Amber Portwood on Tough Talks With Daughter Leah About Her Past

Amber Portwood knows she has some challenging conversations ahead with her 13-year-old daughter, Leah. The Teen Mom OG star spoke with ET’s Deidre Behar about the upcoming new season of the MTV reality series and how she will explain her highs and lows to her eldest child. 

“She’s very smart, straight A student. I’m very proud of her,” Amber, 30, gushes to ET of Leah, whom she shares with ex Gary Shirley. “She’s had many questions, and I’ve answered as many as I can that I feel is appropriate for her age.” 

Amber has struggled with domestic violence, substance abuse, and depression throughout her 11 years on reality TV, even spending a year and a half in prison. 

The mother of two takes responsibility for giving her daughter a safe space to have some of the more difficult conversations. 

“It’s my job as a mother to be there and to open my mouth and really let her know it’s OK to ask me the questions in the appropriate manner, and really speak to me and be open about it,” she says. “I didn’t really expect it to be this early, you know, but she’s really beyond her years, I’m telling you. She’s just really mature for her age and very savvy.”

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Amber says it’s important to her that she helps her daughter get a better understanding of some of her more painful moments from early in Leah’s life. 

“I want to answer those questions for her and make her feel better about certain situations instead of bottling it up inside,” she says. “I don’t think that’s healthy for her or me or any of us. We really got to get that bond back that I’ve been striving for and that’s something that has deteriorated because of certain things that have happened in life, you know, on my end.”

Despite the difficult conversations that having her life play out on reality TV have sparked, Amber understands the unique position she is in as a result of appearing on Teen Mom OG

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“It’s like therapy,” she says of looking back at her younger years. “People don’t really get to see themselves going through the hardest part of their lives literally, physically, and that’s where it gets you, that’s where the blessing comes in in disguise for sure.”

As for what fans can expect of her on the new season of Teen Mom OG, Amber says, “You’re going to see a lot of growth. You’re probably going to see a whole other person that you’ve probably never seen before.”

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