Teen Mom star Amber Portwood has quickly become the symbol of what's wrong with teens getting pregnant. But for now the mother of daughter Leah won't be getting any practice at getting better. And she has no one to blame but herself.
A no contact order put in place by the Indiana courts has barred Portwood from being around Leah after she was jailed Monday on felony counts that include neglect of a dependent. It's assumed that the courts have granted sole (albeit temporary) custody to her ex-boyfriend, Gary Shirley. Shirley is both Leah's father and the man she was seen beating on the MTV show, prompting her first go-round with police on domestic violence charges. But watching the show over the past two years, the 23-year-old has also shown himself to be the more stable of the two parents.
In fact, the order separating Portwood and Leah could be the best thing that ever happened: to Leah. Living with the more stable of her two parents, she'll be removed from Portwood's violent tendencies -- which do not have to involve a child to affect them. According to the Women's Rural Advocacy Program:
Children in homes where domestic violence occurs may experience cognitive or language problems, developmental delay, stress-related physical ailments (such as headaches, ulcers, and rashes), and hearing and speech problems. Many children in homes where domestic violence occurs have difficulties in school, including problems with concentration, poor academic performance, difficulty with peer interactions, and more absences from school.
Taking Leah out of that will give her a jump start on a more positive life. And now's the right time to do it, while she's still young enough to forget much of the trauma.
Amber's family tells Radar Online that we should feel bad for her; that Shirley doesn't want her in jail and that she's trying to turn her life around for Leah. But this is the same girl who just this month was pulled over by police, who say she was driving with a suspended license. She's no longer technically a teen, but she still thinks the rules don't apply to her. If she can't follow guidelines, how can she set them down for her child?
At 2 years old, Leah is hitting the age when she's seriously testing boundaries and needs parents to set limits. They don't call them the terrible twos for nothing. Kids climb everything. They put everything in their mouth. They are still trying to learn the difference between being a baby and being a kid.
Leah can't grow up if her mother won't do it herself. Amber needs this break, but so does Leah. Should she lose her for good?
Image via MTV