Move over Teen Mom! Teen Dad is headed to TV screens. And can I just say it's about time?
It was just last week I was bemoaning the lack of parents watching Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant with their sons when the news broke about the male alternative. Maybe they were listening? OK, probably not. The show set to air on MTV's UK and Ireland channels next month has been in pre-production for awhile. My 6-year-old barely listens to me; I'm not expecting the folks at MTV to heed my call. But that doesn't mean I can't celebrate, right?
Teen boys need this. The female-centric Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant shows are good tools for parents who want to sit their teenage daughters down and talk about the reality of what comes after that cute little baby comes out. But as it stands, the shows are about the girls. Rarely do they follow the boys, and with the exception of Tyler Baltierra of Tyler and Catelynn or Corey Simms of Corey and Leah, so few of the fathers spend significant time around their girlfriends/wives that it would seem their lives are unchanged.
But the prevention of teen pregnancy is twofold. We teach our daughters about protection, we teach them about waiting until they're in love, waiting until they're truly ready. But biology tells us it takes two to make a baby. And most sisters of brothers will tell you, parents are generally more lenient with their teen boys. It may not be conscious, but when pressed, I've gotten some to admit, they worry about their sons getting a girl pregnant, but it's not as high a concern as the thought of their daughter actually carrying a baby. It affects a son less, it would seem.
Is it any wonder kids end up pregnant? If one half of the equation comes in thinking it won't affect them? We need a Teen Dad, a show that focuses on the teenage fathers first and foremost (with the teen moms as background -- akin to the way the dads are currently treated on Teen Mom) to put it in our sons' faces just how much a new baby does and will affect their lives. Call it a scare tactic, call it a parenting tool, or just call it reality. It takes two to tango and all that jazz.
I'd like to see MTV bring Teen Dad to this side of the pond for the sake of our kids. How about you?
Image via MTV UK