Parents Kim and Barry Plath of TLC’s Welcome to Plathville are not exactly known for their candor about sexuality with their nine children. The Christian fundamentalists, who live in the small town of Cairo, Georgia, have strict rules for their large family – including a modest dress code and stringent courtship standards.
But two of the Plaths’ oldest kids, 19-year-old Micah Plath and 17-year-old Moriah Plath, confronted their parents about their lack of knowledge when it came to sex on the Welcome to Plathville season 2 premiere. The teens, who were kicked out of the family home after refusing to follow some of the family’s rules (such as no sugar, no TV or cell phones, and no going out without permission), wanted to know why they hadn’t been brought up to speed on health and safe sex at a younger age.
On the second episode of this season of Welcome to Plathville, Barry seemed to take his kids’ complaints to heart. But his attempt at a discussion about sex and dating with 14-year-old Isaac Plath didn’t go as well as he might have hoped.
Micah and Moriah confronted Kim and Barry about their lack of preparation for the real world
After being kicked out of the Plath family home, Micah and Moriah became roommates in a nearby house. After months of no contact with their parents, the siblings sat down with Kim and Barry to ask them why they hadn’t been more prepared for the real world.
In particular, they wondered why they hadn’t been taught about sexual health in early adolescence, instead of having to figure it out on their own years later.
“I kind of want to know why y’all hadn’t talked to us about sexuality when we were 13, 14, 15 years old,” Micah probed, adding imploringly: “Please give my younger siblings a better chance in the world.”
Kim retorted that she didn’t feel she could approach sensitive topics with Moriah and Micah as the years went on, because they were so rebellious. But Barry seemed to take his teens’ words more to heart, admitting that he simply hadn’t been comfortable broaching the subject.
“When your older children say, this is what I found lacking in your approach, what you didn’t do right, that hurts as a father,” the Welcome to Plathville star admitted. “I take those things to heart, but now I have an opportunity to connect with Isaac in ways that maybe I didn’t with Ethan or Micah.”
Barry tried to talk to Isaac about dating
While broaching difficult subjects with his kids admittedly wasn’t in his wheelhouse, Barry tried to take his younger teen son, Isaac, aside for a one-on-one talk about girls and dating after receiving feedback from Moriah and Micah.
Looking visibly uncomfortable as they took a break from cutting down trees for the conversation, Barry mentioned Micah’s newfound “season” of dating to his younger son.
“It’s a season of big change,” the Welcome to Plathville season 2 star told Isaac, who seemed to avoid his dad’s gaze. “Look at what Micah and Moriah have gone through in a year and a half.”
“This conversation is really awkward for me,” Isaac told TLC producers of the conversation, which seemed to be veering into topics he’d never discussed with his dad before.
The 14-year-old admitted he had no idea what to say in response. “I was kind of like, ‘Oh, that’s great,’” he laughed.
Isaac was reticent to open up to his dad
As he went on, Barry tried to tread more boldly into a direct conversation about dating. He asked Isaac if he had questions about “anything” – especially girls or “an interest in the opposite sex.”
“You’ll grow into an interest in the opposite sex,” the Welcome to Plathville star assured his son. “That’ll come in maybe a year or two.”
Isaac quickly told his dad that he thought about going into the Air Force a lot more than he thought about girls – but he told TLC producers a slightly different story.
“When I’m talking about girls with my friends or something, it’s not awkward because I do it all the time,” Isaac confessed. “But when I was with my dad, it was awkward because he never really talked to me about that…Of course I’m interested in girls, but I just don’t feel like talking about it with my dad.”
It was clear that this was uncharted territory for Barry and Isaac. Still, he told his son he could come to him with any questions, so it seemed the dad of nine was making an effort to connect with his kids on a level he hadn’t in the past.
But for Isaac, it was obvious that it was more awkward than informative for now.
“I’ve never wanted to cut down trees so bad in my whole life,” the teen quipped to producers.