Parental Guidance: Tiger parents 'very anxious' before show aired

·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·3-min read

They've copped a bit of flack from Parental Guidance viewers for their 'Tiger' parenting style but according to Kevin and Debbie, there's another, softer side to their story that hasn't necessarily been shown.

The couple tells Yahoo Lifestyle in an exclusive chat that while they are 'very strict' with Mimi, 12, and Leo, 10, there's still a lot of love and affection involved.

Parental Guidance 'Tiger parents' Kevin and Debbie. Photo: Channel Nine.
Tiger parents Kevin and Debbie have been left 'disappointed' by how they've been portrayed in some scenes on Parental Guidance. Photo: Channel Nine.

Tiger mum 'really anxious'

Debbie says that her family's experience filming on Parental Guidance was 'mostly positive,' however, she was concerned about how they would come across once the program was edited for TV.

She was particularly worried about how much the producers might dial up their Tiger-y approach to create a stronger contrast with the nine other parenting styles in the mix.

"Before the show aired I was really anxious because I knew there would be some editing, and I knew maybe they wanted contrast and some drama," she says.

Watching last week's episodes, one of which saw Leo and Mimi take on a busking challenge, left Debbie 'disappointed'.


Tiger parents Kevin and Debbie with son Leo and daughter Mimi at a swimming pool. Photo: Channel Nine.
Leo faces his fears with his mum Debbie and dad Kevin by his side. Photo: Channel Nine.

"I was quite disappointed last week because I felt that the times when we showed [our kids] love and affection or encouragement and support [those moments] were all cut out," she says.

Debbie refers directly to the 'face your fears' challenge where Leo was tasked with jumping from a height into a pool, a scary prospect for the 10-year-old.

While Debbie's rather brusque encouragement of her son made the cut, she says the fact that she proved to Leo that the jump was safe not once but twice wasn't shown.

"I jumped into the water twice before Leo did at the expense of washing off all my makeup!" she laughs. "It was all cut out."

The turning point for Debbie and Kevin came during Sunday night's 'Crowded House' episode where four of the families moved in together and the Tiger parents were put in charge of the kids talent show.

Tiger parents Kevin and Debbie with son Leo and daughter Mimi. Photo: Nine
Tiger parents Kevin and Debbie say they've 'strengthened their bond' with their son Leo and daughter Mimi. Photo: Channel Nine.

"I was really happy about last night and I felt really touched by the other families, they really showed a lot of support.

"We have a chat group and we catch up every week since the show aired. They all say that they know what kind of people we are and not to worry too much because they believe the rest of Australia will see it eventually."

With only two episodes to go before the 10 sets of parents vote for which parenting style is the best, Debbie and Kevin are just happy to have made it this far in the program.

"It's been a great experience that we have gone through as a family," says Kevin.

"It's definitely strengthened our family bond, it was very good," Debbie adds.

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

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