The Masche family of the WE TV reality show Raising Sextuplets appeared on TODAY yesterday to promote their series. The only thing they ended up promoting, I fear, is birth control – because their moment on the show was an undeniable parenting fail.
TODAY host Natalie Morales remained valiantly diplomatic and sweetly empathetic while faced with the insanity of six children running around, climbing on the furniture and hitting each other. “Uh-oh, we’ve got a little fighting going on,” she said with a smile, followed by, “I feel like I’m in my own reality show right now!” What is telling is that the children’s mother, Jenny, was not smiling at all, but rather scowling at her children one by one, pleading through gritted teeth for them to behave while their father, Bryan, acted as if everything was fine. Only 60 seconds into the video you can hear Jenny say, “This is disastrous,” followed less than 30 seconds later by, “This is ridiculous.”
Yeah, it is ridiculous – because the only person doing any parenting was Natalie Morales. Take a look:
(You can watch the entire four-and-half minute clip here.)
Now, I don’t have six kids, let alone six 3-year-olds, and I understand that kids misbehave, the family waited in the green room for an hour-and-a-half, the kids probably had candy for breakfast… the list of factors that led to this moment could go on and on. What kills me is watching Bryan make no effort to corral his brood. It’s not that he should feel pressure to make his children sit still on national television; they’re on television all the time because of their reality show. But he should feel obligated to teach his children not to climb on other people’s furniture, not to talk over adults, not to hit other people… the list of discipline failures here could go on and on as well. The reason this video is so painful to watch, I think, is because Mom and Dad are so clearly not on the same page. No wonder they’re in couples counseling!
I never thought I would say this, but I have a completely new-found respect for Kate Gosselin. Yes, of course she has help as we all know, which is perhaps why her children behave as if they’re the Von Trapp family in The Sound of Music, lining up perfectly and seldom stepping out of line in public. I don’t know what her secrets are – and of course genetics could play a factor. I mean, we can all acknowledge that children do have naturally differing temperaments. But I certainly hope she shares them with the Masche family. They look like they can use all the help they can get.
Photo: Blissfully Domestic