It introduced us to Farrah Abraham, the Baltierras, and so many colorful cast members that gave us an idea of how teen parents struggle. We saw them fight hard for their children regardless of the obstacles ahead of them, though this sometimes meant fighting their own parents as well.
Even people who don't watch the show have heard of the stars' antics. Parenting and pop culture blogs consistently dissect the casts' actions. But everyone knows enough about the nature of TV to figure out that not everything on the show is real.
Reality TV is edited to show us only certain scenes. Audiences are mostly familiar with the juiciest details from Teen Mom, but the show's stars have shown us that not everything they do is wrong.
Though the parents on Teen Mom have made questionable parenting decisions, we've all learned from their misdeeds. We've dug up examples of times when the cast members of Teen Mom surprised their audience with surprisingly good decisions.
18 GREAT: Support Your Co-Parent: Kailyn Attended Her Ex's Wedding
Kailyn Lowry had her first child with baby-daddy Jonathan Rivera. This is the pregnancy that encouraged her to her to go on Teen Mom.
Their struggles were aired on TV for many to see, and the young couple faced stress as they were learning to navigate life after Isaac was born. Eventually, they split up, and Kailyn moved on.
So did Jonathan. Kailyn attended his wedding in 2018. Some people may not want to attend their ex's wedding, but Kailyn was supportive of his relationship.
We're sure Isaac wanted to be there for his father's wedding, and Kailyn's support of Jonathan shows maturity.
17 GREAT: Reconcile With Your In-Laws: Maci Makes Up With Ryan's Parents
Maci Bookout was in a tumultuous relationship with Ryan Edwards. They definitely had their ups and downs, and she did the best she could to deal with some of his problems.
But it's not easy to be a teen mom and deal with your boyfriend's problems. Maci and her in-laws' relationship was tarnished as a result. Hey, we can understand if Maci needed some time and space from Ryan and his family after everything they went through.
Last year, we saw Ryan's parents reach out to Maci. They were able to sort out their differences during an episode, and they looked happier as a result of reconciliation.
16 WHAT!? Making Grandma Cry In Front Of Sophia
Farrah Abraham is known— and criticized for —many things. She famously doesn't get along with several of her fellow cast-mates, but she also doesn't get along with her mother.
Though we've seen several arguments between her and her mother, Debra Danielsen, one stuck out in particular. Farrah once made Debra cry in front of her daughter, Sophia.
Yes, most people get into arguments with their mothers over disagreements of all kinds. Though Abraham was indeed a teenager when she had Sophia, her daughter is now in elementary school, and Farrah is no longer a teen. Making someone else cry in front of your kid is really not okay.
15 GREAT: Be Strong For Your Child: Leah Pledges To Be There For Ali No Matter What
Leah Messer hasn't had it easy. Her daughter Ali was born with muscular dystrophy, but Leah has worked as hard as possible to make sure her daughter has everything she needs.
However, Leah had to digest some tough news during the first episode of Season 5. The doctor told Leah that Ali's muscular dystrophy would become more difficult to manage as she becomes an adult.
But Leah chose not to give up. She pledged to be there for her daughter and make sure she's taken care of. It doesn't sound easy, but it's a great example of not giving up on her child.
14 WHAT!? Letting Isaac Play In The Dog's Cage
Kids do play with strange things: shoe boxes, permanent markers, whatever they can get their hands on. They may also decide to play in strange places, such as the toilet, the garage, or the dog's cage.
To be honest, this isn't so bad on Kailyn Lowry's part. All parents can probably attest to their innocent child playing in a place or with an item they should stay away from. Perhaps the mistake was just putting it on social media?
A lot of people criticized Kailyn for this, but it seems like a small mistake that was taken out of context.
13 GREAT: Being A Teen Mom Doesn't Always Mean You Won't Succeed
Despite their setbacks, many of the cast members on Teen Mom are actually successful. Though not everyone shares this opinion, a consistent job on reality TV does provide a hefty paycheck and allows the cast members to take care of their kids.
No one stands out more than Kailyn Lowry, who has done everything in her power to graduate from school and continue on her path toward success. It hasn't been easy and we've seen her failures on the air, but Lowry insists that being a teen mom doesn't mean you can't succeed. That's great advice for all parents to hear.
12 WHAT!? Not Respecting The Adoptive Parents' Wishes
Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra are probably the public's favorite Teen Mom couple. They showed a lot of maturity in giving up their daughter for adoption.
The adoptive parents; however, agreed to open adoption and this has allowed the Baltierras to continue being present in their birth daughter Carly's life. This has worked out favorably for the couple until Carly's adoptive parents decided they didn't want her mentioned on the show.
Catelynn was considerate enough to respect their wishes because she wanted to maintain her current relationship with Carly. Tyler didn't agree with Carly's parents' demands, and this put him in a pickle.
11 GREAT: Put Your Child First— Kailyn Fosters A More Positive Relationship With Chris Lopez
Kailyn Lowry had a tough relationship with Chris Lopez, the father of her son, Lux. Teen Mom captured many of their difficult moments. This was heartbreaking for many fans to see because Lowry and Chris had been friends for a long time.
However, they both put their past problems aside in other to be there for their child. 2018 saw them co-parenting in a more sustainable way.
Hey, that makes everyone's life easier, especially considering that Kailyn has a lot on her plate. Being a mom of three, going to school, and working on MTV sounds like enough stress for one person.
