The Lesson Of Teen Mom? Grandmothers Can Suck.


Says one writer: it’s time to end the myth that just because someone raised kids, they know what they’re doing.

It’s true that the grandparents of Teen Mom are not an impressive lot. There’s Farrah’s mom, arrested for hitting her daughter. There’s toddler Sophia’s other grandmother, who’s suddenly shown up and filed for custody. We could talk about Caitlin and Tyler’s respective parents, abusive, married to each other and condemnatory of the kids’ decision to give their daughter up for adoption. They might all have changed a diaper in their time (well, maybe not Tyler’s dad) but they’re not people you’d want raising children.

And, says Jeanne Sager, that’s the point: “Grandparents tend to earn automatic respect because, gosh darnit, they raised kids of their own. They must know what they’re doing.” While plenty are great — and no one’s saying a Marion Robinson situation isn’t an ideal situation for many a family — dysfunction knows no age limit. In Sager’s words. “Simply getting your kids to adulthood doesn’t mean you did it well.”

That said, it’s true that many a grandparent has a less fraught relationship with his grandchildren than he might have with his own kids — and partially, surely, because they don’t have to do the day-to-day work of parenting and disciplining. In some ways, it’s unfair to judge as grandparents those who, like Farrah’s mother, are still parenting themselves. Maybe part of the issue is that when the mom’s this young, she doesn’t have the wherewithal — or the distance — to decide what she’d do differently. Or at least the space to implement those changes.

‘Teen Mom’ Reminds Us Grandmas Are Crazy Too

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