Despite the harrowing allegations against Amber Portwood, she is still on Teen Mom: The Next Chapter.
(These things film months in advance … and it’s not like MTV doesn’t already know who and what she is)
This week, however, the focus was not on Amber or her behavior. It was about Leah.
Now a teenager, Leah has no desire to follow her parents’ footsteps. She won’t be a teen mom. For that and other reasons, it was time to talk about birth control.
On this week’s episode of Teen Mom: The Next Chapter, it’s time to catch up with Amber Portwood and the Shirleys.
We see Kristina driving Leah to a doctor’s appointment. Leah is now 14, and she has a healthy idea of what’s appropriate to discuss.
Her plan is to bring up her periods. She needs to regulate her menstruation and alleviate the intensity of them.
At her age, that means going on birth control.
Kristina is totally supportive, reminding Leah that she’s happy to let her discuss it with the doctor one-on-one.
Leah emphasizes that she wants Kristina there. It’s so nice that she has a positive, supportive mother figure in her life!
Meanwhile, Amber Portwood discusses her other child.
She confesses that she feared that little James would either forget or reject her. Leah was not her biggest fan, understandably so.
Of course, given Amber’s alleged treatment of James, he may be less excited to see her in the future — if our backwards family court system still forces him to.
Anyway, in lighter news, Kristina sat down with Gary.
Not only did she tell him that the appointment went well, but she confirmed that Leah was okay with on-camera discussions.
Having established that, Kristina then told Gary that the doctor was going ahead with birth control for Leah. Leah is 14, and this is a good way to help reduce her period-related suffering.
“Welcome to parenting a teenager,” Kristina then quipped. She’s right!
Sometimes, it’s as simple as stocking extra boxes of tissues without asking stupid questions about why they’re disappearing so quickly. Other times, it’s some extra medical care.
“The doctor did give her a good sex education talk along with the birth control pill,” Kristina shared. “Leah kept saying, ‘I don’t need it for that, it’s just for my period.’”
“I’m not against her taking it,” Gary quickly affirmed to Kristina. “I mean, I would prefer it.”
He emphasized: “I’d rather her be safe than sorry because she’s eventually going to be old enough and be more curious.” Yep!
“And,” Gary continued, “I don’t want it to be how it was with her mom and [me].”
Leah deserves a better future. You don’t get to be a Teen Mom star by making good choices or by having good things happen in your life.
Sure, some things do end up going very well. Chelsea Houska, for example, is a success story. But she didn’t start that way.
Amber didn’t start that way, either. And given her string of outrageous (and, at times, criminal) behavior, she’s still not a success story.
So, we see Gary call Amber at her rental.
He fills in Amber on what’s going down with Leah. He’s not asking her permission, just letting her know.
Gary expresses to his ex: “I’m glad she won’t be like us.” Aren’t we all.
“I mean, I wish my mom would have thought about that,” Amber remarks.
She recalls times “when I was laying on the floor cramping and dying at that age.”
There are many potential causes and multiple solutions for extremely painful cramps. If something as simple (and otherwise useful) as birth control can resolve it, that’s a two-birds, one-stone situation.
“I do feel better that at least Leah is getting that,” Amber tells the confessional camera.
“And she’s smart and she understands about what sex is and to wait,” she added vaguely.
“For me, being a teenaged mom, usually the statistic is that it’ll happen to your children, possibly more so,” Amber noted. She’s not wrong!
Back at the Shirley residence, Gary and Leah go sit outside for a father-daughter chat.
“She explained it to me, how to take it. She gave me a whole talk about everything,” Leah told her dad. And she repeatedly reminded him that she’s not sexually active or looking to dive into that.
“Good. But I know you’re not even thinking like that,” Gary he says. Not everyone has a sexual awakening. Those who do could have them much younger than Leah, or much older.
And, of course, having the desire to have sex does not always translate to doing the deed.
“I’m glad you have that mindset. Guys are sly. They’ll say certain things to make you feel special,” Gary warned.
That sort of implies that men might want to trick Leah into having sex. Hopefully, if and when she decides to be intimate with someone, it will be because she wants to.
“Your mom, she was 17. She was out of high school because she stopped going,” Gary recalls.
“So I didn’t mess anything up?” Leah clarifies. Obviously, she had no agency in the matter of her birth, regardless.
“No kid, I think you’re good on that,” Gary reassures her. “And it wouldn’t have been you anyway, it would have been us.”