Parenting Lessons From Teen Mom: The Series Finale Ends With Birthdays, Not Petty Drama

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It's finally over. You might be tearing up that last night's Teen Mom series finale was your last chance to look in on Amber, Maci, Catelynn, and Farrah as they negotiate single motherhood, but I'm just glad I don't have to deal with these girls' baggage and recap this show anymore. The series ended on a high note by celebrating all of the kids' birthdays; even though they were born months apart, the footage was edited so that each plotline (minus Catelynn/Tyler) closed by focusing on the children. It was a smart move.

For some of the girls, the finale was less exciting than earlier episodes this season; while Amber and Tyler screamed at people/dogs, Maci and Farrah didn't do much of anything. In some ways it's comforting that MTV didn't orchestrate some outlandish conflict to amp up the tension. Plus, I'm sure it's meant to show that even the most mundane plotlines are part of these girls' lives as they try to raise their kids right.

Teen Mom series finale Maci Ryan Bentley birth certificateMACI

DO: Keep your conflicts out of your kid's birthday

While it's clear that Maci and Ryan are fighting over the mechanics of Bentley‘s birthday, I have to give them props for focusing on Bentley in the moment and not letting him realize the extent of their issues with one another. Every time one or both of them are on-screen with their son, it's all about how Bentley's doing.

DON'T: Let your parents clean up your mess

Maci's main problem with Ryan concerns him wanting to get joint custody of Bentley. “I don't like that he can take the fun and not the responsibility,” she says of Ryan getting to pick up his son every few days or go on vacation. Worse yet, she feels like Ryan's mom takes on the actual serious responsibilities while Ryan and Dalis just play house. Then again, she probably shouldn't worry too much since Ryan keeps bugging her to give him a copy of Bentley's birth certificate instead of just going to the public records place and picking up his own copy. If he's that demotivated, it may not happen.

DO: Make sure your kids have a healthy grasp of philosophy

At one point Maci moans, “Why is the world like this?”, which my sister and I couldn't stop laughing about how damn existential her question sounds. I almost took a copy of Nietzsche off my shelf to flip through for an answer.

DON'T: Worry unnecessarily

It's interesting that MTV chose to end Maci's plotline with the question of “Will Ryan try and get custody?” The last shot is literally her staring mournfully at Bentley's birth certificate, but we don't find out what he decided. Well, I guess that's what next week's reunion show with Dr. Drew is for!

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