Parenting Lessons From Teen Mom 2: Double Punch To The Gut

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Last night was two back-to-back episodes of Teen Mom 2… oh really, MTV, you shouldn't have. It wasn't possible to cram all of the drama into just 44 minutes, since every couple was fighting while their poor kids played in the corner, hopefully oblivious.

I have had it up to here with Jenelle, though I was interested to see that Kieffer is capable of having a mature conversation about family and relationships. (Too bad she can't.) We started to see more concrete cracks in Leah and Corey‘s marriage when they discovered that Ali may have a skeletal disorder. Chelsea and Adam are fighting a lot, too; something's changed from last week, and suddenly he's back to being unreliable and unsympathetic. Then you have Kailyn, who continues to burn bridges with Jo‘s family when she decides to unexpectedly spring a request for child support on him.

Jenelle Evans holds son Jace in "Lean on Me"/"Breaking Point"


DO: Resist temptation

I'm sure there are plenty of parents who cut back on smoking habits for their kids' health, or simply not to set a bad example. Jenelle's motivation for not smoking — weed, not cigarettes — is because she and Kieffer have a court date and she has to be clean.

DO: Communicate

The single greatest scene of the two episodes was when Kieffer and Jenelle sit down to talk about their tumultuous relationship. (Too bad it happened like ten minutes in.) She's decided that she missed him while he was in jail, despite pressing charges on him for hitting her. Kieffer confesses that his family never sat down and just talked things out, which is why it's tough for him to do that with Jenelle.

DON'T: Be petty

Right when it seems like things are on the mend, Kieffer gets pissy that Jenelle's been texting with an ex while he was in jail. After he sees a text message suggesting they hang out, he decides that he wants out. Seriously, dude? Have some perspective.

DO: Put your kid's needs ahead of your own

I don't know if Jenelle is ever going to grasp this lesson, because every episode we see her wallowing in self-pity while Barbara takes Jace out because she can't trust her daughter to watch him for even a few minutes. She needed to leave the house and pay a sewer bill, and Jenelle couldn't be bothered to get out of bed and look at her son instead of her phone. Instead, all she did was cry about how Kieffer wouldn't pick up; then when Barbara criticized her, Jenelle took it really hard and devolved into screaming.

DON'T: Embarrass yourself

These girls already have the decks stacked against them in terms of reputation: They're teenagers who were stupid enough to get knocked up and have now thrown their lives out of whack trying to raise kids. Why, then, would Jenelle think it would help her case to be chasing after Kieffer in his car and screeching at him to talk to her? Especially since Kieffer breaks up with her, saying, “You definitely ain't ready to be my girlfriend.”

On the same note, can we reflect on Barbara's sage advice for Jenelle's court date? “Whatever you do, don't lie… Don't put your glasses on top of your head… Don't talk…” Hilarious.

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