Parenting Lessons From Teen Mom 2: You Can’t Blame Your Baby Daddy For Leaving When You Cheat

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One episode into Teen Mom 2, and I'm already so frustrated with these girls. The main changes from where we left off last season is the girls' relationships: As far as I can tell, while filming they were all single. But what was annoying is watching Kailyn Lowry and Leah Messer blame their respective baby daddys for bailing… when they were the ones who cheated.

And if you're talking about relationships, Jenelle Evans still hasn't hit upon a healthy way of communicating with her mom Barbara, and Jace continues to suffer from her neglect. Then you have Chelsea Houska, who keeps letting Adam back into her life even when it's clear that she's not emotionally stable.

Let's jump right into the parenting lessons we learned from 3×01 “Walk the Line”!

Teen Mom 3x01 recap "Walk the Line" Jenelle Evans Jace Barbara Evans


DO: Make a living

Jenelle interviews for a part-time daycare job, which is kind of laughable if you consider how she's basically ignored Jace for the past few seasons. Then again, her unwillingness to take care of her son stemmed from issues with her mom Barbara: She'd get all defensive that Barbara beat her to something, then go catatonic and not engage with him at all. But in the interview she's fairly lively and has given some thought to how she's interact with the kids. Even when the interviewer asked what days she wasn't available, Jenelle's reason for not doing Saturdays was that she had to take care of Jace, not a drug- or Kieffer-related issue. And then she figures that she'll just bring him in. Not bad, Jenelle.

DON'T: Get defensive

And then of course, the next time we see Jenelle she and Barbara are cursing and arguing over how Jenelle wants to bathe Jace. Sigh.

DON'T: Be stupid

After the fight, Jenelle goes partying with her friend, takes three hits of weed, and then freaks out since she has a drug test coming up. I can't even with this girl.

Teen Mom 2 3x01 recap "Walk the Line" Chelsea Houska Adam Aubree


DO: Have goals

Chelsea is trying to get her GED and taking a battery of tests. Woo!

DON'T: Start up vicious cycles

Adam is hanging around again, and even Chelsea admits that it's not a good idea. But she's enamored of the idea of him taking her and Aubree out to dinner. You know, so they can be a family again.

DON'T: Lose your cool

While out, Aubree pitches a fit, but Chelsea whines at Adam to help her. “If you hand her to me, she's gonna scream twice as bad,” he says, which is probably the truth. It doesn't help that he's on his phone as well. He suggests they just get Chinese food at her place since she has A/C and Aubree's toys, to which Chelsea responds, “Take her, then, 'cause I'm gonna freak out.” I'm gonna employ my new favorite phrase: Calm yo tits, girl.

Teen Mom 2 3x01 recap "Walk the Line" Kailyn Lowry Jo Jordyn Isaac cheating


DON'T: Ignore red flags

Isaac is in daycare now, but when Kailyn gets his report card, she has reason to worry. The teachers say that he's not talking to other kids and isn't that social. But all that Kailyn sees is a criticism on her as a mother, which makes her want to blow off the comments. She complains that the teachers don't offer any solutions—how's about you figure out what at home makes Isaac shy, Kailyn? Then we get this piece of wisdom from her buddy Mark:

“You never know how big a role of a mother is, until you are one.”

Yes, and?

DON'T: Stay in a relationship just for the kid

Kailyn's ex Jordan — who she cheated on with baby daddy Jo — helped out with Isaac a lot and was basically his stepdad figure. But Kailyn smartly says that she can't bring Jordan back into her life just so she's not a single mom. It sounds like she wants Jo instead, so kudos to her for at least being clear on that.

Although weirdly enough, she gets all self-righteous about how, when she meets future boyfriends who aren't Jo, she can't bring them into Isaac's life until “you know they're gonna stick around.” It's not Jordan's fault that he left! She cheated on him. And the fact that she can't grasp that is troubling.

DON'T: Torture yourself

Kailyn invites Mark over to watch Jo's cheesy rap video, even as she knows that he's probably dating the girl in the video (whose name is Vee, heh). She just sits through it moaning, “I don't think I can watch this”… as she keeps watching. Thankfully, Mark sets her straight that she's being a jealous shit.

DON'T: Be delusional

Kailyn is all, “I want my family back together” and “We've hooked up a few times” as if that's enough to make things OK. Oh, and here's another laughably obvious observation:

“This is part of the reason why it's so tough to have a baby when you're a teenager. Because when you're 19, relationships don't work. And if they do, there's always something going on. And then, with a baby, it's ten times harder.”

Come on, Kailyn, you're so much better than this.

Teen Mom 2 3x01 recap "Walk the Line" Leah Messer Ali Aleeah Corey Simms


DO: Celebrate small victories

As we know from last season, Ali was slower to develop than her twin Aleeah, and trying to diagnose her was a cause of a lot of stress between Leah and Corey. So it's encouraging to see her being able to roll over and exhibit other motor skills at her physical therapy appointments.

DON'T: Play the victim

Leah and Corey have been texting about the girls, but Leah pitches a fit that he's only supportive of certain things “now that we're a broken family.” But just like Kailyn, Leah is the one who broke her family. Yet here she is complaining to a friend about how she's lost 50 pounds and cries herself to sleep every night.

DO: Adapt

Leah thinks it's weird to see Corey when he refuses to do marriage counseling. But it's not like he stopped being the girls' father. He just stopped being her husband, and she needs to move on.

Photos: MTV