When “Teen Mom OG” star Amber Portwood penned a birthday message for daughter Leah’s 13th birthday, fans on Reddit found a stark difference between the message sent by Portwood and Kristina Anderson, Leah’s stepmother.
“My favorite picture of me and my beautiful girl!” Portwood wrote on November 12, 2021. “Now you are a smart and loving teenager and I’m so lucky to still have you in my life! I will always love you within every party of my soul! So much love and positive light to Leah my big girl now! Happy birthday beautiful angel.”
Portwood, 31, posted an image of Leah kissing her. Viewers noticed several things: While Portwood’s whole face is shown, only a portion of Leah’s face can be seen. Some people claimed the picture was probably old, and was taken when Leah was younger.
Anderson, on the other hand, shared a series of recent pictures of Leah. Anderson didn’t appear in any of the images. Her message to Leah was succinct: “Happy 13th Birthday, Leah!!! 🎈🎉🎂”
Leah is the daughter Portwood shares with her ex-boyfriend, Gary Shirley. She is also the mother of 3-year-old James, who she shares with her ex-boyfriend, Andrew Glennon.
Fans Mocked Portwood For Sharing Her ‘Favorite’ Picture
“Teen Mom” viewers argued Portwood chose her favorite mother-daughter picture because she was the one who looked good.
“Love that the ‘favorite picture of Leah’ you can’t really even see her face,” one person wrote. “But Amber looks great. Sigh.”
“…Amber posts an old pic that is all about HER and making HER feel good,” another fan said. “She is such a narcissist. It’s disgusting to watch her dim ploys and attempts to outsmart everyone and manipulate everyone while she has an IQ lower than her children.”
Other viewers took the opportunity to praise Anderson. “Amber’s picture looks 5 years old,” they said. “Leah’s real mom has so many recent photos of her doing so many different things because she’s actually involved in her life. Go, Kristina!”
Shirley Went To a Parenting Coach
Shirley decided to seek advice from a parenting coach on the November 9, 2021, episode “Teen Mom OG” as Leah and Portwood continued to bump heads. While Portwood wants to have a more active presence in her daughter’s life, Leah wants some distance from her mother.
Shirley has tried to advocate for Portwood, encouraging his daughter to forgive her biological mother. The parenting coach, however, said “forcing” Portwood onto Leah could be damaging.
“You might be overlooking the trauma that Leah has gone through. I think if you force her into that relationship then you’re basically saying, ‘All these feelings you have, they’re not that important,” the counselor told Shirley. “Having this relationship with your mom is.. that’s more important.’”
She told Shirley that Leah could benefit from speaking to a therapist. “Everybody needs someone to talk to,” the parenting coach said. “There’s a wound in her heart, and that has to be healed. There’s no reason why, you know, you can’t help her to eventually have a relationship with Amber. But the most important thing is that she grows up emotionally healthy.”