Parenting Lessons From Teen Mom 2: Lying Is The Mature Way To Win A Fight

Usually, a title like “Beginning of the End” implies a big showdown, which is probably what we’re going to see before this season of Teen Mom 2 is over. But I’d like to believe that it’s also about the girls learning some self-respect finally and standing up for themselves. Leah is shocked when Corey wants to use their money for a trailer to buy a truck instead, so she turns to her parents for support. Kailyn starts the process of fighting Jo for child support. Chelsea manages to get through her first day of work without obsessing over her breakup with Adam. And Jenelle… scratch that, Jenelle is never going to learn to stop wallowing in self-pity.

Jenelle and Tori fight on Teen Mom 2 "The Beginning of the End"

JENELLE

DO: Take financial responsibility

You thought that the only child support plot in this episode would be Kailyn and Jo, huh? Not so: It turns out that Jenelle has to pay Barbara child support for Jace seeing as she’s the one actually raising him. Kudos to the network for showing Jenelle and her mom talking through this (mostly) like adults.

DON’T: Be petty

And then, Jenelle proves that she’s an immature shit by lashing out at Kieffer because he’s been texting other girls, notably his ex-girlfriend. Let’s backtrack for a second—yes, Kieffer broke up with Jenelle because she was tweeting an ex. But when the tables are turned, the reasonable thing to do is express your frustration with the double standard and either set up a rule where neither or both of you can communicate with people of the opposite sex.

The unreasonable thing is Jenelle’s behavior tonight: Gunning the gas and driving her and Kieffer into the middle of nowhere and screaming at him.

DON’T: Isolate yourself

Consider this exchange between mother and daughter post-child support talk, pre-Kieffer drama:

Barbara: “Have more self-respect for yourself.”
Jenelle: “Leave me alone!”

That seems to be Jenelle’s mantra: She doesn’t want to be bothered by external needs like eating or taking care of Jace, so she can instead wallow in her own self-pity. But if she’s going to have any sort of family — and I’m not talking anything traditional and nuclear, simply her and Jace — she can’t withdraw into herself. Every bad mother in pop culture (including Katniss’ mom in The Hunger Games) is one who can’t deal with the world and emotionally and physically leaves her kids behind.

DO: Pick your battles

All of Jenelle’s shit this episode combines into a showdown with roommate Tori, who wants Jenelle to help out with the utilities or at the very least to get out of bed. Next thing you know, everyone in the apartment is fighting, with Kieffer running in to beat up Tori’s boyfriend (I assume) and Jenelle screeching at Tori to shut up.

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