How do you talk to your nine -year -old daughter about an upcoming miscarriage? Hi, my name is
Kent Toussaint. Welcome to Tips on Teens. I am a licensed marriage and family therapist, and
I'm here at Teen Therapy Center in Woodland Hills, California, where every Wednesday at noon,
I answer your parenting questions that you email to us or message us through Facebook or however
you'd like to send us your questions. Keep them coming. Let's jump into today's question. I'm
16 weeks pregnant, and there are some dangerous signs that the baby is unhealthy and may not
make it's term. My husband and I are so scared and confused. My question is about my nine -year
-old daughter who has wanted a baby brother since she could talk. We finally got pregnant after
years of trying and it's a boy and now it looks like we're going to lose him. I don't know how to
explain this to a nine -year -old. This is so emotional for my husband and I but I don't want this
to scar our daughter. How do we tell her and minimize
her pain? First, excuse me, my heart really goes out to you and your husband. Like many people
who are going to watch this video, including myself, the pain of losing a pregnancy we all know
too well. It's tragic, it is devastating, it is heart -wrenching and all too familiar to a lot
of people even though it's kind of this taboo topic that no one likes to talk about. But it's a
really common thing. Excuse me. What I'd recommend first is just be honest with your daughter.
Don't try to hide it. Don't try to explain it in a different way. Just be direct. She's going to
understand. She's going to follow your lead. While this is devastating for you, and I get that
is devastating, and it is heart wrenching, you're going to get through this for multiple reasons.
One, you have to because you have a nine -year -old little girl who needs you. So you have to get
through this to be able to be strong for her. She needs to see how to get through tragedy. How,
and you're the model for her to do that.
So it's important that you and your husband are leaning on each other for support. You're leaning
on external sources of support, whether that's your therapist, your rabbi, your minister,
your sister, your parents, maybe several different sources of support. But it's okay to have
those feelings, and I would say that it's okay for you to share those feelings of sadness with
your daughter and be open about it. Don't try to hide those feelings. Those feelings are normal.
Those feelings of grief are necessary to get through the process. Where you want to be careful
is putting your daughter in a position where she has to take care of your feelings because she's
not qualified to do that. You can still be sad and still take care of her. So, as long as you are
demonstrating that you can be sad and still be okay and still get through this, even though it's
a process, even though it's painful, even though you don't always see how you're going to get
through it, the trust that you will get through
this is going to help your daughter follow your lead. And if you have any religious or spiritual
faith or beliefs, most of those beliefs do involve death and passing on in some way, and that
may help explain things. Finding a clear -cut explanation of why this is happening, you're
never going to find that because that's a philosophical conversation we've been having for
thousands of years that we still haven't come up with solutions for, so you're not going to come
up with one now to explain or understand or just say, hey, death is great. It's not. it stinks.
So I think it's really important that you are taking care of yourself so you can take care of your
daughter and demonstrate how to get through this. I encourage you to have a ritual to say goodbye
to the baby or to welcome that baby soul into your family. I know for our family, the baby that
we lost, we talk about that baby all the time. That baby is like a regular part of family and it's
not become a source of sadness for the most
part as a course of oh yeah that's just how it is you know we never even actually had a full name
for the baby but we had a nickname that our five -year -old the time gave the baby and that's the
name that stuck so I don't know if you have a nickname for the baby or if you came up with a name but
that name is fine and let that name live in your house and be honored and be celebrated just like
any other member of family. It's okay to have that too. That baby's soul or spirit or energy or
however you see it, what is a part of your family as of now or you know and will be for you know going
forward too. It's a tough situation. The big thing I want to just help you understand is don't
try to avoid it. Don't try to pretend it didn't happen as it did and the more you embrace it the
more you guys will get through it. Again, a tough topic, tough discussion. Make sure you're
getting your support you need. It's really important that you help yourself so you can help
your daughter and any future children
that you may have. Anyways, that's our question for today. Thanks for tuning in. If you have
a question you'd like me to answer, you can email us at tipsonteens at teentherapycenter .com
or just direct messages right here on Facebook. We love to hear from you. Again, my name is Kent
Toussaint, licensed family therapist at Therapy Center and I will see you guys next Wednesday
at noon. Bye -bye!
Sometimes, pregnancies do not go the way families planned. How can families handle the steps and conversations that arise when this is the case? This week’s Tips On Teens question is from a parent looking for advice on how to navigate their family through a complex, emotional situation:
“I’m 16 weeks pregnant and there are some dangerous signs that the baby is unhealthy and may not make it to term. My husband and I are so scared and confused. My question is about my nine year old daughter who has wanted a baby brother since she could talk. We finally got pregnant after years of trying AND it’s a boy and now it looks like we are going to lose him. I don’t know how to explain this to a nine year old. This is so emotional for my husband and I, but I don’t want this to scar our daughter. How do we tell her and minimize her pain?”
Tips On Teens is a vlog that our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint, hosts every Wednesday at 12:00pm on Facebook Live. He will be answering parenting questions submitted to us by you to our email at TipsOnTeens@TeenTherapyCenter.com. Send us any questions you might have about parenting kids and teens and Kent will be answering them every week!
Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE! Check out our page here – https://www.facebook.com/TeenTherapyCenter/
If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.