Teen Mom has its critics, but the show continues to share real life situations parents have with their teenagers, and this week's Teen Mom 3 episode was no exception. Mackenzie Douthit McKee had a tussle with her mom about birth control. The teenager wanted on it. The mom? She was dead set against it.
It seems Angie Douthit doesn't believe in sex before marriage, and she doesn't believe in teenage girls going on birth control. Anyone want to guess how she ended up a grandmother before her daughter turned 17?
Shot a year ago, the episode shows Mackenzie shortly after the birth of son Gannon. That means what we saw on TV happened prior to her second pregnancy (which we just heard about last month) and prior to her marriage to boyfriend Josh McKee. At the time, Josh was sleeping over at the Douthit house once a week to lend a hand with his son, but Angie Douthit mandated that the two teenagers sleep in separate rooms to prevent any hanky panky.
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I hear her on that. One grandbaby before graduation is enough; she doesn't need to encourage two teens to sleep together and risk a second one!
But I was puzzled by her attitude about birth control. She flat-out told a teenage mother NOT to go on birth control because she doesn't support sex before marriage.
Does Angie Douthit not know HOW her daughter ended up pregnant? Who is the adult here?
Parents need to be ready to talk about sex with our kids. Period. We need to be able to talk to our kids about what might happen, not just what we WANT to happen. We need to be able to talk about birth control and the realities of what birth control is.
Birth control is not an indication that our kids are going to jump in the sack. In fact, studies have shown that increased access to condoms does NOT increase a child's likelihood of having sex or lower the age at which they lose their virginity. That access to birth control DOES, however, make for safer sex when it does happen.
This is what Mackenzie clearly had in mind -- and good for her. She knew that she'd once planned for abstinence with Josh but that abstinence didn't happen; pregnancy did. As she told her mom, she wasn't planning on sleeping with Josh anytime soon, but she didn't want to get carried away and have baby number two.
Credit goes to Mackenzie for having the wherewithal to make her own doctor's appointment, talk to the physician about a birth control method that would be stable and not affect her diabetes, and for going through with the IUD insertion. She was thinking ahead.
But watching her alone in a hallway outside the doctor's office, texting her mom about the IUD because she was too afraid to talk to her face to face about the birth control, I was overwhelmed by sadness. I remember being that kid who was terrified to talk to her parents about birth control. It didn't make for a good situation.
I refuse to do that to my kid. I refuse to have a kid so scared to talk to me about birth control that she plans for abstinence and, when it doesn't happen, ends up a teen mom because there was no preventative measure in place to protect her.
Because that's what talking about birth control with our kids is -- it's not encouraging sex; it's protecting them if sex happens.
Mackenzie's mom failed to protect her kid. Is it any wonder she ended up pregnant twice before age 19?
What did you think of Mackenzie's mom's attitude? Was she right?
Image via MTV