Farrah Abraham has made a lot of mistakes. It's almost as if she's been navigating the choppy waters of teen motherhood without the help of her parents -- which, ehrm, in many ways is the truth. But once upon a time her mom, at least, was more involved in her life. Farrah Abraham says she wanted an abortion, but her mom, Debra Danielson, talked her out of it. "I tell my mom that I'm pregnant," Farrah says on VH1's Couples Therapy, "and I tell her, 'Here's the form that I need you to sign, you know Plan B, you know, takes it away. Everything's fine." Farrah says her mom started crying and said something that changed the entire course of Farrah's life.
"And my mom starts crying and then she's like, 'You know, we believe in God, and you're not gonna kill a living thing.'" And that was that. Farrah dropped the idea of terminating her pregnancy and months later had her daughter, Sophia. Imagine how different her life would be, otherwise.
An aside, I think Farrah must have meant an abortion pill; Plan B is for when you've had unprotected sex and need contraception to keep from becoming pregnant -- it's not for terminating a pregnancy. And when Farrah says her mom said, "you're not gonna kill a living thing," she probably meant a human being. I'm sure she's not thinking of chickens and houseplants.
But the point is, Farrah came to her mother in a moment of crisis, and Debra responded with a moral judgment. Like Farrah's therapist says, what she really needed at this point was more than a moral lesson from her mom; She needed real support.
I think this is something parents get wrong when they see their teens make mistakes -- like getting pregnant. They want moral absolutes to do all the work, when what kids really need is someone to listen and care first of all, and secondly they need an ethical framework to help them make choices. It may feel scary, just listening first. Debra wanted to exert some more control at a moment when she felt she'd lost control. But control shouldn't even be the issue at that point. Debra should have been trying to help Farrah grow into an ethical adult who can sit and think through a decision with the security that she will be loved no matter what choice she makes.
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Once Farrah made the decision to make a porn she probably seemed beyond her mom's influence. Debra may have written Farrah off because she felt she couldn't control her daughter anymore. But it's not about control, it's about influence coming from a place of love and trust.
Acting in a porn isn't the worst thing in the world -- if you're a well-grounded adult. But Farrah is still young and vulnerable. Now that she's reconciled with her mother, I think Debra should work to build a relationship of support and trust with her daughter. She may be surprised at how much influence she can still have with Farrah.
Get More: Couples Therapy
What do you think Farrah's parents should have said and done with she first told them she was pregnant?
Image via VH1