MTV Might Be a Good Parenting Tool After All

Jeanne Sager
10

Teen Mom LeahIt's happened. The impossible is possible. Rumors that MTV has a reality show about high school dropouts in the works to play alongside Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant as warning bells for rebellious teenagers have officially turned the one channel our parents hated most into ... dare I say it ... a parenting ... tool?

Granted rumors are just that; MTV has done some exploratory casting to find teenagers who have dropped out of high school and are trying to eke out a life without the benefit of a high school diploma on their resume. As yet, there's no pilot, no set airdate. But speaking purely from the mom perspective, I'll set the DVR the moment there is.

The dropout numbers, for lack of a better word, scare me. Every school day, 7,000 kids in America drop out. Every DAY. Not every year. Every DAY. And that figure comes from 2007. We're not talking the '50s, when Pops got sick, and the kids dropped out in eighth grade to help support the family. 

It's a factor that affects all races (to varying degrees), both genders, all income levels (again, to varying degrees). Being an involved parent certainly makes a major difference, having a kid who achieves well in school helps. But end up with a kid who is being bullied in school and just can't take it anymore, and all that work goes out the window.

So how do you tell a kid like that that life could actually be WORSE on the other side? Especially when they're settled into that "I'm invincible, ain't nothing going to hurt me, I've made my decisions, I'm the smartest" stage? Stop the adult speak that goes in one ear and out the other, and show them real teens going through it

The Teen Mom and 16 & Pregnant series get their flack from the media for the way the shows have negatively affected the lives of the stars. They've gone from kids to having the paparazzi chase them down, and the lines of reality have been blurred. But it's the kids at home, the kids who sit down with the parents to watch the shows that have been affected positively. The moms I know who view the shows with their daughters (I wish more parents were watching with their sons, but I confess none in my circle are) tell me it's helped. It's opened up doors of communication.

The channel has not scared the teens so much as educated them. If they can do that with a show about high school dropouts, if they can help even a few parents with that talk, it's worth some space on my DVR.

Did you ever think MTV would be a parenting tool? Will you be watching this show?

 

Image via MTV

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