Ah, puppy love, as they call it. Teen Mom OG star Gary Shirley says that his and Amber Portwood’s daughter, Leah, has started feeling it — and she’s only 8-years-old!
As In Touch Weekly reports, Leah is “dating” — in whatever sense fourth-graders consider “dating.” Clearly, they’re not going to the drive-in together or staring longingly into each other’s eyes. More likely, they steadfastly avoid eye contact with each other and giggle uncontrollably whenever they accidentally pass each other in the halls.
As Gary explains, the two “fell in love” at the lunch table at school.
“I was like, ‘just no kissing. That’s no allowed. Don’t hold his hand — three-second hugs.'”
It seems Gary is far more permissive than another reality-TV dad: If Leah’s dad were a Duggar, Leah wouldn’t be allowed to touch her “boyfriend,” to say nothing of hugs! Of course, that’s a different show on a different network, and clearly, the people on the Teen Mom franchise have different motivations than the Duggars do.
It may seem pretty early in the game for Leah and her dad to have to have these conversations, but unfortunately, Gary has had to talk to Leah about some rather unpleasant realities about relationships with boys.
“We explain things a lot. We don’t want her to get taken advantage of and we want her to learn now so that when she is a little older, she’s focusing on school and doing the right thing, not following her mom and I’s [sic] path of having a child at a young age.”
Obviously, Leah’s parents didn’t set the best example for her, as Gary readily admits. The two have both had their issues with trying to raise children when, to put it mildly, they weren’t fully prepared for the responsibilities of parenthood and adulthood.
This is especially true of mom Amber. Gary has had full custody of Leah off and on as Amber deals with drug addiction and dating men who are addicted to drugs. Clearly, that’s not the best environment for a child to grow up in.
Amber, for her part, may have finally put her issues behind her and is currently dating Andrew Glennon. Dad Gary, meanwhile, has married Kristina Anderson and even given Leah a half-sister, Emilee.
Hopefully, Gary, Kristina, and the other adults in Leah’s life can set a better example for Leah moving forward when it comes to dating and relationships — even if she’s only 8.
[Featured Image by Amber Portwood/Instagram]