Parental Guidance fans slam 'harsh' Tiger parents: 'So toxic'

·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·5-min read

Parental Guidance fans have slammed 'Tiger parents' Kevin and Debbie after seeing the way the self-confessed "very strict" couple give their children feedback.

Kevin and Debbie's method of parenting involves always telling their son and daughter that they "just want to see that you're trying your best".

Parental Guidance Kevin and Debbie
Parental Guidance fans have slammed the show's 'Tiger parents', describing them as 'so toxic' after hearing the way they speak to their kids. Photo: Nine

"I like my kids to experience the reward that comes after hard work," Kevin said on the show on Tuesday night.

However, when all the 'front row' parents' children had to figure out a way to earn $20 in two hours, fans were left unimpressed by Kevin and Debbie's reaction to their kids, Leo and Mimi's, attempt to busk on a street corner.

Viewers have slammed the parents, going so far as to call them "toxic" for the harsh way they spoke to the children.


'Attachment parent' Lara described the children as "so brave" for putting "themselves out on the street and play with the talent they have", however, Debbie focused on the fact they didn't play as well as they should have.

"It wasn’t the first time that our kids did that — like Leo honestly earned a lot of money from busking, but he got that money not because he played so well but because he was little with a big guitar. Most of the people thought he was really cute," she told the group.

Debbie and Kevin's children
Debbie and Kevin's children chose to busk to earn their $20, but the parents were left unimpressed by their efforts. Photo: Nine
Kevin and Debbie
Viewers were surprised at their harsh reaction. Photo: Nine

"So we were worried that he got the wrong idea about earning money. This time it was harsh, but then I think it was a good experience."

'Disciplined' parent Sioux said her sons "would not cope" with that parenting style, while 'free range' mum Penny was also shocked.

Co-host and parenting expert Dr Jeremy Coulson pointed out to Debbie "there was still some very strong negative feedback towards the end".

"You really wanted them to know how they played and you made sure that they understood that message," he said.

"They wouldn’t feel sad about me saying that — because that’s what we do every day," Debbie responded.

"We needed to tell them that, 'I know you’re feeling awkward, but you didn’t really concentrate. You didn’t play well.'"

Kevin added that both Leo and Mimi are "really mature" when it comes to receiving criticism from their mum.

'Helicopter' parent Rachel said her daughters wouldn't have had the same reaction. "I can see that in our situation, our girls probably would be quite deflated because they just wouldn’t be used to it — because that’s not what we do.

"We ask them, 'how do you think it went, how did it feel', because at the end of the day, their fulfilment has to be within themselves, not for us."

French parents
Other parents were shocked by the way they spoke about their children. Photo: Nine

Debbie previously shared that she quit her job to support her children's musical learning.

"I guess it’s also that we don’t want to burn our kids out. Everyone’s different, but I think our boys would burn out if we did three hours a day of something," Sioux's husband Rob said.

"I think when it stops becoming fun, that’s when you need to reassess what you’re doing," Sioux added.

When asked by Ally Langdon if Debbie's children were scared of disappointing her, she said "they're not", before adding, "because they still disappoint me".

'French nouveau' mum Donna shared, "It’s very cultural, the whole tiger parent thing."

"I come from tiger parents," she added. "I love my parents to death, but a lot of tiger parenting is getting to a particular goal. I was made to do piano — I hated it. I got a law degree, became qualified as a solicitor — I don’t actually practice. Because the victory actually isn’t yours in the end."

Dr Coulson added, "It’s really important that we’re mindful of our feedback, and what seems to work best is if we say to our children, why don’t you reflect and tell me how that went for you, and then we can dissect it."

Fans took to social media to slam Debbie and Kevin with one user writing: "Tiger parenting is so toxic, some of them push their kids not to success but failure because a lot of the time they use negative reinforcement to get results & it crushes kids confidence."

"They aren’t really Tiger parents," another said. "The mum is just a mean nag."

"Tiger parents and French parenting aren’t allowing the children to enjoy their childhood, which is meant to be fun and enjoyable," someone else wrote.

"Watching #parentalguidance on @channel9 and tbh it’s a weird show," a fourth said. "It concerns me that there hasn’t been a single mention of adjusting the style to suit the kids/situations. They’re working with single cookie-cutter approaches. Today tiger might work, tomorrow helicopter."

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