Teen Mom 2 vs Kate Plus 8: Parenting on Television

Just a year ago you could stroll through supermarket cash out aisles and witness gossip magazines publicize the horror that was referred to as Kate Gosselin . The mother of eight was criticized for her every move and paparazzi seemed to capture every moment of her hectic life and divorce to Jon Gosselin.

Flash forward to today and now those same covers grace a much different kind of parent, the mothers of MTV’s “Teen Mom 2”. Jenelle, Leah, Chelsea and Kailyn have adorned magazines like US Weekly, People, and In Touch magazines showing off their children, getting busted for pot, and any other dirt the magazines can dig up.

While the two shows are on different networks and seemingly aimed towards different audiences, they both showcase the hardships and excitement that comes with parenting.

Comparing the two shows, it’s obvious that “Kate Plus 8” serves as a role model for parenting while “Teen Mom 2” is nothing more than drama-filled fodder that nearly encourages a young teenage audience.

Focus on the Children

“Teen Mom 2” is aptly named that because much of the focus is on the mothers who act like children themselves. Just like on the original “16 and Pregnant” the mothers often appear immature with their babies cast off in the background.

The show often feels more like “Real World Plus Babies” but still provides entertaining moments and a rare parent that actually cares more about their child than themselves (Leah; Maci from the original “Teen Mom”).

With eight different kids, it’s hard to take the focus off them on “Kate Plus 8”. Thanks to TLC, the Gosselin clan to travel the world and experience things most adolescents only dream of.

Even with all their travels, the best episodes are when the family is just at home. It is nice to see how they function during dinner or how holidays play out.

Early on in the show, Jon and Kate hosted a movie night with the children that showed how hard it is to get all eight children settled down in one room.

Learn By Example

Young adults or teenagers looking to see the reality of parenting will get both sides of the issue with these two shows.

On “Teen Mom 2” the young mothers struggle with money, school, and their first experience in child-raising. Many of the same issues were featured in the first “Teen Mom” and now they simply apply to a new set of characters.

Short PSAs before and after commercial breaks help inform potential parents, but the show does not seem to enforce the harsh reality of parenting.

It’s hard to really see the money struggles these parents go through when Chelsea was given a house, Leah does not apparently work, Kailyn lives at her ex-boyfriend’s house, and Janelle has left all the responsibility to Jace’s grandmother.

Not to mention the ratings hit that these girls provide MTV with, their checks should be piling up quickly and the girls should stop worrying so much about money.

Any viewer of “Kate Plus 8” knows that money obviously is not an issue.

From multiple books, appearances, and her stint on “Dancing with the Stars”, Kate Gosselien may even spoil her kids a little. Those are not the lessons the show provides though.

It teaches basic family values, gives great group ideas, and provides excellent examples for current parents.

For example, Kate and the kids had a chicken coop installed on her property to help teach the kids responsibility.

Organization is a must for any parent and through small scenes parents can learn about basic organizing from laundry, garages, the kitchen, and other rooms in the home.

Every family is different and there is something every viewer can take from both shows, both good and bad.

Dads in the Picture

The father is an large issue on both “Teen Mom 2” and “Kate Plus 8.” The highly publicized divorce between Jon and Kate has been covered for months, but on the show Kate has stayed strong for her children and tried to do as much as she can on her own.

Yes, Kate has a full TLC crew, multiple nannies, and help from friends, but with eight children, she handles a lot.

The children see Jon and while it is hard, they seem to have accepted the divorce and can move on like many families do.

The “Dad” factor on “Teen Mom 2” seems to lead many of the moms to bad or desperate decisions. T

he biggest example comes from Chelsea, mother of Aubree. Insisting that Aubree needs a father, she immaturely chose to bring Adam back into her life.

Everyone around her told her it was a bad idea, the nation saw it was a bad idea after the events of “16 and Pregnant” but she still claims that their child needs a “Dad” in his life.

A sperm donor does not have to be the father in this child’s life. There are thousands of children who are well-off that never grew up without a father.

Today, families are composed of all types of people, but episode after episode of “Teen Mom”, “Teen Mom 2”, and “16 and Pregnant” feature young mothers who think that the baby HAS to have the birth father in their life; and 90% of the time they are usually wrong.

Crossover Episode

Though it’s highly unlikely, a cross-over event would spark interest in both shows and show both sides the different struggles they go through.

Can you imagine how much less a mom from “Teen Mom 2” will complain about one baby after spending a day with eight children? Kate Gosselin could give the mothers tips, have them drop the “Daddy” issues, and help them mature.

Gosselin could probably teach one of them some dance moves too because one of the mothers is bound to appear on “Dancing with the Stars” in the future.


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