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Mom defends letting her 2-year-old watch ‘Real Housewives' reality TV show

"She loves to hear the tea.”
Mom defends letting her 2-year-old watch ‘RHONJ’
Laken Rand's toddler is allowed to watch reality TV.Courteous Jake Rand
/ Source: TODAY

The mom of a toddler who watches "Real Housewives of New Jersey" says the "mom-shaming mafia" can take a hike.

"Screen time is bad for children,'" Laken Rand, a mother in Massachusetts wrote on a TikTok video with 2.5 million views. "My 2 year old catching up on RHONJ ('Real Housewives of New Jersey') after school. She loves to hear the tea."

Rand showed her daughter watching a season 4 episode of the Bravo reality show on her iPad, while eating and wearing sunglasses.

Rand tells she deleted comments that said she was "ruining" her child's brain cells with reality television.

“It was unnecessary,” says Rand, asking to omit her daughter’s name for privacy.

Scores of TikTokers said the little fan has good taste.

  • "This child is gonna have the BEST comebacks at school learning from RHONJ."
  • "This is soooo cute! My daughter does the same but with 'Mob Wives.'"
  • "This isn’t screen time, this is education."
  • "She’s studying the cultural differences in friendship and family dynamics across America."
  • "Snacks and sunglasses, she’s a whole vibe."
  • "LOL, my son watches 'Farmer Finds a Wife' and 'Jersey Shore Family Vacation.'"
  • "Who needs Ms. Rachel when you have Andy Cohen and the Housewives!!!"
  • "My daughter went through a 'Dateline' phase right after she turned 3."

"Real Housewives of Orange County" star Tamra Judge wrote under Rand's video, "This is hilarious," while the Bravo TikTok account added, "She’s just doing her #BravoTV homework!"

Rand, a daycare worker, tells that her daughter's favorite TV shows are "Bluey" and Mickey Mouse content. If Rand is watching her favorite show “The Real Housewives of New Jersey," however, so is her daughter.

"She has watched 'Real Housewives' since she was a baby," says Rand. "It was my comfort show while on maternity leave ... I was a stay-at-home mom for a year and we'd have it on in the background all the time."

"We're Team Melissa (Gorga)," adds Rand of the New Jersey star.

Rand recorded another TikTok video dedicated to the "mom-shaming mafia."

"They are loud and proud," she said in the video. "I'm just here to remind everyone that the way I parent my daughter ... I am the best mom that I can be for my child. And you, my little love, are the best ... mom you can be to your babies."

Rand continued, "We just need to accept and respect that other people's lives are different. And once we come to that realization ... maybe we'll ... collide and then moms will stop hating each other and we can all be friends."

What's the harm in kids watching reality television, rife with drama, arguments and partying?

"One concern would be any adult themes that children are exposed to without the cognitive capacity to fully understand what's going on," Erika Stapert of Manhattan Psychology Group tells

"There's also the modeling aspect, even if people in the child's home aren't arguing," says Stapert.

She endorses "educational content that matches the developmental level of a child. The absence of that, she says, can leave young children "feeling discombobulated." 

If children consume reality TV, parents could clarify on-screen conflict, Stapert suggests.

"When there's arguing, say to your child, 'Those people look really angry at each other. When I'm angry, I try to talk to someone calmly and express my feelings,'" says Stapert. "Talk about what you agree or disagree with and how you would handle it differently."