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How to handle teen pregnancy | News

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How to handle teen pregnancy

St. Petersburg, Florida -- The tragic story out of Polk County on Friday about a 14-year-old girl accused of killing her newborn baby, could easily have been prevented.

However, experts say telling parents about a pregnancy can be the hardest thing a young girl ever has to do.

"I don't know one teenager that wants to tell their parents that this is happening," said Dina Flynt, Program Director at the PACE Center for Girls in Pinellas County and a licensed mental health counselor, "there are ways to hide it."

Flynt says teens fear disappointing their parents and ultimately being rejected by them.

She advises teens should get another adult, possibly even another family member, to be in the room when they tell their parents.

It's also best to let parents know as soon as possible.

"Your parents are going to be upset at the beginning.  It's natural for them to be upset.  That way you have nine months to work on it, figuring out what the best plan is for you and your child," Flynt explained.

As for parents, Flynt says this scenario should be discussed with teens at the same time things like safe sex and abstinence.

"Let them know that, yeah I might be angry, but I'm going to love you always and you need to tell me whenever there's something that I can help you with," Flynt said.

There are 17 PACE Centers in Florida.

Most hospitals and mental health facilities offer free parenting classes.

Experts say county health departments can also be a good resource to start with.


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