A Family Divided: Alexandra's Journey: Alex's Story

The Route to Teenage Motherhood
Alexandra discusses the circumstances surrounding her pregnancy.
Alex and her boyfriend met when the family bought a horse from the boy's uncle. Alex started spending a lot of time at his house and their friendship moved quickly into romance.

"I remember there was a time when I came over after they had started dating kind of seriously " for the specific purpose to see if they were being managed " and sure enough Alex and her boyfriend were in the boyfriend's bedroom and they were in the bed under the covers," Erin says. "There was a little voice inside of me that said, 'You better be watching out,' and I let it slide and that was my mistake."

Erin believes that Nathan was conceived on a day when Alex missed the bus after school and went to her boyfriend's house.

"Knowing what I know now, I would have been more involved in her dating and been on top of the whole situation," she says.

Alex was four months pregnant when she told her mom. "I remember thinking, 'Someone pinch me, wake me up,' because this can not be happening," Erin says.

Dr. Phil asks Marty why he thinks Alex got pregnant.

"I was just clueless of what was going on," he replies.

Dr. Phil then asks Alex, "You were hungry for male attention?"

"Since my dad wasn't playing an active role in my life, when I found someone who did pay attention to me, who said, 'You're so pretty, I really like you,' I thought, 'Wow this is something I don't usually have,'" she answers.

Dr. Phil asks Marty to react to Alex's thoughts.

"She's right," he says. "Periodically I used to tell her how beautiful she was and hug her and kiss her, but I should have done that on a daily basis."

Dr. Phil says: "It's so important for dads to understand that young girls who are growing up in a household are going to learn how to relate to men in the world based on the relationship they have with them. If you leave them hungry, if you leave them wondering, 'Am I OK?' they're going to be vulnerable to someone telling them what they want to hear."

"You said you saw warning signs along the way?" Dr. Phil asks Erin about Alex.

"When Alex first started dating her boyfriend, Erin remembers, "There were behaviors that I wasn't comfortable with, and though Alex said, 'Oh, mom it's OK,' a little voice kept saying, 'It's not OK.'"

Dr. Phil asks Alex: "What could she have done that would have kept you out of the situation that you're in today?"

"As much I would have hated her, I would have appreciated instead of us hanging out at his house where the parent wasn't active in what we're doing, if she could have said, 'Why don't you and your boyfriend come to our house instead?'"

Dr. Phil asks Erin: "As a mom, what kept you from stepping up and stopping it?"

"Denial," Erin says. "I didn't want to be the big, bad mean mommy."

Dr. Phil concludes, "There's got to be a shift in that thinking with every parent in America. Somehow we think that we've got to be cool parents, but the truth is your job is not to be liked.