A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Teen Mom 2, the second spin-off of 16 and Pregnant, contains the same content the original spin-off is known for. Sex, infidelity, pregnancy, and abortion are discussed, as well as topics like single motherhood, divorce, addiction, abuse, and ugly custody battles. The language can be strong (cursing is bleeped), and there's lots of arguing, too. Drinking (beer) is sometimes visible, and often leads to problems. The show is more focused on relationship drama than mature parenting, and offers little on the subject of teen pregnancy. However, it does show how difficult motherhood is, especially at a young age. It's not an ideal series for kids, but parents may want to discuss some of the issues it brings up with their teens.
What's the story?
TEEN MOM 2, the second installment of the popular series Teen Mom, follows four young women who were featured on the second season of 16 and Pregnant as they come to grips with the realities of motherhood. Chelsea Houska, Jenelle Evans, Kailyn Lowry, Leah Messer, and in later seasons, Briana DeJesus, have all given birth and are now raising their children while trying to finish high school, struggle with their finances, and figure out living arrangements. While some of them have their family's support, others must go it alone. Meanwhile, they're all negotiating the role their child's father will have in their family's lives. While some seem to be learning and maturing from their experiences, others seem to continually make bad choices.
Is it any good?
Like the original, this rendition of the popular reality show offers a look at what teens' lives can be like if they have children at a young age. It showcases how their lack of maturity, stability, and education makes motherhood even more difficult on a day-to-day basis. While some of the women featured here succeed at reaching some goals, like finishing college, most of them seem to position themselves in a continued spiral of failed relationships, bad choices, and subsequent pregnancies. A seemingly never-ending custody battle between a cast member and her mother is also a major part of the narrative.
However, to keep Teen Mom 2 entertaining, it emphasizes the often-contentious relationships the young women have with the fathers of (or some of) their children. Although a few of them are able to co-parent in positive ways, much of the drama stems from arguments about things ranging from sharing daily childcare duties to infidelity and giving a baby up for adoption. The disappearance of some of the fathers is also addressed. Teen viewers may take what they see here as a warning against getting pregnant or having children at a young age, but others may simply be entertained by the conflicts it features.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the young women featured in the Teen Mom franchise. They are living with the consequences of having sex, getting pregnant, etc. Based on their on-camera behavior, does it seem like they've learned from their mistakes? Are the fathers of their children also facing the consequences of their behavior?
Why do you think people enjoy watching reality shows like this one?
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