Teen Mom Maci Bookout says son Bentley, 12, wants to ‘normalize’ therapy for kids amid struggles with dad Ryan Edwards

TEEN Mom Maci Bookout revealed that her preteen son Bentley aims to ‘normalize’ therapy for kids after reaching out for help in dealing with his relationship with his father Ryan Edwards.

The Teen Mom OG star boasted about the 12-year-old in an interview with E! News ahead of World Mental Health Day.


Maci boasted about her preteen son in an interviewCredit: Social Media – Refer to source
Bentley hopes to normalize therapy for children his age


Bentley hopes to normalize therapy for children his ageCredit: Instagram

Maci – who has been documenting her life as a teen mother since appearing on MTV’s 16 and Pregnant in 2009 – opened up about her son’s efforts to destigmatize therapy for children his age.

“We talked about it before we started filming. 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 explained.

“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,” she added.

Bentley has openly aired his mental health struggles on the MTV series while navigating the difficult relationship he has with his father, Ryan, 33.

The young adolescent hopes that his story will inspire other children and encourage them to reach out for help.

“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.”

In a previous episode of the show, the mom-of-three had a video call with co-star Tyler Baltierra to ask his advice after Bentley expressed interest in attending therapy.

Tyler, 29, has been vocal on the show about seeing a counselor himself after experiencing a troubled relationship with his own father.

The new father-of-four gave his full support, telling E!News. “I thought it was quite amazing because the kid is so young and to actually be so self-aware of his own emotions, that he said, ‘Hey, Mom, I want to go talk to somebody.’ That’s amazing to me.”

“I’m proud of Maci for not having it be something that’s shameful. I think all kids can benefit from therapy, regardless of age, so I’m all for it.”

Maci also has two other children with her husband Taylor McKinney: Jade, 6, and Maverick, 5.


Bentley has also pleaded with his father to attend therapy with him, which played out on the last season of the reality series.

Viewers watched as the seventh grader refused to see his father until he agreed to go to therapy with him to work on their strained relationship. 

Maci, 30, revealed that Bentley’s rules still stand as the preteen “isn’t necessarily comfortable” talking to Ryan until they attend therapy together.

She explained that Ryan has had “one or two” phone calls with the counselor adding: “So nothing progressed beyond that.”

Ryan has had a strained relationship with his son due to his on-going battle with drug addiction.


On a previous episode, Ryan and his wife Mackenzie made comments accusing Maci of holding Bentley hostage from his family.

But Maci claimed that Bentley is still yearning for a relationship with his father’s side of the family – Ryan is also father to Jagger, two, and Stella, 20 months.

“Bentley still wants to see his siblings. He wants to have a relationship with them and his grandparents and stuff. It’s still kind of up in the air at this point, as far as his relationship with Ryan,” said Maci.

She also added that Bentley would be “shocked” if his father supported him at one of his games.


In an exclusive interview, Ryan told The Sun his side of the story, claiming that it was Maci who put a halt to therapy sessions he attended with Bentley and suggested he is considering legal action to get more rights to see his son.

Approached in his hometown of Harrison, Tennessee, Ryan told The Sun: “We haven’t seen Bentley for over a month.

“I haven’t seen him, my mom and dad haven’t seen him, nobody has seen him.

“I did go to therapy with Bentley, Maci has kind of put a halt on everything after my dad and Taylor had that argument.”

Ryan is referring to his dad Larry’s heated argument with Maci’s husband, Taylor, on last season’s reunion special.  

Following the blowout, The Sun exclusively reported Ryan, Mackenzie and his parents, Jen and Larry, were fired from Teen Mom OG in March.

Bentley refused to see his father until they attended therapy together


Bentley refused to see his father until they attended therapy togetherCredit: MTV/Teen Mom
Ryan recently told The Sun that he hasn't seen Bentley in a month, accusing Maci of holding their son hostage


Ryan recently told The Sun that he hasn’t seen Bentley in a month, accusing Maci of holding their son hostageCredit: Facebook
Maci also has two other children with her husband Taylor McKinney


Maci also has two other children with her husband Taylor McKinneyCredit: Instagram
Teen Mom Maci Bookout accuses Ryan Edwards’ parents Jen and Larry of ‘blatantly ignoring’ her tween son Bentley’s ‘feelings’ in family feud

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