Maci Bookout Says Her Son Bentley Agreed to Talk About His Therapy on ‘Teen Mom OG’ In Order to Help Other Kids

“I’d like to normalize therapy…and mullets.”
“Stop talking Bentley.”

Maci Bookout has caught a lot of flak from fans for her decision to discuss her 12-year-old son Bentley’s therapy journey on-camera during the last two seasons of Teen Mom OG, but in a new interview in honor of World Mental Health Day, Maci insists that Bentley is fine with it.

The ‘Teen Mom OG’ star spoke with E! News on Sunday, stating that she and her husband Taylor McKinney asked Bentley beforehand if he would be OK filming about going to therapy.

“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 told the website.

“Pretty much from the get-go, he was down to do it. 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’s segments over the last two seasons have centered around Bentley’s relationship (or lack of relationship) with his father, Ryan Edwards. Bentley entered therapy, and eventually attended sessions with his dad. 

“I promise to always be open on camera…and to wear Things That Matter shirts at all times.”

(Ryan recently stated that Maci put a “halt” to the father/son therapy sessions because she’s angry at Ryan and his family, due to the blowout argument she and Taylor had with Ryan’s parents, Jen and Larry Edwards on-stage during the taping of last season’s Reunion episode.)

Anyway, Maci admitted that sometimes Bentley doesn’t want to discuss his therapy sessions on-camera, but he still does because he and Maci believe it can help other kids.

“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.

“He’s a sweetheart and soft-spoken, but at the same time, he can be very goofy,” Maci said of Bentley, who will turn 13 at the end of this month. “He’s a lot of fun and extremely smart. He’s a really good kid. I hit the jackpot.”

Maci added that she has always talked to Bentley about how much therapy has helped her.

“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.”

RELATED STORY: ‘Teen Mom OG’ Viewers Slam Maci Bookout for “Exploiting” Son Bentley’s Drama with His Dad Ryan Edwards & Therapy: “I Cringe for Bentley!”

(Photos: MTV; Instagram)

25 Responses

  1. Who do they honestly think is watching this show, though? The target audience seems to be women in their thirties and older who have been watching the show since it started airing 12/13 years ago—and there are less and less of us each episode. The show is hemorrhaging viewers every season, so I doubt it’s popular enough to bring in any new, younger viewers, let alone a bunch of middle schoolers who watch it religiously enough to keep up with the cast’s children enough to want to emulate them. Do any of the Teen Mom parents even let their *own* kids watch the show? Is Maci sitting down with her three kids watching the show together? I would assume no, so why does she think there a bunch of middle schoolers watching the show for Bentley to inspire?

  2. Sure he did. Maci is just as bad as the other moms from these shows. She is an alcoholic and uses her kids for storylines. Yet most people seem to love her.

  3. Riiiight. Maci has used Ryan and is now using Bentley to keep the attention off of her while shes still getting those paychecks. MTV has never really shown Macis life, it’s always been about others. Her overindulgence on alcohol wasn’t even shown for many many seasons. He family isn’t shown or talked about but Ryan’s is the center of her storyline. She should have been fired long ago. She has spent her entire adult life making money complaining about her ex on tv. That’s pathetic.

  4. Currently raising a 12 yr old here who is newly recovered from cancer! They are not old enough let alone mature enough to understand their own decision making. But tell me HOW insurance cuts the parents off when their child turns 12 because of HIPPA! I can’t schedule an appt or get certain information because he’s “old enough” for privacy. I don’t think Bentley should be broadcasting his life like that, Maci should not allow that BUT clearly she doesn’t care. At 12 my son is getting a whole head full of new emotions and thoughts and let me tell ya, they’re not stable at all. And he can’t even figure out how to understand or navigate them so I would never show my sons struggles like they’re doing to these kids on the show. It’s awful. And my son also is going through the whole dad issue Bentley is having and it is not fun. My son has awful days and other days he doesn’t care. Bentley should be taken off of the show to process and heal, not to film it for other kids to poke fun at him. I hope my comment makes sense, momma here working on 3 hrs of sleep with a little baby ?

  5. Now that she can’t exploit Ryan’s issues she exploits Bentley going to counseling. Ryan is a drug addict and Maci and Taylor are alcoholics I feel Soo bad for Bentley.

  6. Macy is a severe alcoholic and she knows this show ran it’s course. She and Taylor are both to lazy to get up off their ass and get a real job. Macy’s acne would probabaly do better if she could lay off the alcohol, but we all know she won’t do that.

  7. That is so mature and kind of Bentley to think of other kids like that. Maci and Taylor have raised a good boy.

  8. It is not his responsibility to help kids. He is too young to understand the possible long time effects this could have. As a parent I would say no.

