Watching: Who is the best parent on Modern Family?


You have seen it at least once even if you aren’t crazy about it; or you have seen all the reruns like I have. I have recently needed some marathon tv comedy to distract myself from my knee’s torn meniscus now awaiting surgery.  I have asked myself the question, Who is the best parent on Modern Family?  Is the answer No One?  That’s not fair.  You have to accept the premise of the show: that they are all crazy, wonderful and hilarious parents who are leading the rest of the country with their acceptance of differences into the 21st century…right?

Here is my analysis…and the eventual winner:

Phil Dunphy, husband of Claire and father to Haley, Alex and Luke, wants to be ‘cool dad’.  Claire refers to him as ‘the kid I’m married to’.  Phil calls his special brand of parenting as ‘peerenting‘.  Phil has hopes for his oldest daughter, Haley, and he feels that the sky is the limit for her. If she can dream it, she can do it! Or as Phil actually says, “Haley is so pretty. So she can meet someone who’s the best at something.” He is too much of a child for me to give him the award.

Mitchell, fiance to Cameron, and father to Lily, is an overprotective and cautious father, who becomes terrified when a pidgeon flies in the house.  Mitchell is a great dad, admitting his weaknesses and saying, “I know I’m not the handiest guy, but I’m still a man, and I want to be able to look out into my yard and say, ‘There’s a little bit of me in that princess castle.’ He is a cool brother to Claire and a calming influence on Cam, but he is not the parent of the year.

Cameron is a stay at home dad who has been known to use Lily as a prop for photos and has taught her some provocative language. He loves being a dad, but he might like costumes more:

20 Reasons "Modern Family's" Cameron Tucker Is A Total Gem
20 Reasons "Modern Family's" Cameron Tucker Is A Total Gem
20 Reasons "Modern Family's" Cameron Tucker Is A Total Gem


Claire is an exhausted but loving mother, competitive and freaks out easily, very strict about having a clean house, and doesn’t want to make the mistakes she made as a teen. Cameron and Mitchell see her as an experienced parent. She is the dependable one everyone relies on.  Claire tells us, “Your kids don’t need to know who you were before you had them; they need to know who you wish you were, and try to live up to that person. They’re gonna fall short, but better they fall short of the fake you than the real you.”

Maybe she’s stubborn, maybe she’s self-righteous and maybe she never lets things go, but everyone in the family knows that Claire is the one you can go to for help. She can flip a house, help you with your presentation for Career Day, bail you out of jail and slow down traffic in your neighborhood. And when she’s not around , the kids don’t know who to go to with their problems. Everyone could use a Claire in their life.

Gloria  is extremely supportive to Manny, loves the family, especially Lily because she has always wanted a daughter.  She is so cool that she forces the children to party against their will.

Whoever heard of a mom reprimanding their kids to enjoy the party?

Jay is mild mannered and sensible, has always had problems with Mitchell being gay but has gotten over that; he is occasionally compassionate especially towards Manny, and seems to love his dog Stella more than his new baby Joe.  Jay is better at talking to his kids than actually showing them affection, but when it’s pointed out that he hasn’t given his grown son Mitchell a kiss since Mitchell was 12, he lets his guard down, saying to his son (with arms wide open), “Don’t be coy. What are you waiting for, a box of chocolates? Let’s do this!”  Jay Pritchett just might take the cake when — for the zillionth time — he fills in for stepson Manny’s absentee dad (as is often the case, Manny’s deadbeat dad doesn’t show up for a planned day with his son), Jay takes the kid to Disneyland saying, “Sometimes fathers just need to show up.”

For me the votes are coming in with a close tie between Claire, Gloria and Jay.  I have polled my friends, and I have to agree… the edge goes to Jay Pritchett.  What do you think?


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jerry Polon
    Feb 10, 2014 @ 00:02:06

    Are you kiddin’? Jay of course. How can you forget when Claire drove Haley out to a mountain spot and abandoned her there to provide H with an obstacle to overcome for her college essay question. No one would pass on the chance to bury their troubles in Gloria’s bosom, though her advice might not be too helpful. To tell the truth, I wouldn’t want to be Jay’s son either, with his difficulty with closeness. But then he does seem to grow with his failures, and does try to be softer, like with Mitchell and Manny. Now Manny– he might have the most parenting potential of the group. Certainly not Luke or wicked little Lily! Hmmm… maybe Jay’s dog.



  2. phernhunt
    Feb 10, 2014 @ 00:18:03

    So you do agree with me, that of the whole parenting bunch, Jay is the best. He is definitely not a good parent, but he comes the closest of the Modern Family bunch. And, yes, I just saw the rerun where Claire abandoned Haley on top of the mountain to give her a life obstacle to write about in her college essay. Manny is my favorite character on the show.



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