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Discuss Unexpected Episode Four

posted: 12/03/17
by: The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy

Lilly's mom doesn't want the baby to have James' last name. Two weeks before her own due date, McKayla visits her newborn sister. Lexus and Shayden grapple with raising a newborn. And one of the teen girls is given a ring.

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 futures.

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.

The Realities of Parenthood:

  • Shayden can be so sweet with Scarlett and wants her to have all the love in the world; but we also see his frustration. Shayden says Scarlett is crying to get attention: Lexus says "she's 12 days old!"
    • How did you feel about what Shayden said? What would you have said to him?
  • Shayden says no one is ever ready to be a parent. But it's a little easier to be prepared when you have a driver's license, house, and income.
    • What do you want to have in place in your own life before you're responsible for a child?
  • Kelsey's mom was able to help her when Lexus was a baby, but Kelsey can't do that for Lexus now with Scarlett. While a lot of teens have their parents to help with the baby, a lot don't. Lexus has a really supportive mom, but during the day, she's on her own.
    • How do you think it's different for teens who have their parents to help versus those who don't?
    • If you were Kelsey, how would you feel about knowing that your daughter is going to have to do more for herself and Scarlett?
  • Lilly's mom Kim feels that James should earn the right to give the baby his last name. Kim thinks it's too soon to know if James is going to stay or not, and often reminds Lilly that she and James don't know each other very well. She makes a strong case for the need for fathers to demonstrate real commitment early on since moms do so much of the parenting work no matter what.
    • Do you think Kim is re-living some of her experiences now through Lilly and James' relationship? Do you think Lilly is going to learn from Kim or is she shutting her out? Most teen parents don't stay together over the long term, even if they try to make it work for the first few months or years.
  • Tim says he's 57 years old and wanted to retire, not raise more kids. Tim and Cindy have made a lot of sacrifices for their grandchildren.
    • What kind of sacrifices do you think they will make for McKayla and her baby now?
    • What role do you think Tim and Cindy will play in the baby's life?

Takeaway:Babies need and deserve love and attention 24/7. As Kelsey says, pregnancy and birth is the easy part. As Lilly is learning, having a baby with someone doesn't guarantee that you will stay together. Once there's a new baby in the picture, everyone's roles change. Not only will the teen parents have to grow up fast, they will also need to start figuring out how they will support their families financially, and how they will support each other emotionally.

Boys to Men

  • Lilly says she doesn't think that she and James would ever break up but if they did, he'd still make an effort to see his child. From what you've seen so far, do you think that's true? What would make him stick around?
    • What do you think parents and other supportive adults could say to boys and young men to encourage them to take pregnancy and parenthood more seriously?
  • Shayden said he fell in love as soon as he saw Scarlett. Lexus says she knows he's going to be an amazing dad. Did you expect that from him? What do you think it takes to be a good dad?
    • Do you think that being a dad will help Shayden grow up? Or that he needs to grow up more in order to be the best dad he can be?
  • Once Scarlett is born, Lexus says "words can't explain the love I have when I see her...it makes me want to be a better person."
    • Now that Lexus feels the love she has for Scarlett, do you think it will help her understand Kelsey's reservations about Shayden and why Kelsey is so protective of Lexus?
    • Do you think most teen guys have ever thought about what their lives would be like if they became parents while in high school?
  • Glenn says that James has gotten on his bad side because he isn't following through on things. Kim says that she hopes it doesn't continue with bigger things. Since James skipped out on the birthing classes and the festival, how do you think he'll handle bigger responsibilities with the baby?
    • Do you think that James is aware of how his actions are hurting Lilly?

Takeaway: Most teens need time to grow, develop and learn during their teenage years. The dads in Unexpected are struggling with being teens and adults at the same time. These teen moms didn't get pregnant by themselves. Too often, boys don't get the message that preventing pregnancy is up to them, too. Teen guys need to hear that responsibility doesn't just mean caring for a child once you're a parent; it means doing whatever it takes to avoid pregnancy until you're really ready.

Maturity, Motherhood...and Marriage?

  • Caelan holds Shannon's baby and says he can't deal with it when the baby cries. He says it can't be that hard but he's destined to figure it out soon.
    • Becoming a father, and being a good dad, mean a lot to Caelan. What kind of support do you think Caelan needs? Do you think teen dads get enough support?
  • Caelan got his license, a job, and they opened a savings account. He feels that Shannon doesn't give him any credit. Shannon sees how they are now, and thinks McKayla and Caelan will argue over everything.
    • Do you think the teen dads in Unexpected are reacting how most teen guys would?
    • How does being the son of a teen mom shape Caelan's views about his own role? Children of teen parents are more likely to become teen parents themselves.
  • Lilly says the promise ring signifies that she and James will get married--and that he'll be a good boyfriend and husband. He backs away and won't commit to anything. Lilly is laughing like he's joking, but he's totally serious. They seem like they are not on the same page about their future.
    • How do you think they could communicate better?
    • Do you think their communication will improve once the baby is born? The majority of teens say that trust and communication are the most important factors in a healthy relationship.
  • Caelea has some strong feelings about Shannon and Shelley's disagreement. In fact, he seems like he's being the adult in this situation.
    • How do you think their conflict is affecting their children? What advice would you give them?
  • James says that getting married is like buying a car and his mom says it's a little more than that. He says that he barely likes being responsible for himself, but he's about to become a dad and be responsible for Lilly and a baby.
    • Do you think his behavior will change when the baby arrives? Why or why not?
    • Does James remind you of anyone you know?
  • While they fold laundry and talk, Lilly doesn't seem like she wants to talk to Kim about James and whether he's really committed. Why? Does she feel judged? Or does she just want Kim to stop bursting her romantic bubble?
    • If you could step into this conversation, what would you say to Lilly? To Kim?
    • Have you ever had a romantic ideal come crashing down? Do you think guys have a different view of parenthood than young women do? Why or why not?

Takeaway: Whether or not you get married, having a child with someone bonds you together for life. Marriage is a huge commitment and requires a lot of maturity - even more so when you have a baby together. All young people should have the power to decide if, when and under what circumstances to get pregnant--as well as the ability to act on that decision. What can you do to help young people have the power to decide?

Did you know?

  • 68% of teens say the primary reason that teenagers don't use birth control is because they're afraid their parents will find out.
  • 93% of adults think that young people should have a trusted adult or network to provide them with information and guidance on topics like sex, love, relationships, or birth control.
Learn More:

Get more facts and figures on teen pregnancy here.

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