weebly statistics
Home About Links Contacts Show Show

TV Recap & Review: “World’s Strictest Parents”

by Amanda on April 20, 2009
category: Pop culture

wsplogo Recap

This weekend CMT premiered its newest show “World’s Strictest Parents” (WSP). The show documents the experience of two troubled teens adapting to new rules and consequences with a “strict” set of parents for the week. The hope is that the teens will learn respect and come out better people by the end of the week. In the first episode the Vinton family hosts teenagers, Brittani and Ivan.

17-year-old Brittani drinks, parties, has face piercings, smokes, and talks back to her mom. She lives with her brother and her mom in California. Brittani’s mom, Dawn, says that “words are more hurtful than physical abuse” and wonders where the happy, joking daughter she used to know went. She hopes this week will bring some good changes in her daughter’s life.

Next we meet 15-year-old Ivan from Jamica Queens, NY. His single mother, Maria, has a hard time getting him to do his school work and worries about his friends. Ivan also smokes, lies, and hangs out with guys who fight. He claims that “they are not going to change me.”

“They” are Lisa and Scott Vinton who have a blended family and have three kids, Holly – 21, Travis – 19, and Jeff – 18. When Brittani and Ivan first arrive they laid down the ground rules – no lying, no drinking, no smoking, no face piercings, no slamming of doors, no TV or phone after bedtime which is around 9:00 pm, and they have to do chores. As expected the teens don’t like the rules. Brittani gives up some of her cigarettes and Ivan lies about them. Both are eventually caught lying and have to face the consequences. Brittani gets her phone taken away and they remove the door from Ivan’s room. They also ask Ivan for his lighter.

chess Ivan refuses to give up his lighter and has a sit-out on the couch in protest. Scott goes to sit with him and talks it out. They remain there for an hour until Ivan eventually gives it up. During this time Ivan feels like Scott really “gets him” more than Lisa. By the end of the week Ivan and Scott are male bonding over a chess game where the loser has to jump in the pool. You can really tell that Ivan responded to a guy paying attention to him and building him up.

Brittani and Lisa but heads over the No Piercing rule. Eventually Lisa gives in and seeks to understand Brittani. Lisa includes Brittani on her radio show and asks her to do a teen segment. Brittani talks about judging other people and asks Lisa why she let her keep her piercings in that day. Lisa explains how beautiful she is without them and how people’s view of her is different with them. They hug and you can see Brittani starting to open up with Lisa.

On Day 4 the teens receive letters from their moms and visit a Food Bank. Lisa wants to teach the kids that “it isn’t always about them.” The show concludes with their moms coming to pick up their kids at the Vinton’s home. (I wondered why the Vintons told the teens their parents were coming rather than having a surprise greeting at the door.)

Each teen has a debriefing session with the Vintons and their mom. Brittani decides that she wants to help more around the house and appreciates her mom a lot more. Ivan also comes to appreciate his mom more and he is encouraged to work on not lying and to take control of his life. The Vintons are passionate about honesty and integrity. At the end of the episode you can tell that both teens are changed and you hope that they make good choices with their future.


I may not have become a fan of the show, but I have become a fan of the Vinton family. I expected to watch a crazy, irrational, militant family, but I never saw it. They never raised their voice and they didn’t debate with the teens. My husband and I really liked how their chore list was taped to the teen’s door, so they don’t have any excuses about what they were expected to do. Also, their philosphy is that “teens can’t think past the end of their nose, so they need parents.” They don’t expect teens to fully comprehend the consequences of their actions. For every house rule they had, they had a consequence and it was enforced. Overall, the show is not very entertaining and the conflicts are contrived, but as a parent the show is interesting to watch.

7 Responses to TV Recap & Review: “World’s Strictest Parents”

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Lisa Vinton
    April 20, 2009 @ 9:45 am

    Thank you for your kind words and compliment of my family! We continue to recieve emails from parents and teens around the U.S. sharing their interest in the show. One young man of 15 wrote me that it has changed the way he treats his parents – and for the better! As you can imagine, so much of the week is not in the 1 hour show, but I can assure you that it was quite exhausting! LOL! We learned a lot about ourselves, as well, and the production crew was amazing! We couldn’t have done it without their professionalism, great attitude and amazing work ethic. Oh, and the reason we told Brittani and Ivan before their parents came to pick them up was so that they could pack and get ready – since we all actually thought they were leaving the following day! It was a nice surprise twist and we are happy to have been a part of the experience! Thank you again and enjoy your week! Lisa Vinton

