Discuss Unexpected Episode 1 With Your Family

posted: 08/06/17
by: The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy

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On the premiere of Unexpected we meet Lexus, McKayla, and Lilly--they're all pregnant teens, and they're all daughters of teen mothers themselves. Here's what happened on episode one.

15 year-old Lexus is super close with mom Kelsey, but Kelsey isn't a huge fan of father-to-be Shayden. She thinks he has a lot of growing up to do before the baby arrives. When Kelsey finally gets a night for herself, her party is cut short when Lexus calls to say that she is on the way to the hospital.

16 year-old McKayla is looking for a prom dress that fits over her pregnant belly. McKayla and her boyfriend Caelan have been dating on-and-off for three years and are excited to go to prom together. However, things get tense when a surprise visitor shows up while they are getting ready--McKayla's mom, Shannon. McKayla doesn't live with her mom, and her mom has been MIA at events in the past.

In New York 16 year-old Lilly and her family and throwing her boyfriend, James a bowling birthday party. Lilly fell for James on the first day of school and was pregnant within a few months of dating. Lilly's mom, Kim feels like everything is happening very quickly for Lilly.

Download the TLC GO app to watch full episodes of Unexpected and use this discussion guide to spark meaningful conversation about the show.

Talking is Power

When teens have open and informed conversations with parents, trusted mentors, and champions about love, relationships, sex, pregnancy, and birth control, they are better able to decide if, when, and under what circumstances to get pregnant. This empowers them to have better opportunities for their future.

Teens say that parents and other trusted adults - more than peers, partners, or pop culture - matter most when it comes to decisions about sex. Unexpected can help you start the conversation now.

Getting to know the young moms and their families: what's your take?

  • Do Lexus, McKayla, and Lilly remind you of anyone you know? In what way?
    • Why do you think Lexus kept dating Shayden after her mom told her she wasn't allowed to see him anymore? Was Kelsey right to try to stop their relationship? Why or why not?
    • Do Shayden, Caelen, or James remind you of anyone you know?
  • None of the teen couples in the show thought that pregnancy would happen to them.
    • Why do you think that is? Lack of information? Wishful thinking?
    • The vast majority of teen pregnancies are described by teens themselves as unplanned. Do you know anyone who has, or had, an unplanned pregnancy as a teen? How did it affect them? Their families?
  • McKayla and Caelen share a kiss in front of Grandpa Tim and Shannon. It's awkward, even though they are having a baby together. Why do you think it's so hard for parents and teens to talk openly about sex, relationships, and pregnancy?
Takeaway: Being clear about your family's expectations and views about dating, relationships, sex, and unplanned pregnancy - before there's a specific boy/girl in the picture - is an important part of helping teens avoid pregnancy.

What's behind the mix of emotions?

  • Why are the girls' moms - all teen moms themselves - so upset to see their kids following the same path? Do you think they're more worried about their kids, or the grandchildren?
  • When Lexus's mom, Kelsey - also a teen mom - says "you would never want your child to experience [teen parenthood]" how did that make you feel? Why did Kelsey say that? How do you think that made Lexus feel as her daughter?
  • Monique (James's mom) was a teen mom too, and says she didn't listen to her mom. How do you think she feels about James becoming a dad, since his dad isn't in the picture?
  • What are some of the feelings that the soon-to-be grandparents expressed about their kids having babies at such a young age? Pride, shame, fear of judgment, love, protection...what else? What advice would you give the young moms if they are worried about being judged?
  • What did you think of Shannon's reappearance in McKayla's life? What do you think will happen with their relationship?
  • What can adults to better in order to talk openly about preventing teen pregnancy while also not making teen moms feel ashamed?
Takeaway: The vast majority of teen pregnancies are described by teens themselves as unplanned, and most young people say that they do not want to get pregnant at this point in their lives. Knowing the facts about prevention is necessary, but it's not enough. Parents, mentors and champions need to have open conversations with young people about sex, relationships and their futures to help ensure that if they don't intend to get pregnant right now, they are taking the steps to make that intention their reality.

First relationship, first love, first sex

  • We learn that Lexus, McKayla, and Lilley are all having children with the boyfriends who were their first sexual experience. What would you say to a friend if you knew that she was going to have sex for the first time?
  • For now, the babies' dads are all in the picture. Do you think they will stick around? Why or why not? What makes you think so?
  • Lexus and Shayden started dating when she was 12 and he was 13. At what age do you feel it is OK for teenagers to start dating and having boyfriends/girlfriends? Why do you feel this way?
Takeaway: Abstinence is the only 100% foolproof way to avoid pregnancy. You can get pregnant the first time, and every time. It's OK to delay - you have the power to decide each time, and in every relationship. If you are sexually active, you need accurate information and access to the full range of contraceptive methods.

Did you know?

  • Daughters of teen mothers are more likely to become teen mothers themselves. Just 38% of teens who have a child before age 18 ever get a high school diploma.
  • Teaching teens about sex and birth control doesn't encourage them to have sex; it encourages them to be safer when they do. You have the power to decide if, when, and under what circumstances to get pregnant.
Learn More:

Get more facts and figures on teen pregnancy here.

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