Parents' Guide to

The Parent Test

By Stephanie Morgan, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Parenting competition is surprisingly thoughtful and tender.

TV ABC Reality TV 2022
The Parent Test TV show: poster

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 12 parent reviews

age 10+

A great show but I wish it had more footage of the families and parenting in their natural environment, rather than most of it being in the studio showing their discussion

A great show, does not rely too heavily on constant replays of the most dramatic moments over and over that I've come to expect from other reality type shows. It has some very useful parenting insights and useful tips but I wish there was more footage of the lives of each family in their natural environments, showing interaction between parents and kids. But the focus is mainly in the studio and their reactions/discussions. Episode 2 with Stranger Danger might be too much for younger kids, the parents reactions might cause fear and confusion. In Australia I don't think we have that level of fear, but the lessons to be learnt here are still the same.
age 4+

This is a great show. The topics are good. It gives you a lot to think about raising you children. I don’t like the voting by style. I think ever child is different.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (12 ):
Kids say (3 ):

It's no secret Americans like to compete over just about anything, but competing to see who has the most effective parenting style is a new one. The basic premise of The Parent Test -- that you can use families to objectively measure parenting styles -- is faulty for several reasons. Most glaringly, it completely ignores the classic question of nature versus nurture. In pitting families representing different parenting styles against one another, the format fails to take into account that the temperaments and personalities of the kids in each family are different, regardless of how they're parented. It also fails to acknowledge that many of these parenting styles have points of intersection, with few families adhering strictly to just one. This is actually demonstrated again and again as the different types of parents praise each other for valuing the same things. They're also shown having constructive discussions about their opposing parenting styles and learning from each other. Which, actually, is one of the unexpected reasons this show is worth watching.

Instead of the snarky competitiveness we've come to expect from reality TV, The Parent Test has a general tone of openness, with participants consistently demonstrating a willingness to change. Parents watching will also do a lot of reflecting on their own parenting styles. Partners who are parenting together may especially benefit in using the show as a jumping-off point for parenting discussions. Watching with older kids may give them perspective on the difficulty of making everyday parenting decisions. Most importantly, it can help start some meaningful conversations between kids and parents about how parenting works in their family and why. If this sounds a little too heavy for weeknight viewing, don't worry, host, parent, and comedy veteran Ali Wentworth brings lots of levity and laughs to soften the eye-opening revelations.

TV Details

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