That part of growing up where you realize that if you don't have any common sense, you better get some from somewhere, just hasn't happened. It's kind of like he is stuck at a developmental age of about 14, and Amber has not quite made it to 6. --Gary may occasionally show some sign of being more mature than Amber, but he's lost his job and shows no particular concern that he hasn't gotten another one. I will give Amber credit for two things, though they really haven't all that much to do with being a parent: she is working at least part time and she's managed to get herself down to a more reasonable size, which takes some discipline. Though if she did that in some sort of unhealthy manner--they've never really mentioned her weight loss--she loses credit for that as well. Have they ever established why Gary lost his job or why he hasn't found another one? I realize the economy stinks, and if he was downsized and has been trying to get another job, that's one thing. But we never see him try to do much of anything, except suggest going on vacation, which doesn't indicate a particular concern with his lack of employment. Maybe the best compromise might be for Farrah and Sophia to live with one of them for a while, to give Farrah that guidance and a chance to grow up and become able to take care of herself, which will, in turn, put her on track for one day being able to care for Sophia. --That, however, puts a huge burden on either the sister or the grandmother, and since we haven't seen that much of them, we have no idea if they have the appropriate finances or living situation to take in a baby and a teenager who often acts like a baby. Whether they can help may have to do with circumstances that have nothing to do with them wanting to help, at least in the way you suggest. For that matter, Farrah's sister would have been raised in the same situation as Farrah, and her grandmother could, I suppose, be partially responsible for the way Farrah's mom is, so I'm not sure either of those situations would be best for Sophia either. We see her, and here comes our old friend Magical Thinking cranking up! ---I honestly don't see it as magical thinking, at least not in my case. I'm praising Maci for the same reason you'd praise a student who suddenly picks up the pace and genuinely becomes better in a subject with which they'd be expected to struggle. She's simply doing a good job and deserves to be praised for it. I'm not under any delusions that because Maci is showing maturity that Amber is suddenly going to grow up. I may wish she would, for her daughter's sake, and her own, but I'm far too well aware of reality to think that she will. As long as Gary keeps enabling her, she's not going to change, and as long as Gary seems to think that he needs Amber or that Leah needs them together, no matter what the circumstances, he's not going to stop his behavior. What I would hope for is that having evidence on tape that some of these children are living in unsafe or unhealthy situations that someone with authority would step in and take some control, such as insisting on mandatory parenting classes and home visits if these parents expect to keep custody of their children. I think hoping for that, which is a distinct possibility that does happen IRL, is far different than magically thinking Farrah, Amber, and Gary will change on their own, because Maci has. It's been pointed out several times here that Maci is succeeding because she has appropriate support and that Caitlynn and Tyler have the possibility of growing up into productive adulthood, because they've already shown the maturity to do what clearly was best for their child in spite of a lot of pressure not to, and they seem to have a clearer idea of whom they can count on for help and advice when they need it. They're also not afraid to ask for help and to listen when it's provided. As for Caitlynn's mother, yes, I too felt for her when she had to listen to her daughter call a counselor for advice, but what choice did Caitlynn have? Her mother is not someone who's been consistent in virtually any way when it's come to her daughter. As much as I might like to think that would be a wake-up call for Mom, I don't think she's shown as much maturity and willingness to try to change as Caitlynn, so I'm doubtful she may be able to change enough to really help her daughter or herself, which is very sad. She needs help too, but she seems unable to ask for it or listen when it's offered. One more comment about Maci: I do like that Teen Mom shows her having to make real sacrifices for the sake of her child and that even though making them shows her maturity, that it still hurts. It's clear sometimes that Maci wishes she could do what her friends have done--go to college, go out when they wish, establish independent homes of their own (even if that "home" is a dorm room, it's a step toward more independent living)--but she knows she can't. For instance, when she went to visit her friends at their college for a "slumber party," she stayed behind when they went out, because that's what was appropriate for Bentley, even though it wasn't the "fun" decision, and you could see she was a little sad that she has to behave differently than her friends, because she has a child. Same thing with her prospective new boyfriend: she had to tell him that she and Bentley were a package deal and that he had to come first, regardless of how interested she might be in Kyle. Maci may be the best of the teen moms who kept their babies (I'll leave Caitlynn out of that comparison, because her situation is so different), but it isn't easy for her to be the kind of mom she is, and I'm happy the show indicates that.