  9. I think Maci and Bentley are setting an amazing example for the younger generation.
    Have any of you talked to a 12 (almost 13) year old lately? They are pretty worldly in this day and age.
    Kids nowadays have a LOT more social/emotional pressures with social media and school, and tv, and family issues and just life in general.
    If Bentley doesn’t mind talking about going to therapy to help himself and other kids then more power to him!
    It’s not like he’s telling us everything they talk about!
    I’m pretty sure kids his age, that he knows, have probably looked up the show and know all about Ryan, so for Bentley to be able to show other kids how he’s helping himself is pretty damn mature.
    I don’t doubt that Maci checks in with Bentley often to make sure he’s still ok with filming. It’s plain to see her kids are her life.
    I, personally, like Maci and Taylor and the way they parent. It seems to me that their family is THE most important thing for them.
    (And don’t start on how they drink beer or go out sometimes without their kids, that happens in real life in lots of families and is in no way something to condemn them for.)

    1. My two youngest are 12-year-old twins and yes they are more worldly than I would like due to various aspects of social media. But they are also very sensitive and I can’t imagine exposing any of their personal fears and concerns to the world as entertainment. We’ll see how Bentley (and all the Teen Mom kids!) ultimately processes having his entire life on camera, without his consent.

    2. They are not suppose to be “wordley”. Or have social media. Us adults need to help them whith this. Actually it is our duty to do so. Yes I have children and I grew up when social media was a thing. I am so glad my parents kept me of it.

      1. I’ll clarify—my kids are not on Facebook, Instagram, anything like that. Neither am I ! They don’t have phones. They do watch videos on YouTube and supervised TikTok, mostly about dogs, cats and horses. But they have a lot of friends with a lot more money and less supervision, and that’s harder to manage.

        Anyway, Bentley deserves to have all things pertaining to his therapy to be private. I agree with a previous poster that it’s not his job to promote the benefits of therapy, or anything else. He is too young to understand long-term effects of any of this behavior. He’s going to realize soon enough that the pursuit of money and adulation drove a whole lot of decisions affecting his life.

  10. Bentley is basically the breadwinner of this family. Maci has no storyline without Bentley. I’m sure he feels responsible for keeping the MTV money coming in for his parents and younger siblings. This is wrong to do to a 13-year-old, but they MUST keep the paychecks rolling in. There is no Plan B. Pray for Bentley— he already has an addict for a bio-dad, and he’s forced to expose his private life to the public for money.

    1. I’m sorry but a 12-year-old shouldn’t be making this decision. He knows his parents want to film, filming pays for their great lifestyle, fuels the t-shirt business, and on and on. He knows if he said no, it would disappoint his mother.

  11. Just because he says it okay… doesn’t make it okay.
    He is a kid- he doesn’t know any better since his life has been film literally since before he was born.

  12. I give Maci props for being being an observant enough mother to recognize that her son might benefit from therapy, both alone and with his father.

    BUT, just because a 12 year old says he doesn’t mind it being filmed, doesn’t mean it should be. Bentley has always seemed to be a people pleaser, and so his being agreeable on camera is no surprise. But I’m not sure a 12 year old really understands how therapy is supposed to be private, and how many people actually watch this show, especially including friends, parents, and teachers in his school. Plus, as we all know…the internet is FOREVER!

    I guess what I’m trying to say is, I don’t see the positives of it, and I don’t think a 12 yr old should be put to the fire for decisions like this.

    If Maci is going to all kinds of therapy, why arent we seeing any of THAT???

    1. I absolutely agree with you.

      I believe that Bentley has genuinely conflicted feelings about Ryan and about their relationship. I believe that he’s confused about the way Jen and Larry have enabled Ryan, even when that’s been a detriment to Bentley’s well-being. I believe Bentley is a relatively well-adjusted kid who has had to deal with some messed up things in his life and maybe needs some help with those things. I have zero doubt that therapy will help Bentley see that he’s entitled to all of these feelings and show him how he can deal with all of these adults in his life. I just don’t believe that Bentley wants the entire world to know what he discusses with his therapist and when he does it. He was presented with an idea to share his therapy on camera by his mom, whom he wants to make happy, so he agreed.

      Maci is a pretty good mom, but she doesn’t know when to put her kids over her paycheck. She either needs to leave the show or make Bentley’s therapy off limits. Yes, we should normalize mental health, but a 12 year old doesn’t need to be the poster boy for it. Let the cameras into Maci’s personal therapy sessions or into her and Taylor’s marital counseling. Let Bentley have at least a semblance of privacy, or at least as much as can be had for a kid who has grown up in the spotlight.

  13. Good. This may add an actual dimension to the show, of kids relating to the children’s struggles, since the moms’ stopped being relatable to us long ago.

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