Parenting Lessons from Teen Mom: The Importance of Oral Hygiene


DO: Spy on your babydaddy.
Bentley is at Ryan’s, so Maci and her crazy new hairdo are hanging out with Kyle and his crazy new crutches. One of Maci’s friends calls her to tell her that Ryan was downtown last weekend when he was supposed to be spending time with Bentley. What, we’re tattling on people now? Are we FIVE? Good grief. Although apparently, Maci gave up one of her days with Bentley that weekend so Ryan could have an extra day with him, so yeah, if he’s using that extra day to goof off, I’d probably be pretty pissed too.

DO: Go partying when you’re supposed to be watching your child.
Anyway, Bentley seems to be having a grand ol’ time at Ryan’s—when one of Ryan’s friends stops by, saying that he’s there to pick Ryan up so they can go out. Where? Just to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner. Ryan’s mom looks skeptical, and with that “no-nonsense” look on her face, I was really hoping she’d ground Ryan or something, but alas, even though Ryan is still living at home, he may be a little too old for grounding now. Ryan puts Bentley to bed before he goes—and then, as he and his buddy are leaving, he asks (presumably out of earshot of his mom), “Are we going to eat, or are we going to party?” “Party,” the buddy says. So: In recent episodes, Ryan has quit his job “just because” and started skimping out on spending time with Bentley. Niiiiice.

DON’T: Expect your mother to fix everything.
After Maci and Kyle pick up Bentley from Ryan, they stop by her parents’ place. Maci shows off Kyle’s wicked-looking scar, and they all oooh and aaah over it; but Maci has other things she wants to talk about, so her dad takes Bentley outside, where he rides around on an awesome Hot Wheels truck that I wish I had for myself, while she chats with her mom. Her mom asks about school; Maci says everything’s fine; and hey, guess what? Kyle, it seems, kicks her out of the house when she’s supposed to go to school. Good for him. Maci’s mom thanks him for that, which is a nice gesture. Then Maci finally hits on what’s bugging her: That Ryan is going out on his weekends instead of spending time with his son. “I don’t know how to fix him,” Maci says—to which her mom replies, “Well, you should’ve thought of that before you had his baby.” Ouch. But very, very true. I kind of love how Maci’s mom isn’t taking any bullshit from her this season.

DO: Listen to your child.
It’s bath time for Bentley! Kyle thinks the water is too hot; Maci thinks it isn’t. So they ask Bentley who says no, it’s not too hot. Though he resisted the bath in the beginning, when he’s all clean, he says “That was fun!”, which is really cute. After the bath, though, Maci starts asking Bentley a few a questions, and since he’s super verbal, Bentley can answer them. Who bathes him at Ryan’s? “Mimi.” Who changes him? “Mimi.” Who feeds him? Plays with him? “Mimi.” According to Bentley, Ryan’s mom is the one who takes care of him when he’s at Ryan’s—not Ryan himself. Danger! Danger! I can see the steam starting to rise out of Maci’s ears!

DON’T: Listen to anyone else.
But Maci still has to share Bentley with Ryan for now, even if Bentley doesn’t want to go—which he says he doesn’t. I realize that it’s difficult to determine whether a child that young really knows what he wants, but still. Would you want to send your child off somewhere after he told her he didn’t want to go? Anyway, once Ryan shows up, Maci tries to broach the difficult topic of how Ryan is handling his time with Bentley. Ryan says that he thinks the schedule they have is working fine. Maci continues pushing, though, finally bringing up the fact that it really, really bothers her that Ryan is going out during the time that he’s supposed to be spending with Bentley. She points out that his parents aren’t supposed to be the ones taking care of Bentley—Bentley is his son, and therefore is his responsibility. Predictably, though, the “conversation” quickly devolves into… well, not quite a yelling match, but a “hey, let’s both talk over each other until we can’t hear what either one of us is saying” match. Maci threatens to take Bentley away if he doesn’t shape up, and you know what? She may have done some stupid things this season, but I kind of agree with her here. If Ryan is taking care of Bentley when he’s supposed to be, then he shouldn’t be taking care of him at all. Bentley, meanwhile, has been in the backseat while all of this was going on. Before Ryan drives off, though, Maci opens the door again. “You okay?” she asks Bentley. “I’m going to miss you. You call me if you need anything, okay?” He nods. It’s heartbreaking. I don’t know how that child is as well-adjusted as he is with all of this going on around him all the time.

When Maci gets back inside, Kyle asks her how things went. She gives him the rundown, but she’s interrupted when Ryan calls Maci. He demands that she tell him who’s been informing on him. She says that if he isn’t doing it, it shouldn’t matter, but he keeps pushing. She hangs up. And then she starts crying. Maci generally isn’t a crier, so… it’s kind of upsetting. Again, she’s been stupid this season, but she does have a point here—it’s not about her, but about the welfare of their child. Kyle, who is way more sensitive than Ryan, hobbles over to her in spite of the crutches and cuddles her.

DO: Put your boyfriend on the spot.
The next night, Kyle takes Maci out for a fancy dinner date, which, given all the hullabaloo with Ryan, is a really nice gesture. She asks what the occasion is, to which he cheekily replies, “Why not?” Over dinner, she asks him if he’s glad they moved in together. He nods; she says that she’s happy, too. And then comes the real question: What’s next? Kyle blushes. “You wouldn’t marry me anyway,” he says bashfully. “Yes I would,” she insists. Way to put Kyle on the spot! Kyle takes a breath before telling her that if they’re going to do this, he wants to make sure that he’s really okay dealing with Ryan for the rest of his life if they do. So Maci makes a choice: From here on out, she won’t deal with Ryan. Fuck him. She’ll deal with his parents, but not with him. As long as Bentley is happy, and as long as she and Kyle are happy, she doesn’t care what anyone else is doing.

So what does Kyle think?

“It’s a good plan,” he says. What do you think, guys? Will these two crazy kids make it?

You can reach this post's author, Lucia Peters, on twitter.
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    • pyrmom

      Don’t Tyler and Catelynn have jobs?

      • Lucia Peters

        They do, though we haven’t actually seen them working at them lately. This is somewhat curious, is it not?

      • Jen B

        Perhaps that is why they end up getting evicted.

    • Brandi

      1st off Farra needs to grow up and be a little more mature I thought she had her boobs done to further her modeling carrer but has that happend or has she even tryed NO and then she wants to get braces to further her modeling carrer sounds like A LOT of excuses to waste ur parents money when you sould being saving for your little girl and now she wants to move to go to school to be in the food business i guess im just confused why dont you worry about your daughter instead of trying to move just to get a way from your parents being thats who you always seem to be around and for god sake ITS YOUR DAD STOP CALLING HIM MICHAEL WHAT DID HE EVER DO TO DESERVE SUCH DISRESPECT but hey good luck to ya girl

      • Melanie

        I thought it was pretty disrespectful that she calls her dad Michael but then I read an interview where she said she was raised to call her dad Michael because she has a half-sister (who has a different dad) so her and her sister both just call him Michael and she’s been doing it as long as she can remember.

        Calling her dad Micheal aside, I agree she is pretty disrespectful to her parents, however they have been abusive to her. I also read in an interview she said ehr parents are divorced but still living together. That family is incredibly dysfunctional and broken. It’s very sad.

        I’m not saying it’s OK for her to act that way, I’m just saying the whole situation is a mess.

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