10 Lessons Reality TV Taught Us About Raising a Family

Learn from their dysfunction.

Reality television has no shortage of dysfunctional families. They’re not supposed to be normal. If they were, then how could you explain Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Manzo’d with Children, and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo? They’re not our mirrors. If they were, we’d be watching a half-hour a week of suburban moms doing laundry and basic teenagers going to the local mall with friends. Riveting stuff, obviously.

But that’s not to say these crazy-ass TV families can’t impart any valuable wisdom to us lames. In fact, they’ve given us a whole arsenal of knowledge darts. Here are 10 lessons reality TV taught us about raising a family. Check out more from VH1’s month-long Keepin’ It Real reality TV package.

  1. Don’t homeschool your children based on The Secret.

    Because what they may attract is the Bling Ring. And jail time. And rehab.

  2. Success doesn’t just have to be singular.

    Use your position of power to help your siblings achieve what they’re passionate about.

  3. Encourage healthy choices when it comes to snack time.

    Just open a big ole can of jellied cranberry. What? It’s a fruit.

  4. Parenting is gross, but it’ll become second nature to you eventually.

    You can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family, but you can pick your family’s nose.

  5. Encourage an open conversation about relationships.

    So you can shut down unwanted behavior quick.

  6. Families that are honest are closer at the end of the day.

    Swear words basically mean “I love you.”

  7. The weirder a mom is, the better her kids will be at handling awkward situations.

    Mom, this woman’s just trying to work out, not pal around with the ghost of her dad! So uncool.

  8. Shower your kids with affection.

    E!

    Or buy them stuff if you don’t like to hang out with them. Just don’t be surprised if they like their stuff more than you.

  9. You can get away with a lot of s—t as a parent.

    So be careful not to scar your kids for life.

  10. Hold onto your patience during your kids’ emo phase.

    Don’t worry, they will see the light at the end of the Hot Topic and find their way back.

Tara Aquino is an entertainment writer based out of L.A. She likes people, places, and things.