The new Lifetime reality series “Teen Trouble” is both an educational and productive show in that it provides successful and hopeful stories on helping teens and their families when they’ve lost their way.
In the first two episodes, host Josh Shipp, a Yukon High School graduate and teen behavior specialist, is absolutely phenomenal as he deals with the teens, Samm and Asmara, and their parents.
He is completely honest and respectful while being steadfast and serious at the same time with the kids and their parents. He promotes the same behavior from them in order to assist the teens in changing the direction their lives are going in.
The first episode centers on Hope, Indiana native Samm, 17. Because she feels trapped in the small town she lives in, she has been smoking pot, driving while high, snorting painkillers, having unprotected sex and failing in school. Although her parents, Dan and Charity, suspect she’s been up to something, they are mostly seeking an attitude change from her and don’t have a clue about the things she’s done. The good news is that it’s Samm herself who has gotten in touch with Shipp for help.
In the second episode, Asmara, 16, of Eugene, Oregon, is doing drugs, drinking to the point of blacking out and leaving home for weeks at a time as she runs away from the issues she has with her parents, Sallou and Michael, who don’t seem able to grasp the concept of raising a teenager with stability.
In both of these cases, Shipp’s expertise in handling these situations shines through. His life experiences include being orphaned and forced to live in the foster care system for several years while facing physical and sexual abuse during that time before winding up under the care of adults who helped him to change his life for the better.
Shipp is also the host of the Halogen television series “Jump Shipp,” and his resume also includes lecturing at universities such as Harvard and Stanford on the psychology of getting through to teens and serving as a frequent expert on adolescent behavior for MTV, CNN, Fox, New York Times, Los Angeles Times and MSBNC, as well other media outlets, according to biography information provided by Lifetime.
There is a warning shown during this series “This program contains subject matter and language that some viewers may find disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.”
The behaviors of these teens is certainly disturbing, and alarming, but “Teen Trouble” and Shipp point out the benefit of realizing the need for help and following through when you receive it.
“Teen Trouble” premieres at 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 28 on Lifetime.
– Melissa Hayer
Follow me on Twitter: @MelissaHayer