Parents' Guide to

Bringing Up Bates

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

The big Bates family returns in mild unscripted series.

TV UPtv Reality TV 2015
Bringing Up Bates Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 10+


A refreshing family show promoting a loving home and good values. Not everyone has 19 kids, hence the curiosity of so many on how the large family dynamics work for such a large group. I enjoy seeing traditional families presented on tv. I have an abundance of respect for a family willing to put themselves out there, especially when so many individuals are against Christian values and traditional families. They also do not claim to be perfect, and I appreciate the fact that they don’t promote themselves as perfect. It’s a show that you can watch with your family without worrying about a half naked individual being presented, people cursing, or liberal values being plastered in your face. Although I can guess their political position, it really isn’t even talked about on their show. It’s just an interesting family show. Love it!

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 5+

SUPER wholesome, fun, refreshing family reality TV show!!

I can't believe I'm the first to review this show. Ok, so this is INCREDIBLY REFRESHING as a show, oh my word! I was star-struck the first episode just by the sheer number of kids and what I was seeing-- so I have no idea what happened the entire first episode. Lol. But yeah each episode you just get acquainted with this super cute, respectful, fun-loving family of 19 kids. Each episode they do one event together. Like one episode its taking the family to the thrift store to shop for clothes. One episode is a family camping trip. One episode shows them taking one of their teen daughters out for a talk about purity and her specialness as a young woman. One episode when their oldest kid has his first child. This is a super mature show, meaning mature in the best possible way. It is not spastic, non-stop action. It's just a real family, having fun, and letting us see into their world. A world rich with love, life, humor, fun, respect, service, focussing on others not self, and serving the other members of the family. It's so beautiful! The older girls look out for the younger girls and the older boys look out for the younger boys and they all seem to have so much fun and be so secure! It's amazing! They mention God at times. In a natural way that shows its just a part of who they are as a family. If you want a show to share with a pre-teen, teen, or even younger child just to see a great example of young people with character and integrity, and also just how to live life-- like how to support your sibling when they are going through a hard time, or how to deal with a car accident in the family, or what a loving dad is like, or a loving mom-- this is TREASURE trove! I continually think of young adults from broken homes as I watch this and how much this would probably just work healing in them to watch a healthy, loving, nurturing, whole family serving one another with love. My wife and I started watching this together as a relaxing/refreshing show to counterbalance some of the more intense shows we watch. But soon she was watching episodes without me and has now left me in the dust! But I've learned some good things about parenting and just life in general from this show, and have gotten some cool ideas for if and when we have teen girls someday. Love it! And I hope you do to! #GREATrolemodels #GREATlifelessons

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This reality show allows viewers to watch a large family clan interact with each other and the fun chaos that ensues as a result. Like the Duggars, they're part of the conservative Christian-based Quiverfull movement. However, the Bates appear slightly more secular thanks to some of the adult siblings going to college, using social media, wearing trendier clothing, and even holding hands with their boyfriends and girlfriends.

Despite frequent references to Christianity, the family does not discuss many of the particulars of their religion. But not everyone will be comfortable with some of the values presented here, which includes clearly defined, traditional gender roles, and a push for having lots of children. Nonetheless, Bringing Up Bates is mostly focused on highlighting the importance of family, and how much they love one another.

TV Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate