‘Teen Mom 2’ reunion special: Dr. Drew, WTF?

Oh, Dr. Drew. You never cease to amaze me with your analysis of the young women on 16 and Pregnant or Teen Mom. On the reunion special for Teen Mom 2 last night, Dr. Drew — rather than try to force the women to admit their kids were mistakes — instead opted to side with the dads and chastise the teen moms whenever possible.

How dare you get cold feet before your wedding

As Leah’s wedding approached, in the last few episodes of the season she expressed doubt about whether they should be getting married at that moment. Baby Ali was being rushed around to different doctors, none of whom could tell Leah and Corey why Ali wasn’t developing as fast as she should be, and it was sinking in just how fast Leah and Corey had gone from broken up, to getting back together, to living together, and then to being engaged and getting married.

Dr. Drew addressed this on the show, asking why she questioned marrying Corey. She responded that she had cold feet, and that it seemed like Ali’s health problems should have taken priority. Then she explained that she was happy in her marriage, and Dr. Drew politely let her know: “You almost ruined that.”

Excuse you, Dr. Drew — there’s no need to shame Leah for thinking that her and Corey should put more attention into their child’s health than into a wedding. Actually, that’s pretty responsible, considering neither come cheap. And getting cold feet is normal, especially considering that her and Corey went from 0 to 60 in a matter of months when it came to being broken up and then engaged — marriage is intended to be a lifetime commitment, so let Leah have some room to play devil’s advocate and make sure she is making the right decision considering the somewhat rocky history she has with Corey.

Congrats on being OK with your child’s health problems

Does society set such a low standard for guys that we have to reward them and fawn over them for staying in their kids’ lives, especially when it comes to children with health problems? Dr. Drew spent some time fawning over Corey for being OK with dealing with Ali’s health problems — I know that teen fathers don’t always stick around, but the phrasing just seemed all wrong, and it seemed very weird to give Corey kudos for “dealing” with Ali’s illness. What else exactly are parents supposed to do when faced with their children’s health problems?

Verbal abuse is OK if the abuser feels “betrayed”

Joe doesn’t seem to be physically abusive to Kailyn, but he’s definitely verbally abusive and has a mean temper — he regularly called her a whore and a bitch on the show, and he was very aggressive and threatening — at one point threatening to take Kailyn to court for custody until she couldn’t pay for it anymore, a dig at Kailyn’s financial struggles. (Joe lives with his wealthy parents so fighting for custody would be on their dime.)

Yet Dr. Drew kept telling Kailyn that Joe was lashing out because he felt betrayed (Kailyn snuck around behind Joe’s back and dating someone else after they broke up but Kailyn was still living with Joe), essentially putting the blame on her and trying to excuse Joe’s inappropriate behavior. Dr. Drew also seemed to focus more on praising Joe, saying that it was cool that Joe loaned her the tuition money. Yeah very cool — especially when he wouldn’t stop yelling obscenities at her when she finally did pay him back in exchange to get back her stuff from his house.

What irked me was that Kailyn is an exceptionally ambitious and strong-willed person. Unlike the other teen moms, she really doesn’t have a support system that is concrete. Jenelle and her mom fight, but Jenelle knows that her mom will always take care of Jace. Chelsea’s dad is extremely helpful, even paying for her rent for many months after she had Aubree. Leah’s mom and step-dad are very hands-on, offering support and baby-sitting when they can. Kailyn has a mom who last season lived out of hotels and isn’t financially stable, and she has Joe’s family, who care about baby Isaac but with whom her relationship is tense because she isn’t dating Joe anymore and snuck around dating someone else while living there.

Kailyn works, goes to school, and pays to live in her own place now. You could see on the reunion show that she felt ganged up on, that she acknowledged sneaking around behind Joe’s back to date Jordan was wrong, but that she’d like some credit for everything she has accomplished. Dr. Drew wants to pat Joe on the back for loaning her tuition money and talk about how betrayed he is, yet Dr. Drew doesn’t spend as much time questioning Joe about Kailyn’s allegation that Joe cheated on her while she was pregnant.

How are you preventing another unplanned pregnancy?

Maybe it’s just me reading into it too much, but it seemed like no one mentioned condoms as a form of contraception. Leah and Kailyn (and possibly Chelsea, I can’t remember) said they use IUDs now as birth control, but I don’t recall anyone mentioning condoms or Dr. Drew asking the guys how they are protecting themselves. Now Dr. Drew has been vocal about condoms in other related shows so I can’t criticize him too much, but it does speak to society’s larger expectation that women should take care of the contraception, ignoring that it takes two to make a baby.

___________________

Dr. Drew also seemed especially frazzled toward the end of the show when he talked with Jenelle and her mom, Barbara. He seemed drained from the earlier teen mom interviews — his tactics to encourage marriage and togetherness seemed like bad ideas when it came to couples like Chelsea and Adam — where they fight constantly and Adam has admittedly cheated on her several times, and he also goes in and out of the picture — and Kailyn and Joe — who both have major trust issues with each other and fought so much on the reunion show that it was exhausting. Jenelle and Barbara have serious issues to work out, and it seemed like Dr. Drew couldn’t really handle them.

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One Response to “‘Teen Mom 2’ reunion special: Dr. Drew, WTF?”

  1. @GenaMaree Says:

    I just found your blog tonight and tweeted this post. You really hit the nail on the head! I wholeheartedly agree with your observations. You definitely brought up some important points and questions I think *everyone* should be asking – especially teens and/or parents with teenagers. I’ve been thinking about letting my 13yo son watch 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom (why isn’t it called “Teen Parents”??). If I do, I will absolutely use this post as a supplemental “study guide”. Great post. I look forward to reading more.

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