What is Real Families?
Real Families is a unique, field-documentary reality television show about the most important – and most difficult – job in the world…parenting.
Real Families is a window into the private lives of families from all walks of life. The viewer is allowed to peek in as noted developmental psychologist Dr. Michael Weiss helps families solve common but troubling childrearing issues. Candid interviews and family scenes taped with hidden cameras allow the viewer to be a fly on the wall, watching as Dr. Weiss and the families collaborate on tough childrearing concerns. The viewer has the opportunity to follow along in both the progress and setbacks typical in any real-life problem-solving situation. Indeed, it’s seeing both what does and what does not “work” for the family – along with the sometimes shocking hidden camera view – that makes Real Families so “real”. However, through persistence and intelligence Dr. Weiss and the families find a path that helps transform difficult family problems into manageable solutions. The result is parents who feel successful and children who feel good about themselves.
Raising kids to be happy and healthy, competent members of society is a challenging, sometimes overwhelming task. Parents are often at the end of their rope. However, Dr. Weiss helps families find their footing by demonstrating how to balance warmth and unconditional love, high expectations for the kids, being credible, and using meaningful consequences for children’s behavior. Inevitably all see that this leads to kids who like and respect themselves. Children find their moral code – as opposed to simply following the rules to please someone.
In episodes dealing with issues ranging from kids who don’t listen, managing tantrums and sibling battles, to crying babies and angry teenagers, viewers and parents on-screen learn childrearing techniques and see their effect on the child simultaneously. Depressed children gain confidence in themselves and in their world, and high-energy kids learn to control their bodies and their impulses. Dr. Weiss shows parents how to balance affection, attention, and praise with a tough attitude about following the rules. He is strict, but he’s fun. Kids learn very quickly that they can either have a blast or be blasted. Both kids and parents “eat it up”.
Real Families has aired for its fifth season on the Life Network in Canada and has been broadcasted in diverse countries including Japan, China, Australia, Israel, Belgium, Finland, Portugal, the U.K., and the U.S. This TV series is original and heartwarming, upbeat yet profound and intelligent. Viewers walk away with useful, practical information about raising kids and being in a family, yet most people watch because they are enchanted by these real stories and the show’s down-to-earth host.
Real Families…it’s about real life.
Here is a list of episode numbers and titles by topic.
General issues of kids not listening
- 0101 Overview of Common Problems (Family 1, three boys ages 16-months, 3, & 5 years; Family 2, focus on 5 year old boy).
- 0102 My Kids Won’t Listen to Me! (Family 1, 5 year old boy; Family 2, single mom with 5 & 8 year old girls).
- 0108 Morning Routine (Family 1, 5-year old girl, 8-year old boy; Family 2, single mom with girls ages 7, 11, & 13, and boys ages 5 & 10).
- 0111 My Child’s Favorite Word Is ‘No’! (Family with focus on the 2 year old).
- 0209 A Mom Who Just Wants To Tune Out Her Wild Boys (Family with two boys ages 2 and 4).
- 0306 Bicycles, Safety and Listening to Parents (Family with 6 year old boy).
- 0402 Babysitting demanding children (Family with 6 ½ year old boy and 4 ½ year old girl, and their au paire.
- 0404 A Boy who won’t listen to his mother (Family with 5 ½ year old boy and 2 year old girl).
- 0510 Developing 5 year old independence (Family of 5 year old boy and 3 year old daughter, focus on 5 year old)
- 0511 The “drama king” and pushing for childhood maturity (family of 5 year old boy and 2 year old girl, focus on 5 year old boy)
- 0512 Homework (Single mom and 9 year old son)
- 0103 Time for Bed (Family 1, single mom with 5 & 8 year old girls; Family 2, 5 year old boy).
- 0207 Things That Go Bump in the Night (Family with two boys ages 2 and 4).
- 0212 Fights through the night (Family with focus on 2 year old girl).
- 0301 Frantic Bedtime! (Family with 2 ½ year old boy and 4 year old girl).
- 0307 Nighttime: little brother wants to sleep with big sister (Family with 5 year old boy and 7 year old girl)
- 0502 Nik-at-night (Family with four kids ages 10, 8 ½, 4 ½ and 2)
Whining, Arguing, Demanding & Stubborn Kids
- 0104 Whining and Arguing (Family 1, focus on 5 year old girl; Family 2, focus on 8year old girl).
- 0206 Digging in them heels….. my stubborn kids make me lose it! (Family with focus on 3 year old girl).
- 0210 Ask Nicely Please (Family with focus on 4 year old boy).
- 0406 Confronting a really stubborn 2-year old (Pregnant Mom with 4 ½ year old boy and 2 ½ year old girl).
- 0408 Who’s the BOSS! (Family with 6 ½ year old boy and 4 ½ year old girl).
