Maci Bookout has been through quite a lot in the past year, and many of her trials and tribulations were documented on Teen Mom OG.
These days, the stars of the Teen Mom franchise have more control over what content makes it to air than probably any other reality stars on television.
(The Kardashians probably held more power over their producers, but now that their run has come to an end, it’s the moms of MTV who reign supreme.)
When Maci got Ryan Edwards fired from MTV, fans assumed that she was trying to conceal all the messy drama in her life.
But it’s worth noting that there are storylines that some cast members would’ve preferred to keep private, which Maci has eagerly allowed to be documented on the show.
For example, her 12-year-old son Bentley’s decision to enter therapy was prominently featured last season.
That couldn’t have been an easy decision for Maci, especially since Bentley’s father, Ryan Edwards, refused to join his son in therapy and basically made a mockery of the whole endeavor.
So why did Maci and Bentley allow such a personal and painful storyline to be featured on the show?
Well, it seems that Bentley courageously hoped to send a message to other kids his age that it’s okay to seek help from a professional in the field of mental health.
“We asked if it was something that he would even want to film and discuss on camera at all, and I even asked if he cares if Taylor and I discussed it on camera,” Maci said in a recent interview with E! News.
“Pretty much from the get-go, he was down to do it," she continued.
"The producer and I made it very clear that anytime he doesn’t want to talk about it, at any time, then he can just say the word. We were constantly checking in on where he stood with his comfort level.”
Maci went on to say that there were times when Bentley was less than thrilled with the idea of discussing his therapy sessions, but he did so anyway for the sake of the kids he might be helping.
“He made a couple of comments in the discussion about wanting kids to know that it’s normal and it’s very much okay to see a counselor or a therapist,” Maci said.
“He said that if you’re watching me on the show and you think I’m cool because I’m on TV, then I can maybe normalize this for you. I thought it was quite extraordinary for someone his age, but he’s wise beyond his years."
Maci added that there’s never been any stigma about seeking help in her household, as she’s been very open about the many ways in which she’s benefitted from therapy.
“I’ve always been very open and honest with him about therapy that I’ve done twice a month, once a month, basically my whole adult life and the benefits of it,” she said.
“Taylor and I have been honest with him about marriage counseling and why it’s important and stuff like that.”
Fittingly, Maci closed out her comments by singing the praise of a kid who consistently exceeds his parent’s expectations:
“He’s a sweetheart and soft-spoken, but at the same time, he can be very goofy,” Maci said of Bentley.
“He’s a lot of fun and extremely smart. He’s a really good kid. I hit the jackpot.”
Not every pre-teen kid would stick his neck out in the hope of helping others.
It sounds like Maci has indeed hit the jackpot.