When Nicole Hennessy, a mother of three, learned that her underage teen daughter had gotten pregnant, she turned to TikTok to express her support. Although Hennessy’s daughter is only seventeen-years-old and has just tested positive for pregnancy, she is “supportive” of her daughter because she believes that is what good parents must do no matter the circumstances. Although Hennessy feels that she is making the right decision by supporting her pregnant teen daughter, people on social media were shocked and condemned her for normalizing such a difficult situation.
Hennessy, who is only thirty-five-years-old herself, has been sharing many personal aspects of her life on the Chinese-created TikTok app. Because the young mother hopes to gain as many followers as possible and benefit from the meteoric rise of the video content platform, she shared her teen daughter’s pregnancy story with her followers and explained why she was going to support her decision to keep the baby.
Hennessey downloaded the TikTok app in April after the coronavirus pandemic shut down America. She is from Rockville, Maryland, and turned to TikTok to make her life more interesting during the lockdown. In the months prior to lockdown, her daughter was keeping things interesting in a more intimate way.
Hennessy uses TikTok because she is “a serious extrovert” who struggled to cope with isolation amid the world of COVID-19. She coped with quarantine by sharing moments of “comic relief” with her followers on the social media page. She also used her experience as a teen mother and mom of three to share some parenting content on the platform.
On many of her videos, Hennessy features her two younger children. Every once in a while, she features her teen daughter, Angelia, who is seven-months-pregnant. Being a pregnant teen during the COVID-19 pandemic is an extremely challenging circumstance that will only become more challenging.
In this viral TikTok video, Hennessy goes into “story time” about her teen daughter’s pregnancy. She reenacts the moment when Angelina learned she was pregnant and how she discussed her three options with her mother.
As the video received more than 12 million views in just two days, Hennessy got a lot of praise and hatred for her lax parenting style. While some users of the Chinese-created platform called her a “great mom” and “a supportive parent,” others thought she was sending the wrong message to a pregnant child too young to vote.
These critics said she “failed as a parent” because she “let her children do whatever they want.”
Although she craved it, she had never expected to go viral.
“I did not expect people to have such strong opinions,” she told Insider. “It really shocked me.”
Because this initial video was so popular, the mom of the pregnant teen posted a follow-up video explaining herself further.
“My job as her mother was to educate her and help her be the best person that she wants to be, not who I want her to be,” she said. She felt that if she didn’t present the options to her teen daughter, she would have been “manipulative” and regretted it.
Hennessy will become a grandmother at age thirty-six.
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