And, of course, credit goes to her ultra-mature teen who has literally grown up in front of camera’s since Maci’s 16 and Pregnant episode aired in 2009. 

“It honestly started off with the fact that he was in my pocket for, like, the first five years of his life,” she noted of having Bentley tag along to her classes at Tennessee’s Chattanooga State Community College. “I’d be like, ‘Alright, here’s your Lifesavers, here’s your gummies. Don’t say a word, because I didn’t ask if you could come with me.'”

She often invited Bentley into kid-appropriate but still adult conversations, allowing him to voice his own opinions, “and then, obviously, with work in therapy,” she added, “I think it’s just the perfect storm of creating an empathetic but smart and competent person.”

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