10 Crazy Parenting Lessons From The Real Housewives

A tongue-in-cheek look at what the reality vixens taught us.
- Cathy Hale (MommyQ), BettyConfidential.com

The Real Housewives phenomena has proven to be quite a journey through motherhood. The combined shows boast over 10 million fans. From the blonde ladies of Orange County to the feisty brunettes of New Jersey and the upscale mommies of Manhattan, each woman has her moments on national television. That can't be easy. I think most moms would agree, we certainly make mistakes and most of us would rather not have that footage captured forever.

It's funny how we get to see the housewives in full "woo hoo" Vicki mode one minute, guzzling down Martinis and spanking each other's butts, and then the tired mommy mode, fixing breakfast and putting in hair clips. I found it interesting how much parenting we saw on The Real Housewives of New Jersey because of Teresa's young girls and the fact that Jacqueline's daughter Ashley was involved in most of the drama.

What have we learned from the Real Housewives? Let's take a look:

1. Have your children go outside before you toss a table. At least Teresa had the courtesy to tell all the young kids to leave the dinner table prior to shoving it and flipping it. In retrospect, Danielle should've asked her kids to leave too. I think the only one who enjoyed that travesty was Joe, Teresa's hubby. He actually seemed a little bit turned one by it. Now that's true love, people.

2. Don't bring your cell phone to family dinners. How about the special family dinner at the diner when Danielle's daughter mentioned that a "friend" of her mother's had gossiped about Danielle's efforts to find her own real mother. Suddenly Danielle was outside on the phone, while her daughters sipped their milkshakes alone at the table. I felt so sorry for those girls. Couldn't Danielle wait until after dinner to vent?

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3. Pulling hair is okay as long as you do it to protect your family. I don't think anyone will soon forget the episode when Ashley pulled out Danielle's hair extensions, adding insult to injury during an extremely volatile situation. I was really shocked when Caroline stood up for Ashley, saying she was protecting her family. Ripping the hair out of someone's head seems pretty wrong to me, and not at all protective. Maybe Ashley needs a refresher course in manners, which leads me to the next parenting tidbit.

4. Teenage girls love getting etiquette advice from Countesses. Kidding! I laughed out loud when Countess LuAnn, of The Real Housewives of New York, offered etiquette lessons during lunch with her daughter and her friends. She told them to put their napkins in their laps and chew with their mouths closed. Wow, that's groundbreaking advice for teenagers. I have a feeling they already knew that, Lulu, but it was nice of you to condescend them.

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5. When all else fails, write an offbeat parenting book. Jill Zarin wrote Secrets of a Jewish Mother, Danielle Staub wrote The Naked Truth, Alex McCord and hubby Simon wrote Little Kids, Big City: Tales From a Real House in New York City, NeNe Leakes penned Never Make the Same Mistake Twice, Countess LuAnn wrote Class With the Countess. It takes plenty of paper to extend 15 minutes of fame into 16 minutes, huh?

6. Going to the mall is the best way to repair a relationship. Do you remember when Lynne couldn't seem to get along with her daughter, Alexa, so she took her to the mall to mend things? It was a totally awkward outing and they ended up fighting about Lynne's cuff bracelets. Alexa actually threw one on the table to which Lynne replied, "That's really nice that you treat my cuffs that way." Um, it's not about the cuffs.

7. Good children go under the knife with their parents. Lynne did it with her daughter Alexa . Maybe that's the new family tradition. Forget scrapbooking and cooking together, let's get some surgery! Then we can fight with each other minus all facial expression.

8. When life hands you lemons, hand it lots of hair bows. I will never forget Teresa's suitcase of hair accessories for her girls and that huge animal print flower on her newborn's head. The hair frock was bigger than her baby!

9. If you get your attractive girlfriend (Gretchen) really really drunk ("naked wasted") at your home in an attempt to embarrass her, your 20-something son (Ryan) will probably try to hook up with her. Who's embarrassed now?

10. A very lengthy, incredibly awkward hug fixes everything. It doesn't matter if you toss a table at someone, or press charges against your friend's daughter or stalk them or get stalked or write a tell-all book or call someone's husband gay, a big bear hug erases it all. Maybe.

Cathy Hale is a nationally recognized writer and the voice of MommyQ, a mom blog with celebrity and fashion spin. She lives in Austin, TX, with her husband and two rambunctious young sons. Cathy is also a contributing reporter for Us Weekly and writes for Babble.

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