You can be a great parent, no matter how old (or young) you are!
To be the best parent you can be:
- Ask for help! It’s hard to do it all on your own. When you get the help you need, both you and your baby have the best opportunities to be happy and healthy.
- Find programs that can help you stay in school. Ask a teacher, school counselor, social worker, or other trusted adult who can help you find out more.
- Do your best to take care of yourself. When you’re stressed, it can be easy to eat junk food, not get enough sleep, or not keep fit. You’ll have more energy when you eat well, get sleep, and exercise.
- Don’t drink, smoke, or do drugs. These harm your health, and when your baby is exposed, they harm your baby’s health, too. NDQuits is totally free and can help you stop smoking. Contact FirstLink at 2-1-1 for info on programs that can help you stop drinking or using.
- Keep your home as stable as you can. Kids need safe, secure environments and regular routines.
- Make time to relax. Do something fun without your child. Find a babysitter, ask a family member or friend, or trade babysitting with another parent. Take a walk, read a book, see a movie, go out to dinner with a friend, or take a long hot bath. Taking care of yourself makes you a better caregiver for others.
- Manage your emotions. Everyone gets overwhelmed, angry, and sad from time to time. Find healthy ways to deal with your emotions. Go for a walk, talk to a friend, take a nap, or write in a journal.
- This website has lots of other information to help teen parents, such as feeding, babies’ crying, child development, safe sleep environments, parenting challenges, and positive discipline.
- It is very important for you and your child that your relationships are healthy – and you are not in an abusive relationship. Learn more about healthy dating and healthy relationships.