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Tamara
Tamara, Counselor & Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1073
Experience:  20+ yrs Private Practice; Cert. Master Therapist; National Board Certified; APA Board Certified
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I have recently gotten a young woman pregnant and we are discussing

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I have recently gotten a young woman pregnant and we are discussing future situations of how the child should be raised and what level of involvement would be best. Since we have no desire to move in together and I have schooling and a career I'll be pursuing in another state the issue at hand is whether the child gets to know me as I am able to be present, or if I keep myself out of the picture until the child is old enough to pursue a relationship with me on it's own. Which would be healthier for the child in the long run?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Tamara replied 6 years ago.
Hi. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm pleased to try to help you today.

I'm sorry to hear that you are finding yourself in such a difficult situation. This really is a very complicated issue, and it would be hard to say for sure exactly what approach would be best for the child. Honestly, a lot of that depends on the maturity level of the parents, and on how they will handle such a situation in general. The main thing needed for a child to be emotionally healthy is to have emotionally stable and healthy parents. If you don't love each other and have no desire to make a relationship work, then your involvement (beyond child support) needs to be considered from the perspective of whether you and the mother can get along well enough for you to be in the child's life as a positive influence, not a negative one. If you can have a loving, respectful relationship, where you are clear that you have chosen not to be a parent to this child, then that would be fine. If you don't think you can do that, then it might be best to stay out of the picture for awhile. Honestly, neither situation is ideal (from the child's perspective), but if you want a relationship with this child, then I suggest you get in on the ground floor and be a part of his or her life. There is no guarantee that they will be interested in having a relationship with you (as a stranger) when they are older.

Because there are so many variables to consider in this situation, I think it would be beneficial for you both to talk with a therapist together in order to help you decide how to handle this in the long run. Again, much of this depends on the personalities and maturity levels of both of you, and there is no way for me to address that in this venue.

Best wishes, and please let me know if I can answer any further questions. Tamara
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