Parental Guidance: Mum with 6 kids reveals show's ‘unexpected impact'

·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·3-min read

The divisive parenting styles on Parental Guidance might be causing controversy with viewers at home but it's been a different story for one of the mums starring in the show.

Home-schooling parent from Queensland, Deb, tells Yahoo Lifestyle in an exclusive chat that she was pretty sure she wouldn't agree with any of the child-rearing techniques and approaches her fellow parents used.

Parental Guidance Home-schooling parent, Deb and her six children. Photo: Channel Nine.
Home-schooling parent, Deb and her six children are appearing on Parental Guidance. Photo: Channel Nine.

'Pleasantly surprised'

But once filming for the doco-style series was underway, Deb was "pleasantly surprised" to find herself learning from all the other mums and dads from the likes of 'Tiger parents' Kevin and Debbie to 'Disciplined parents' Rob and Sioux.

"I fully admitted in the moment when we were in the studio [that] I didn't expect to be so impacted by and to take away so much from the other parenting styles because I'm really comfortable in my own skin," she says.

Single mum Deb educates her six kids — aged 8 to 16 years old — at home and admits that the way she runs her family isn't for everybody. "But it works for us," she says.

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"When we found out what the different [parenting] styles were I thought, 'There's no way that Tiger parenting, for example, could impact me,'" she recalls.

"There were multiple styles that I thought I wouldn't take anything from and I can truly say that I took something little - if not more - from at every style."

And Deb's experience isn't unique. Even Parental Guidance hosts Dr Justin Coulson — who is himself a parenting expert — and Today's Ally Langdon admitted to making changes to the way they raise their own children.

Parental Guidance Home-schooling parent, Deb. Photo: Channel Nine.
Deb, who home-schools her six kids, has opnened up about her experience on Parental Guidance. Photo: Channel Nine.

Not 'trashy reality TV'

While Deb says she's been receiving positive feedback from her friends and family now that the show has gone to air, that wasn't the case before it premiered. 

"I even had close friends that were saying it's just going to be trashy reality TV and I've always believed and trusted [the producer's] vision. And certainly at no point in our experience was there ever a 'trashy TV' moment. 

"My message to everyone has always been to give it a chance. I truly believe that parents around Australia are really, really going to take away something positive from this show."

As for her and her family's experience on Parental Guidance, Deb can't speak highly enough.

"We didn't care really about being on TV. If [Channel Nine] had canned the whole thing and it never went to air we would still be so thrilled because we loved the experience."

Parental Guidance airs 7.30pm Monday to Wednesday on Channel 9 and 9Now.

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