Beginning to heal. Amber Portwood’s relationship with her 13-year-old daughter, Leah, is improving.
“[Our visits are] actually going a lot better,” the Teen Mom OG star, 31, exclusively told Us Weekly on Monday, January 10, while promoting Teen Mom: Family Reunion and Teen Mom: Girls’ Night. “I can’t speak for Leah, but then we’re around each other now, it’s night and day. It’s just beautiful.”
The MTV personality went on to gush about the teenager’s relationship with her 3-year-old brother, James, saying, “She calls him Bubby, and they’re just getting really close and giving each other kisses. I’m like, ‘Oh, my God, I did it. This is what I wanted to do. I wanted to bring them together.’”
Portwood noted that she has been giving Leah “space” for nearly two years. “People weren’t understanding what I was doing … that I wasn’t just stepping away from her,” the Never Too Late author said. “I always let her know that I was there. I would come over even if she was upstairs, and I would just let her do her thing. At least she knew that I was there for her.”
The 16 and Pregnant alum plans to “keep doing that,” explaining, “It’s been really working, and it’s going really well. So I’m happy with what’s going on, and I’m not going to push the issue. It’s kind of a beautiful thing.”
Portwood first hinted that she and Leah were struggling in an April 2021 Instagram post. “I know you are going through a lot and there are many things I need to do to make this right,” the So You’re Crazy Too? author wrote at the time. “However, I will always love you, my beautiful daughter. Love you and happy Easter.”
In a Teen Mom OG episode that aired five months later, Portwood cried over her relationship with her daughter, expressing a desire to go to therapy together to stop “drifting apart.”
While coparenting Leah with Shirley, 35, and his wife, Kristina Anderson, their dynamic has been “super chill,” the Marriage Boot Camp alum said on Monday.
“We tell each other we love each other, things like that,” Portwood explained. “So I hope that this keeps going with not too many bumps in the road.”
Teen Mom: Family Reunion and Teen Mom: Girls’ Night air on MTV Tuesdays at 8 and 9 p.m. ET, respectively.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi