Teen Mom 3: As Long as We’re Together
Having a good relationship with your parents is hard for anyone, even if you’re not a teen parent. Teens deserve a little freedom and independence, but if you’re under your parent’s roof, it’s their rules. In 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom we’ve seen all sorts of families, from close two-parent homes, single mother or father households, or even parents who have separated themselves from their child. Even after moving out, parents are an important part of the support system for any new teen parent. From the show, it’s pretty clear that the parent-child relationship is complicated when a grandchild is thrown in the mix. This week on Teen Mom, we experienced different family situations with Catelynnn and Farrah.
Catelynn’s father comes to visit this week. She hasn’t seen him in four years, so he’s never met Tyler or been involved in Catelynn’s pregnancy and adoption. Despite this, Catelynn says he’s the parent she feels closest to, and the person she would have been most comfortable raising Carly around. After a heartwarming reunion, he stays at Catelynn and Tyler’s for a few days to reconnect and go on a job interview. Catelynn hopes a job offer might convince her father to move back to Michigan after living in Florida so long. Everyone seems to get along, and Catelynn and Tyler hope to build a better relationship with him.
After Catelynn’s dad leaves, she thanks Tyler for standing by her during the pregnancy. She admits it felt like her dad ran away from her and her mom. Catelynn is really lucky to have someone like Tyler, since 8 out of 10 teen fathers don’t stay with the teen mother of their child. Even though Catelynn says she feels close to her dad, it’s hard to have a relationship when you don’t see a parent for years at a time. I don’t know the situation, but I bet Catelynn wishes her dad could have been there during her pregnancy, when she really needed support. Parents who stay involved in their kid’s life play a huge role in helping those kids make healthy sexual decisions and preventing teen pregnancy. Unfortunately, teen girls who are raised by a single teen mom are more likely to also become teen parents themselves. Do you feel like your parents have a big impact on your opinion of sex and pregnancy? Catelynn often says that she wanted Carly to have a better life than she could have provided her. She chose Brendan and Theresa as her adoptive parents because she wanted Carly to have the stable (adult) two-parent household that she never had.
In a completely different situation, Farrah is trying her hardest to get away from her parents. She’s been researching different places across the country to move, so this week the whole family went to Arizona to explore new homes for Farrah and Sophia. Even though Deb and Farrah’s relationship appeared to being getting better, everything fell apart this weekend during the uncomfortable ‘family vacation.’
When you start to visit colleges, you might notice your parents point out how dangerous and low-ranking the college across the country is, but how safe and good the college an hour away from your hometown is. Now imagine the same situation, but you’re taking yourself and the grandchild they’ve been raising across the country. I understand Farrah’s parents’ anxiety, but there are 100 better ways to deal with this situation. They pointed out everything wrong with any home or neighborhood Farrah wanted to explore, pushing her instead to look at the ritzy mansions that were way out of her budget. By the end of the trip Farrah had given up not only on Arizona but she had given up on her parents support, too.
Parental relationships, especially with teen parents, are complicated and confusing. But teens that are close with their parents are actually at a reduced risk for teen pregnancy. If you can’t talk to your parents, find an older friend, teacher, or coach you feel comfortable talking with. And be easy on your parents…most rules they set are out of love (even when it seems like they’re making rules just to drive you nuts).
This post was written by Kate, an intern for The National Campaign. Kate is a senior at George Washington University, studying journalism and sociology. She loves theater and cooking, and eats mashed potatoes every single day. Have a question for Kate? Email us!