How do we love Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos? Let us count the ways. For one thing, they contain multitudes. Consuelos may look tough (or at least he can certainly bench-press his enemies) but he’s secretly a softie. Meanwhile, Ripa manages to be hilarious and delightful on-air while IRL she’s beyond thoughtful, and one tough cookie. I mean, she has to be: Parenting can be beyond difficult sometimes. But Ripa isn’t alone in turning to tough love, as so many of us do. Why? Because we want to raise smart, kind kids who grow into respectful adults.
Below are a few of our favorite choice Kelly and Mark parenting moments, because the parents of three may be super famous, but they’re also super relatable.
She wears college swag…on her ear
Oh wow. This is very special. Yes, that’s a purple NYU tassel dangling from Ripa’s ear. In her Instagram post congratulating son Michael Consuelos on graduating from NYU this year, Ripa and Papa Consuelos donned quite a bit of NYU swag for the occasion. Embarrassing? Perhaps. Adorable? Definitely.
Thou shalt not judge Parent Fashion by Regular Fashion standards.
People need to give parents a break, okay? At an event this week for Win NYC, Ripa and Consuelos admitted to People that their daughter Lola is “mortified” by their fashion choices. And that’s totally fine by them.
“She’s cool. She’s really cool. She’s always been cool,” Consuelos explained, saying that he and Ripa “have nothing to do with” said coolness.
“We have nothing to do with it literally because she’s mortified by everything we put on,” Ripa added. “She just feels that what I wear is embarrassing and awful. But then I think that means I’ve gotten something right. I don’t think your teenage daughters should like what you’re wearing.”
Their kids never “outgrow” family meals (or twinning with Dad).
Ripa captioned this week’s pic of Consuelos and their sons on a family pizza date, “Triplets in Brooklyn,” and we couldn’t agree more.
They never lose their sense of humor (or their photobomb radar).
Ripa cracks us up on the regular, but her post of this family photo of her darling daughter being photobombed is particularly spectacular.
They aren’t afraid to embarrass the kids… often.
Every parent embarrasses their kid. I mean, it’s something of a rite of passage. But Kelly Ripa does so on a regular basis because she doesn’t give a damn what others think. Case in point: Her social media feed, which is often full of sexy photos… like this one, which caused her daughter to cringe.
Now before you get on your high horse and say, “oh no, not me, I can’t relate to that at all” consider those fuzzy slippers you wore to drop-off or that mom-boogie move you busted out at the school dance. Yeah, you’ve embarrassed your littles. You definitely have.
They teach their kids that tech is a privilege…
Ripa has discussed her family’s “no phones policy” several times on Live. The talk show host does not allow phones at the dinner table, and her kids cannot use them while they complete their homework or study. But Ripa will also take her children’s phones away if they act up. In an interview with Wendy Williams, Ripa explained that she and Consuelos “will give you [our kids] certain freedom[s],” but those freedoms are not a right.
On an episode of Live, Ripa admitted she does not allow her kids to take their devices to bed. “The kids know, at bedtime, they are to hand me their devices because there have been studies that it keeps kids awake even when they’re not on. It keeps them up — just the anxiety.” Truth (for us adults, too).
…and that parents are not “your friends.”
While some parents long to have a BFF relationship with their littles, Ripa does not. During a 2014 interview, the talk show host told Wendy Williams that her attitude towards her three kids is “I’m not your friend; I’m your mom.”
They don’t worry if their kids dislike them — for awhile.
This one may seem harsh, but Ripa’s reasoning makes a lot of sense. “I just feel an obligation as her mom to keep her living in the real world,” Ripa told Williams. “I don’t care who you are or what you do; if you’re a mom, you’re a mom.”
They have sex. And they are parents. Deal with it.
Sex is natural. I mean, this writer has sex. You’ve probably had sex, and — yes — parents have sex, as evidenced by this hilarious incident when Ripa’s daughter Lola walked in on her and Consuelos getting it on (on Lola’s 18th birthday, no less. Wups). And while yes, it’s awkward and somewhat awful to catch your parents in the act, sex is nothing to be ashamed of.
They get that snooping can sometimes be warranted.
Privacy is a hot-button issue, and just how much privacy you should — or should not — give your child continues to be debated. (And by far wiser men and women than me.) But Ripa admits she reads her kids’ texts, scrolls through their social media accounts, and snoops around their rooms.
They limit junk food. Wait, that’s not actually relatable.
Okay, this last point may not be super relatable — I personally have a drawer full of candy, cookies, chips, dips and sweets at my house — but kudos to Ripa for instilling healthy eating habits in her kids.
A version of this story was originally published in June 2019.
Mark Consuelos is just one of our favorite (feminist) celeb dads.