mothers? A women’s empowerment or single mother’s conference speaker? I’m your girl and will help any audience say, “S.O. What!”.