10 WHAT!? The Time When Gary Threatened Amber With Never Seeing Her Daughter Ever Again
Is Amber Portwood perfect? No, absolutely not, but we have seen her change for the better over the past few years. In fact, her ex-boyfriend, Gary Shirley pressed charges against her for harassment. Clearly, there's work to be done.
However, Gary did threaten Amber with never seeing their daughter again. There were already signs that he'd do something like this, as Gary seemed jealous when Amber was moving on. He also didn't invite Amber to their daughter Leah's birthday party.
Though we're sure things are tense between them, using a child as leverage against a co-parent is definitely not a good thing!
9 GREAT: Teach Your Daughter To Dream Big
Being a parent means always being ready to instill values on children whenever a teachable moment arises. Amber was at the playground with Leah, where Leah was playing on the fireman's pole and became afraid of getting down.
Amber helped Leah do this, and they both got to talking about the future. Leah confessed that she wants to be an astronaut when she grows up. Amber encouraged her daughter by letting her know she can be whatever she wants.
Hey, life as a member of the cast on Teen Mom isn't always about drama. Like any mom, Amber wants Leah to dream big!
8 WHAT!? The Time Farrah Waxed Sophia's Eyebrows
Farrah Abraham has been criticized for some of her unique parenting decisions. Now, every parent has made a decision they later regret, but the results don't make the rounds on TV or the internet.
Farrah Abraham talked to Sophia about her unibrow at the age of 3 years old. That's probably not old enough for a child to understand the concept of beauty standards just yet.
Abraham even showed Sophia how she removes her own excess eyebrow hair and tried to get Sophia in on this by making it seem like a science project. When that didn't work, she used a tweezer on Sophia while she was sleeping
7 GREAT: Offer Your Child New Experiences: Farrah Takes Sophia To The VMA's
Some kids dream of attending fun events filled with celebrities. Having a mom like Farrah Abraham means that attending the VMA's is a guarantee.
Farrah has taken Sophia as her date several times, and they both always experiment with fun looks. She's experimented with holo-looks and even toned down styles.
What's clear is that Farrah tries to make space for Sophia to have new experiences. Her social media is full of fun mother-daughter dates. Sure, some people criticize what she's done—sometimes with good reason.
However, we're sure that any parent who had the chance to expose their child to more things would do it if they could.
6 WHAT!? Taking Adam Back—Over And Over Again
Being a parent means having different priorities when it comes to taking exes back. But Adami Lind consistently disrespected Chelsea Houska. Their relationship dynamic was just never healthy. On-again, off-again relationships only worked for Ross and Rachel, but they don't offer much in real life.
Chelsea's father even implored her not to take Adam back because she was making so many strides on her own. Hey, we get that it's important to get along with your co-parent. It's probably healthier for two people to stick to co-parenting if they can't have a healthy relationship. Taking Adam back all those times just wasn't a good decision.
5 WHAT!? Not Paying Child Support
Parents on Teen Mom have made many royally bad decisions. Some of these seem a tad forgivable considering that teens simply aren't ready to become parents.
But choosing not to pay child support is never a good idea. Today, most people see how much Ryan Edwards has grown up. He's actually a pretty exemplary dad to his son.
Things weren't always so. At one point Edwards didn't pay child support. The thing is, he had some money coming in from unemployment checks that were coming in. That must have added extra stress to his baby mama, Maci.
Thankfully these days are far gone.
4 GREAT: Teach Your Child How To Deal With Sad Moments
Farrah Abraham's ex, Derek Underwood, passed away before Sophia was born. This unexpected death only complicated things for Farrah at the time, and even today it's evident that his death is hard for her to talk about.
Despite how hard it is for her, Farrah has been honest with Sophia about who her father was and what happened to him. She's honest about the fact that Derek is "in heaven" and tries to help Sophia make sense of not having him around.
Having these open conversations is probably a great way for Sophia to come to terms with not having a father.
3 WHAT!? Moving Her Child Far From Dad
Yet another standout mom, Maci Bookout, doesn't always make the world's greatest decisions. She made the choice to move two hours away from Ryan Edwards.
This made it harder for him to have a relationship with his children. Bookout made the move she wouldn't be so far away from her boyfriend, Kyle King.
Things didn't go as planned for Maci, as she and King eventually ended their relationship. We get that Ryan had his share of issues back in the day, but being a parent means having tough conversations and making arrangements. Everyone makes mistakes though, at least this one was eventually corrected.
2 GREAT: Know Your Limits: Catelynn And Tyler Chose Adoption
Being 16 and learning that you'll be a parent sounds like it would be stressful. Teenagers and their parents often make a variety of decisions in order to figure things out for the respective teen mom in the family.
Catelynn and Tyler decided that it would be best to give up their child for adoption. It ended up being for the best in their case. Catelynn and Tyler are now well-known thanks to MTV, and they were the show's arguably most stable couple for a long time. They even decided to marry and have two more children once they got older.
1 WHAT!? Fighting Mom For Custody
Jenelle Evans was one of Teen Mom's most troubled stars. Though she consistently made bad decisions, she did relinquish custody of her son and allowed her mother to raise him.
Many viewers saw this as a mature and rational choice on Evan's part. At the time, she was definitely partying and clearly wasn't ready to handle the responsibilities of being a mom.
However, she changed her mind and fought her mother for custody of her son Jace. This fight eventually ended, and Jenelle even seems to be trying hard to reconstruct her life. It's just that this argument seems to have been unnecessary.