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Pamela Kramer
    April 20, 2009 @ 9:57 am

    Now I have to go find out where this couple is from. From your post they sound like they might be from the south. Thanks for sharing about the show. Maybe I can catch an episode.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Nadine
    April 28, 2009 @ 6:32 pm

    I caught only a portion of your program “Worlds Strictest Parents” this afternoon on CMT. I wish I could send the Vinton’s my son. He is basically a great kid. I can’t get him to take responsibility for his LIFE! He is flunking every class & doesn’t seem to mind. It bothers me more that he has fallen behind his classmates. His self esteem is very low. He doesn’t drink, do drugs or smoke. For that I am very grateful. Wish I knew how to get his attention in a way I could afford.

  • Gravatar April 29, 2009 @ 2:24 pm

    I enjoyed the show and I think it was a good episode because it not only helps teens act better with their regular families but also is a better alternative to the jailhouse. The teens would rather go live with strict parents for one week than be sent to jail or juvenile hall for months or possilbly years. The Worlds Strictest Parents also gives the teens a chance to learn about other people and their ways of life because one cannot live with other people without learning anything from them. I thought what Scott said about lying really interested me. He said that lying takes away from who one is and how other people see one and it will be hard for one to be trusted ever in the future because they lied so much. Ivan was very stubborn and reluctant to give up the lighter and scott showed Ivan that he could be just as stubborn. I don’t blame you about the face piercings on Britanni because people with extra piercings is not only mutilating themselves but also people with extra piercings are more subject and prone to having infections as well. I like where you took the teens to the food pantry to help the homeless and the less fortunate. It should help the teens to learn more on how to help other people as well. Great show! Marina

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Bethany
    June 1, 2009 @ 3:50 pm

    Lisa Vinton’s response to Brittani’s question about her piercings was “I think you’re pretty without them and I just felt like that was taking away from that and I really wanted to see them gone so I could see past them.”

    Lisa wasn’t parenting — she was projecting her own narrow standards of beauty onto Brittani, and then demanding that she removes her piercings for the Lisa’s own aesthetic comfort.

    Brittani may or may not have her own problems, but these parents need to confront their own issues with control and close-mindedness before they seek to hold themselves up as ideal parents on a national network.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Dorothy
    June 7, 2009 @ 10:50 pm

    I agree with Bethany, and I believe the child’s problems are only a heavy reflection of the parents’ behaviour. I spanked my kids when they were really young, I was direct and honest with them, I didn’t try to control or press them anymore than I had to, I explained what I could, kept my distance- but was there for them when they asked. I’ll admit, my son became a social drinker his junior year and got a ticket his senior year. My daughter started having sex her sophmore year with her boyfriend. He never got arrested or addicted, he never changed how he treated us or slipped in his grades. She didn’t get any pregnancy scares or a reputation, and I gave her condoms and birth control pills. After several discussion between me, my daughter and her boyfriend, I decided that it was her choice to make and I could either raise Hell in vain, or keep her safe. Maybe we were lucky; but my point is that you don’t need to restrict kids to the limit. It should be a give-and-take. Part of that is that you have to consider their strengths and weaknesses, their goals and desires etc. as much as they must consider your advice, your needs, and your resources. I understand that some kids can’t be trusted and have extreme authority and drug issues- but this is not the norm. These kids experienced severe disfunction in ther upbringing and were not raised to properly understand the world or how they are connected to the rest of the world(I’m not saying that justifies their behaviour). Every child is different, every parent is different- and we’re all human. The kids aren’t animals and we aren’t saints.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Tiffany
    June 24, 2009 @ 9:22 pm

    I love this show and am taking a lot of notes about parenting as I currently am a parent of 2 kids under 3. I was raised in a single parent home with a very strict mother, as strict as these parents are. While I may have thought she was too strict while I was in high school, both my sister and I are now grateful for the great values that were instilled in us as they’ve served us well in life. One of the things I truly appreciate about all these parents on the show is that they truly care about these kids. They want them to succeed in life and frankly, these kids are not on the right path to do that. I hope ( but am not overly confident ) that these kids truly learned something from the show and their parents learn something as well to keep these kids on the right path.


Blog Ads: