Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Teen Mom ~ 16 and Pregnant Question

This question was asked by a reader: "Have you ever seen “Teen Mom”?  One of the girls who is pregnant at 16 and featured on the show chooses to place her baby for adoption.  In the snippets of the show I’ve seen so far (and I haven’t watched as much of it as I soon will), that baby seems to be thriving, is in a very loving and stable home, and it’s hard not to contrast her life with some of the lives of the kids whose mothers kept them.  The teen moms are, for the large part, really unable to care for their kids well.  They struggle financially and in relationships.  It’s hard.  The review I’m writing isn’t about adoption, per se, but in the case of the teens and baby and adoptive parents on the show, it was a terrific situation.  If you’ve seen the show, I’m interested to hear what you think!"

Well, I have many thoughts on this subject and I will try to keep it brief. So, 16 and Pregnant. I have a love/hate relationship with that show. I have written a couple of posts about it because there are times I watch it and I think 'this is great for young kids & adults to see because it is so raw and honest.' Then there is a part of me that says 'Oh man! This is ridiculous! How exploitive this show has become and MTV should be ashamed of themselves.'  MTV is different. I think their intentions were good from the start, but now it has become such a huge money maker for them they are drawn to circumstances that are volatile, vulgar, immoral and harmful all because ... the better the ratings, the bigger the bucks.

I did watch most of the first season, the one that has Catelynn and Tyler the couple that placed their baby girl for adoption. That one interested me because of THAT dynamic. I wanted to see how times have changed, how different or similar I was to her at that age, what his involvement would be and how he would handle the changes not only in his life ... but in the life of the young woman that he fell in love with. There were very sad times that were difficult for me to watch because it really hit home with me. Her sorrow, her guilt, her doubts and her undying need to reach out in some way to let her daughter know that she lives in her heart. I thought that the realities of their story were very intriguing. The maturity with which they handled their decision was wonderful for anyone to look up to. They both showed that they really cared about and wanted a say in what their child's life would he like. As I am sure you know, the adoption world has a HUGE divide in it. There is no gray area, no middle ground. There are those who adore adoption and sing it's praises in everything they do. Then there are those who detest all that it stands for and would do anything to detour everyone from participating in any form of its existence. I think the segments spotlighting that couple was the best part of the shows existence.

The rest, I believe, is really a  debasement of what the teenage mind is capable of, and more importantly what it is INcapable of. The amount of violence that the producers of that show allow is laughable! When you think about some of the story lines, they do not differ much from Jersey Shore except that there is an innocent baby lying there who has no say while his parents act like fools in front of the whole world.

It really is a love/hate relationship. I hope I haven't scared you with my answer. Here are the links to the posts I have previously discussed this on. I have thought about it quite a bit.


http://thebestforyoubook.blogspot.com/2010/05/16-and-pregnanthelping-or-hindering.html

This was a show that had Catelynn and Tyler on, but it is the statistics that Dr. Oz provided about teen sex is what is most notable in this post!
http://thebestforyoubook.blogspot.com/2010/07/teen-sex-crisis-dr-oz-show-and-adoption.html

5 comments:

Linnea said...

I didnt find out about the show until after we had adopted and brought our son home. I loved Caitlynn and Ty's story. I felt for them. The other girls, wow! You are right, the amount of fighting MTV allows to happen in the presence of a baby is appalling. Leaving babies on the counter and walking away, punching the baby's father and swearing in front of the baby. New girlfriends, new boyfriends, in and out. They acted just like teenagers. The problem is they gave up being a teen when they chose to have those children. You can not have your cake and eat it too. You can not be 16 and act 16 and have a child. I always get mad at MTV when I watch that kind of stuff happen and I think if those teens were Kardasian's would they let this go on?

Be blessed

Happy Thanksgiving.
Ashlee

http://ourjourneytoadoption.beckfamily143.com/

Angie said...

Very well written! I agree with every word!

The Norlie Family said...

I've watched a lot of it. I couldn't agree more with you. I have a very love hate relationship with that show. Well I don't even know if hate is the right word. It just makes me really sad to see how Caitlyn and Tyler tried so hard to make the best decision for them and Caitlyn's mom is so horrible to her for it. I just could not imagine. As for the rest of them I just feel sorry for their babies. It makes me crazy thinking what kind of life they could have given their child and the kind of life they're giving them by raising them.

Personally speaking my best friend got pregnant our senior year of high school and she chose to keep her baby. I got pregnant a year after graduation and placed my baby for adoption. Our lives today, all most 10 years later, are VASTLY different. She has continued to be in and out of relationship after abusive relationship, struggling to care for her kids, and I'm happily married with four kids of my own that have a loving father who is always there for them and who provides well enough for our whole family that I'm able to be a stay at home mom.

I see all this and it's hard for me not to have such a strong opinion about teenagers placing or keeping their babies. I just hate to see these kids struggling so much when I personally know things could have been so different for them and for their babies.

Yani @ Turning Winds said...

The show does in some ways, give away a great big lesson to both teenagers and parents. It's never too easy being parents, especially if you're only 16 and still struggling with your life's experiences. The thing is, if they keep on with the show and finding more teenage moms to continue with it's popularity, then we should expect more troubled teens to want to have babies soon. That's more alarming, isn't it? I hope it stops there.

Kelsey Stewart, Author said...

Yanni,
I cannot watch either of those shows anymore, it just puts me in a negative place.

The intent for the show was good, I will give it that. But now that it is the EXTREME success that it is, I think MTV is just exploiting young girls ... and even worse their families are allowing them to do these show which I will NEVER understand.

If you read the first linked post called 16 and Pregnant ~Helping or Hindering that is above, you will see that what you fear in your sentence has already happened. Girls ARE getting pregnant to get their own show. Makes me wonder about the 90 some odd births or pregnancies that are at ONE high school campus here in the States. I have a feeling that MTV16 had something to do with it.

Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.