Sunday, January 12, 2014

Tragic piece of journalism

A friend sent me a link to an article called Parents' Worst Nightmare: Kids Are Jealous of 'Teen Mom' Stars. My friend called it a tragic piece of journalism.

It seems there are reality TV shows depicting teenage mothers and what their lives are like. We don't have television reception so I was unaware of this genre of reality programs.

Apparently the shows were filmed as cautionary tales against teen pregnancy. However a study found -- what a surprise! -- that "young fans of these two series are shockingly envious of the shows' stars." The reason, apparently, is because these teen moms "have an enviable quality of life; high incomes; supportive, loyal romantic partners; and children who are cared for well."

Even though the shows are supposed to be "cautionary," impressionable viewers doubtless get these reality teens mixed up with single celebrity moms who "have the time, money, and hired help to squeeze in red-carpet appearances, European vacations, date nights and parenting duties."

I hate to break it to teens, but motherhood -- especially single motherhood before you're 18 -- bears absolutely no resemblance to Hollywood moms. In other words, reality trumps reality shows.

The article states, "What could possibly be enviable about the lives of single, teenage mothers? Let's see. Janelle Evans, 21, mother of a 16-month-old son has battled a heroin addiction and has multiple arrests under her belt. In 2010, she lost custody of her son, and she is currently pregnant with her second child. Farrah Abraham, a 22-year-old with a 3-year-old daughter, made a sex tape with porn star James Deen and is now starring on VH1's "Couples Therapy." And Amber Portwood, 24, mother of a 4-year-old daughter, was arrested for domestic violence in 2010 after beating her child's father in front of the little girl. She recently admitted to Us Weekly that she was high on drugs for most of the filming."

I wonder if any of this misbehavior was documented on the show?

My friend who sent me this link confirmed these dire statistics. She wrote, "One of the show's 'stars' resided a county over from our hometown. She is constantly in the news for probation violations, arrests, etc. Awful to think she is a role model for young girls. Grrrr."

Up to this point I thought the shallow writers at Yahoo handled the subject quite well. But toward the end of the article I saw this... and my jaw hit the floor:

Let's be clear: There's nothing inherently wrong with choosing to be a single mother if you're mature, responsible, and financially independent.

Okay. There's "nothing wrong" with intentionally depriving your children of a father's love. I see.



  1. Unfortunately, these children grow up without a mother's love as well.

  2. Of course they had to write that last little bit. If they didn't there would be protests from all the other unwed teenage mothers out there saying that they are being unjustly discriminated against. Goodness forbid that the end with a note even hinting at the fact that sex (and children) after marriage with a mature, responsible husband is best for you, and your family". That would be just crazy talk, I tell you, CRAZY talk!

  3. There is one single factor that makes this both practical and reasonable (to teen women) at the same time and that factor is welfare. Imagine if there were not a plethora of programs to funnel money, food and benefits to new teen mothers how different this prospect would look to young teen girls. We have created this problem and doomed both the teen parents and thier children to a lifestyle that no one (well I mean of course no intelligent person) would want for their own children.

    1. Boom. There. It. Is.

      Behold the "Great Society."


  4. I have seen a few episodes of these, they do put the "seedier" side of their lives on there and most of the "couples" break up. Also, for most of them, guess who picks up the slack? The grandparents of course! Frequently providing, food, shelter, childcare, nearly everything. But no matter how hard they may try to make it look "real", nothing negates the fact that the young ladies are on television, and now considered stars. And more than anything else, too many of today's children aspire to be that, and only that, in any way possible.
    I would say that it could be a learning show, IF, a parent sat down with a teen and chatted about the things going on, but that's a pretty big "if" for most families.

  5. Fools... the whole lots of them.

  6. My teen daughter and teen son watched these programs with us and we used them to springboard discussions about inappropriate behavior. Unfortunately, everything you mentioned was shown on the shows and much more. Just recently, Farrah (who was one of the more stable moms) admitted the filming the sex tape and releasing it to the public ruined her life. These poor babies being pimped out for money and fame is utterly horrifying.

  7. What I've never understood....a pair of 14 year olds have a baby and they are considered the legal parents of the baby. A 14 year old can't enter into a contract, buy beer, cigarettes, join the Army, sign for their own medical care. But they are put in charge of a baby.

    Let's try it this way. Said baby born to minor parents should be assigned a legal adult guardian. Sign up both sets of grand parents. The baby would now be financially attached to at least two responsible adults and wouldn't qualify for all the freebies that the young mother would. I wonder how many grandparents would rush forward knowing they are responsible until the baby has "of age" parents?

    The other thing that disturbs me. Let's say one of the 14 year olds and their parents decide that it is in the best interest of the baby and the 14 year old minor child that the baby be adopted. If the other "baby parent" wants to keep the baby, the wishes of the other are automatically overruled. I wonder how many of these girls hang on to these babies with the romantic notion that they will hang on to the guy as well? My SS had a classmate that was briefly seeing a girl who ended up pregnant....and he ended up with 18 years of child support payments at age 15. Yes, he should have been more careful....but the parenting/adoption choice should not be available to only one of the teenage parents.

    As for the last part, having waited for "all the right factors"...I still ended up with no children. I'm not sure if I had a do over that I would not have elected to have a child alone in my 20s.

  8. They ought to make a reality show about the reality of single teen moms. Living in rat-hole apartments with terrible neighbors. Working part time fast food jobs, finishing high school - or not finishing. Arguments with their parents over poor decisions. Struggling to pay rent, buy groceries, diapers and clothes for the ever-growing baby. Having to depend on undependable friends or family for child care, or using state-subsidized child care centers. The busy-body, condescending attitudes of bureaucrats so intent on 'helping' you parent. But then, that's not the drama the population is looking forward to watching every week, is it?

  9. O good grief..i refuse to even have that show on..i don't mind single mums at all..providing they aren't the chavvy job,living on benefits when they have not paid into the tax system at all..maybe i sound harsh but i call it the death of one seems to be ashamed anymore..they are loud and can only be loud and proud if know who your baby belongs too work
    C..your a single by your own choice and do both of the above..
    maybe i will get flamed for it but i really don't agree with putting these stupid girls on tv..they are bad role models and so shallow its unbelievable..maybe they are good mums i don't know but they are not showing any common sense or thinking of how it will effect their child when they grow up.

  10. I have to laugh, as MSM tonite reported that this show actually impacted lower teen birth rates

  11. I believe that they should have shows about teens who get pregnant and make adoption plans for their children. Let them be the role models for making a good decision (after a bad one) and choosing the best life for their child.