Arguably one of the most popular and well-loved TV shows on today is sitcom and mockumentary Modern Family which is available on FOX+. With a total of 75 Emmy nominations and 22 wins, the series has provided both critics and fans everywhere with fresh and clever stories about three very different American families.
The Dunphys are the traditional nuclear family, the Pritchetts tell the step parent narrative, and the Tucker-Pritchetts represent the LGBT parenting family.
The diverse set-ups lay the groundwork for both comedic and relatable stories, bringing home laughter while also teaching very insightful and touching lessons.
Here are 10 parenting lessons audiences can learn from Modern Family.
1. Celebrate the ways your children are different, even if you don’t understand it
If there’s anything that is clear from the characters of Modern Family, they all have a certain set of peculiarities. The children especially — from Manny being a poetry-loving thespian to Alex an extreme geek, each kid from every family is unique. They even differ in heritage (Lily from Vietnam and Manny from Colombia). Even if their parents don’t always get their interests, they surely will always support them.
2. “Peer”-enting: Being a friend to your kids is important
“Act like a parent, talk like a peer”. Famously quoted by Phil Dunphy in the first season, “Peer”-enting is being pals with your children while still guiding them, Phil demonstrates that connecting with them as humans and finding ways to be friends with them has benefits in making the trust and relationship stronger. This way, you don’t alienate them or detach yourself from their lives.
3. It’s okay to admit your mistakes and flaws to your children
While many parents would rather that their children always see a perfect version of mom and dad, being open enough to admit mistakes to them takes the pressure of the parents and allows the children to connect better with them. This has been showcased many times in Modern Family where viewers witness the kids being able to see their parents as people who aren’t perfect, letting them have more empathy for mom and dad.
4. Your kids can inherit the best of your qualities
Kids pick up on so many things. It would surprise parents to discover what qualities and traits of theirs their children have gained throughout the years. Sometimes, it just takes a little bit of trust and letting the kids figure things out for themselves in order for mom and dad to see how much they’ve imprinted themselves on their children.
5. Walk the walk
Many parents can fall trap to telling their kids one thing while doing the exact opposite, and then chalking it off to “because I said so!” In one particular episode of Modern Family, viewers got to see the value of follow through and leading by example. This ultimately lands so much stronger with children and really lets them learn the lesson well.
6. Don’t underestimate your children
Sometimes, as parents, it’s easy to want to micro-manage and try to get everything done for the kids. However, a little independence can go a long way and it could be surprising what children can come up with when given the opportunity. Many times in the show, viewers saw Manny, Luke, or even Haley rise to the occasion, even when it was not expected of them.
7. Parents need regular “me-time” too
Parents can feel guilty about wanting to take some time for themselves, but not only is it healthy for their well-being, but it can also let the whole family decompress. This rings especially true for new parents, just like when Mitch and Cam first adopted Lily. After some time for themselves, they felt refreshed and rebalanced for the new challenges ahead.
8. You and your partner are a team — you should appreciate each other and make each other look good
Parent vs. Parent has been a running theme in Modern Family, maybe because it happens so often to real life parents. Whenever conflict happens, especially in front of the children, the tendency is to throw the other under the bus. However, it is made clear in Modern Family that the best way out of any sticky situation is to work as a team, knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and continuing to appreciate each other.
9. Let kids make their own mistakes and experience life as it’s happening to them, not as it happened to you
It’s natural for parents to not want their children to commit the same mistakes that they did, but sometimes there are things that children have to experience for themselves. After all, parents can’t protect their children from everything — heartbreak, failure, or rejection. There are some lessons that have to be learned the hard way, even if parents already know the outcome. In several episodes, viewers have seen all three parenting units of Modern Family have to watch as their own children have life happen to them.
10. You are probably doing just fine
The best parents will always doubt themselves at some point and feel like a total failure. The pressure of parenting is one of the toughest in the world and one of the most relatable moments from the show is when the parents show some vulnerability. As long as every thing is coming from a place of love, the mistakes can be forgiven and become a funny story in the end. Just take it from Modern Family.
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