Teenage parenting is difficult. The responsibility of raising a child is enormous, and for someone who is still in his teenage years, it can feel devastating. Several types of counseling are targeted specifically at teenage fathers. Teenage fathers are encouraged to learn about and pursue these outlets not only to help themselves in the moment, but to become better fathers in the long run.
Support groups offer the chance for teenage fathers to meet other young men who are going through similar transitions. These groups usually provide a safe environment where everyone within the group relates to one another. Members offer advice, provide emotional support and share points of view about the same basic issues. Groups often help simply by showing a teenage father that others are facing similar challenges and that he is not alone. Programs such as the Greater Bridgeport Area Prevention Teen Fathers Program provide these kinds of groups as well as education about parenting and raising a child.
Marriage and Family Therapy
A certified marriage and family therapist can work with a teenage father on the issues surrounding his new role and responsibilities. The benefit of marriage and family therapy is that it focuses on the family as a whole, not solely on the individual. A teenage father can attend sessions with other family members or the child's mother and spend time working on relationship dynamics that will play an important role in raising a child.
Psychotherapy, otherwise known as individual therapy, consists of one-on-one weekly meetings with a therapist. The therapist can provide counseling to the teenage father to address his thoughts and feelings regarding what he is going through. The goal of therapy is to examine underlying emotions that may lead to maladaptive behavior. The American Psychological Association points out that psychotherapists use specific research-based techniques in order to help their clients work through issues. Individual therapy is a great option for teenage fathers looking for an objective person to speak to about the concerns and fears of parenthood.
A teenage father is likely still in school, and many schools provide counseling services. School counselors meet with students in a private and confidential setting and connect students with helpful outside resources such as support groups, family therapists and outside counselors. The school counselor may work with the teenage father on making sure that he has a plan for the future, including college or a career path. This kind of planning is especially important for a teenager with responsibility for raising a family.