'The Parent Test' puts 12 families under microscope to determine best parenting styles

BySandy Kenyon OTRC logo
Thursday, January 12, 2023
'The Parent Test' explores best way to raise kids in 21st century
A dozen families are put under the microscope in a new ABC-TV reality series, "The Parent Test," a show about parenting in the 21st century. Sandy Kenyon has more.

A dozen families are put under the microscope in a new ABC reality series.

"The Parent Test" is designed to try and find the best style of raising children in today's rapidly changing world. It's based on a format that has proven to be a big hit in Australia.

The two stars who guide the discussion in the American version have plenty of real-life experience to bring to the table.

Host Ali Wentworth says, "parenting has never been harder."

She spent years trying to parent two teenage daughters.

"It's a good time for the parent to start an anti-depressant," she said.

The comic is just kidding, but she showed how humor has helped her raise Elliot and Harper.

"Sometimes they don't listen to 'you can't wear that, you can't do that,' so, I've used comedy so if they're wearing something inappropriate I'll say, 'oh so you're a Kardashian now,'" Wentworth said.

Her co-star in "The Parent Test" is Dr. Adolph Brown, who is known as Doc Brown and is the father of eight children.

"As parents we guard and we guide," Brown said.

It's all in search of today's best parenting style.

"What I noticed about the families and myself included is that oftentimes we want to protect them of things that we haven't totally healed from," Brown said.

Sandy Kenyon asked him to give an example from his own life.

"I tend to be overprotective, and I tend to be overprotective because my mom and dad divorced after 21 years and we went from solidly middle class to inner city poverty overnight," he said.

The mix of serious with a sense of fun has already intrigued at least one serious journalist: Wentworth's husband, ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos.

"He's not really a reality TV guy," she explained, "but he was really gripped to the point where he was shouting at people on the TV."

"The Parent Test" airs at 9 p.m. on Thursday nights on ABC.