- 0507 Parental Crowd-Control (Family with four kids ages 10, 8 ½, 4 ½ and 2)
Clinginess & Overdependence
- 0105 Toddler Over-dependence (Family with focus on 2 year old boy).
- 0311 A Twenty-Month-Old Tyrant (Family with 3½ & 6 year old girls and 20-month old boy).
- 0312 Boundaries: when mom needs some space from the kids (Family with 2 year old boy and 4 year old girl).
- 0410 Pregnant single mom managing two clingy toddlers (Single pregnant Mom with 3 ½ and 2 ½ year old boys).
- 0106 Rules for the Whole Finicky Family (Family with 8 & 4 year old girls and 7 & 5 year old boys).
- 0310 Dinner Time with a Finicky 3 1/2-Year Old (Family with 3½ & 6 year old girls and 20-month old boy).
- 0403 Dinnertime with a 3-year old who refuses to eat (Family with 3 ½ year old girl, 2 year old boy and 2-week old girl).
- 0413 Confronting childhood obesity (Family with 6 ½ and 5 ½ year old boys).
- 0504 Dinner behavior and promoting maturity ( Family with 4 year old boy and 2 ½ year old girl).
- 0107 Tantrums (Family 1, two boys ages 2 & 4, Family 2, four kids with a focus on the 7 year old boy).
- 0202 Confronting Tantrums (Family with two girls ages 2 and 3).
- 0501 Tantrums (Family with 2 boys ages 3 ½ and 2 years old)
Life Out in Public
- 0109 Car Rides & Store Behavior (Family1, boys 16-months, 3 & 5; Family 2, 2-year old boy).
- 0205 Bolting in Public (Family 1, two boys ages 2 & 4; Family 2, 4 year old boy).
- 0401 Two-year old tantrums in the grocery store (Family with 3 boys ages 8, 5 and 2 ½).
- 0110 Toilet Training: Simply “how-to” (Family with 2 year old boy).
- 0112 Nighttime Wetting & Regression (Family 1, 5-year old boy at night; Family 2: 2 ½year old boy regressing).
- 0305 Toilet Training a Stubborn Boy (Family with focus on the 2 ½-year old boy).
- 0405 Toilet training a very stubborn 3 ½-year old who refuses to even sit on the toilet (Single pregnant Mom with 2 boys ages 3 ½ and 2).
When Adults Disagree: Getting on the Same Page
- 0113 Wait until Daddy Gets Home (Family with 5 year old boy, 9 & 11 year old girls).
- 0203 Working as a Team (Family 1, two boys ages 4 & 7; Family 2, 5 year old boy, & 2 year old girl).
- 0304 Parents Who Argue (Family with two girls 4 and 7 years old).
- 0309 Let Kids be Kids (Family with two girls 4 and 7 years old).
- 0411 Getting to work on time when your 5 1/2-year old won’t get out of bed & the 5 ½ year old boy and 2 year old girl).
- 0503 Divorce and managing behavior across two households (Family with 6 year old girl and 3 ½ year old boy).
- 0509 The dilemma of when mother(s) know best (Family of 4 year old boy and 2 year old girl, focus on grandmother and mother)
Sibling Battles: When Brothers, Sisters & Peers Don’t Get Along
- 0201 Sibling Battles: Learning Rules of Cooperation (Family 1; Two boys, ages 4 & 7. Family 2; Two girls ages 2 & 3).
- 0204 My Son….the Bully (Family with focus on 5 year old boy).
- 0308 Sibling Battles: Boys always fighting it out! (Family with 2 boys ages 6 & 9-years old).
- 0412 Toddlers who fight: how to stop hitting (Family with 3 ½ year old girl, 2 year old girl and 2-week old girl).
- 0506 Teaching brotherly negotiation (Family with 3 ½ and 2 year old boys)
Managing New Babies
- 0208 Twin Additions to the Family … Crying in Stereo (Family with twin 4-month olds).
- 0303 Baby Nighttime!(Family with 2 month old baby).
- 0211 The Cost of Teenage Freedom (Family with two girls ages 13 & 16).
- 0213 Rules of Teenage Conduct (Family with two girls ages 13 & 16).
- 0302 Space and Respect (Family with focus on 12-year old boy).
- 0313 Teenage Freedom (Family with focus on 15 year old boy).
- 0508 Rules, teens and the reality of a blended family (family of 4 ages 17, 13, 15 and 13)
Topics in Developmental Disabilities
- 0407 Getting an autistic 5-year old to sleep alone in his own bed (Family with 6 ½ and 5 ½ year old boys).
- 0409 My toddler won’t talk, but he sure can scream! (Family with three boys ages 8, 5 and 2 ½).
- 0505 Over-coming Autism (Family with 4 ½ year old son)
- 0513 Julia’s Story, Autistic behaviors ( Family with 10 year old girl)