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TV

Why the cast of Parental Guidance threatened to quit before the show even started filming

''It was tough because I do not believe in judging parents full stop.''

By Alana Mazzoni
Parental Guidance may be the new parenting program taking Australia by storm, but behind the scenes, it wasn't exactly a smooth road to success.
Deb, who has chosen to home-school all six of her kids, revealed this week that her fellow mums and dads threatened to pull out of the show after they learnt about its competitive format.
The Queensland single mother said none of the cast were told that part of the show would involve judging each other's parenting skills.
"I have to be honest, and this is across the board, every single parent that's on [Parental Guidance] was never told it was a competition. We were never told that it was going to be a judging competition, none of us," she told Yahoo.
"It was tough because I do not believe in judging parents full stop." (Image: Nine)
Deb said she was drawn to apply for the show after she saw an ad that described the Channel Nine program as "a cross between Lego Masters and MasterChef".
"I said to [the kids], 'This sounds like amazing fun'. We're going to be able to show everyone, 'Hey, this is a little window into our world, this is how we do it'," she said, unaware of what the Parental Guidance would actually entail.
"It was tough because I do not believe in judging parents full stop. I do [parenting] my way and I don't care how the lady next door does it. I can say universally across the board every set of parents, we all considered pulling out, every one of us."
Despite an apprehensive start, all 10 sets of parents decided to stick the show out after producers reassured them all tasks would be tackled in a "sensitive way".
"I really commend [the producers] and I felt that trust from the start, and it hasn't been broken and I don't believe [upcoming episodes are] going to change my opinion. I feel completely comfortable that the portrayal of our family is real," she said.
Just three weeks since debuting on TV screens, Parental Guidance has become an instant hit among Aussie parents.
Today Show host and mum-of-two Allison Langdon is joined by parenting expert Dr Justin Coulson as they work closely with 10 brave sets of parents with very different approaches to child-rearing.
Deb revealed that her fellow mums and dads threatened to pull out of the show after they learnt about its competitive format.
From tiger parents to helicopter parents, routine, free-range, extreme and authoritarian, the parents put their values and techniques to the test through a variety of challenges to uncover the best method.
Allison even revealed that the show helped her become more relaxed and less of a helicopter mum.
In conversation with the Sydney Morning Herald, she told the publication that she didn't think she would learn from the other parents, but she's grateful for the education.
"I undertook this experiment thinking I'm going to be drawn towards these parents or those parents. What I found really interesting was how much I took away from all of them," she said.

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