OK I’ll admit it. I’ve watched Teen Mom 2.
On one hand, this show gives a clearer picture of teen pregnancy than what my generation ever received. A girl got pregnant in high school. No one ever really talked about it. Of course, she had to make a decision. Give it up or keep it? The 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom series show the complexity of both decision and how much life changes…pretty drastically. For myself, it has been somewhat of an education.
While giving your baby for adoption is a responsible thing to do, there is a long grieving process that never fully goes away. It is not just the birth mother who feels this pain–the father, the grandparents, and friends carry this burden. Yet keeping your baby–how can you take care of a child when you are trying to finish school, hold down a job and make “adult” decisions? Watching these young girls is exhausting.
On the other hand, this show is entertainment. My concern is our young people are tuning in week after week to be entertained by other people’s life drama. This is not just a soap opera with actors and actresses. Do we really want these teen couples to be our children’s role models? Our young people will look up to them even if we as adults do not. It is after all, a TV show. There is editing, scenes are set up, and there is a story line. We are not fully getting the whole picture, but sometimes our young people do not realize that.
In an interview with one of the stars (and I find it disturbing they are now “stars”) she said she wanted her baby son to watch the show someday to see what his mom went through. Why should she want her child to see with his own eyes how badly she screwed up? It is these babies who have no choice. Mom was chasing stardom while they were potty training on camera for all America to see. I guess that’s the biggest part that makes me a bit uneasy.
Teen Mom does promote “a safe sex” agenda and speaks out about problems with teen violence and drug use. It’s hard to argue with the fact MTV is preaching a sensible message. MTV in my day was skanky videos and lots of angry 90’s music. Watching this show has made we realize we have a very important responsibility as moms to talk to our children about sex. The church as well has a responsibility to guide its young people and share about God’s design for sex. MTV will speak out and talk about it. I guess the question is: will we as parents and youth leaders talk about it too?