'Modern Family': What Makes a Bad Parent?

More

This week's episode offered lessons on how to care for children well—or not

ModernFamily_SomeonetoWatchOverLily_post.jpg

ABC


This week's Modern Family offered lessons in parenting. Searching for the perfect couple to act as Lily's guardian, Jay and Mitchell host try-outs for the obvious picks: Jay and Gloria, Phil and Claire, or Cam's podunk Missouri relatives.

Phil and Claire get off to a bad start—pans are burning, Hailey and Claire are yelling, Luke tries juggling with knives ... things are chaotic. Jay and Gloria might have a better shot, but Cam is suspicious because of Mitchell's dad issues.

Enter this week's lesson: What makes a good parent?

Phil and Claire mess things up when Claire hauls Luke to the psychiatrist because he "gets distracted" (read: probably has ADD). None of this bodes well for their shot at the guardian position. Did they mess up Luke? Are they wrong for wanting to medicate Luke? Probably both. But, that's parenting: you mess up your kids and then try to fix them and probably mess them up more in the process.

Cam and Mitchell aren't convinced—Phil and Claire are out, they have far more offenses than their competitors. But then, Jay berates Manny in public and Gloria drills holes into Lily's ears.

More bad parenting?

No. That's just how this parenting thing works.

So, who do they choose? Well, after Claire and Phil abandon Luke in the shrink's parking lot, they're not even in the running. But, Cam isn't sold on Jay and Gloria either. He has a problem: he wants perfect guardians, which of course, do not exist.

Eventually, we see that despite his parenting the first time around, Jay handles Manny's eccentricities well—he treats him like an adult, but coddles him at just the right moments. The lesson seems obvious here: Nobody is a perfect parent, but experience has its benefits.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Rebecca Greenfield is a writer based in Brooklyn. She was formerly on staff at The Atlantic Wire.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

Just In