Kelly Ripa may be fun and bubbly on TV while sitting in her Live chair, but she's anything but carefree at home. When it comes to raising her three kids, she runs a tight ship, shamelessly snooping on their phones and controlling their every move.
But with her kids nearly all reaching adulthood, there won't be too many of them left to control once the last one leaves the nest. So far, only her son Michael is 21 years old, but the others are still in their teens: her only daughter is 17 years old, while her other son is 15 years old. We can only imagine what's going to happen to the father of her children, Mark Consuelos, once there are no kids left to raise.
While some of Kelly's rules make sense, others are rather extreme. And this coming from the woman who famously said:
"I think children are like pancakes: You sort of ruin the first one, and you get better at it the second time around."
Despite her philosophy on having kids, it's actually her second child Lola who has obviously been giving her the most trouble. It's clear as day that all of Kelly's rules are actually in effect because of her!
20 Your Phone Is A Privilege
Nowadays, everyone sees cell phones as a necessity, especially teens who need one to keep up with the latest school gossip via Instagram and Snapchat. That's all fine and dandy, but not if you're Kelly Ripa's kid.
No matter who sits beside her in the Live chair, she has been relentlessly vocal about her "no phones" policy. Not only are phones not allowed at the dinner table, but she also doesn't hesitate to confiscate them the moment anything happens. Bad grades? Not listening? Home late? Bye bye phone without a single warning. In a way, this is good parenting in our age of crazy social media, but in another, it might be argued that she's way too strict.
19 She'll Find The Burner Phone Too
But don't worry because Kelly is also a super in-tune mom who realizes that anyone can have a burner phone now. Sounds like someone has been watching her husband on Riverdale a little too much, probably with a touch of Pretty Little Liars.
In a segment with Megyn Kelly, the mom of three explained how to argue with a teen:
"It starts with me tossing the room like a prison warden because I know there's a hidden device that I haven't found yet. I know, because I just know. So I find the hidden cell phone that is buried underneath a pillow, deep within the bed, below the thing, underneath the thing, plugged a thing and I go 'an iPhone 2?!' And I confiscate it."
18 Different Rules For Daughter Than Sons
Throughout everything that Kelly has ever said about her parenting strategies, one major trend stands out: all of her techniques appears to revolve around her daughter's challenging behavior.
It's very rare that Kelly ever has anything bad to say about her sons Michael and Joaquin, but the same can't be said about Lola, who is often the target of her mom's criticism.
"Lola challenges me," revealed Kelly in an interview with WebMD, elaborating, "My sons are forever happy to see me" -- toy stores notwithstanding -- "and they're snuggly and cuddly. With Lola, everything is up for debate. Everything is a conversation."
17 She Only Controls Her Daughter's Wardrobe
Not only is everything a conversation with her daughter, but Kelly also has strict rules about what Lola can or can't wear.
"First thing in the morning, it's a major discussion about what she's going to wear. I've learned to give her limited options: ‘You can wear this or this.' That's what works best," she told WebMD.
Kelly is obviously scared of the latest teen clothing trends of crop tops, tight clothing and revealing outfits in general, but there is something to be said about how restrictive parenting can have a nefarious effect on a child's development. Sometimes, it's good to give kids creative freedom, too.
16 'Mom' Is Not Your Friend
Kelly Ripa has been very vocal about how, simply put, she just doesn't care if her kids don't like her. Her views on parenting are very straightforward: "I'm not your friend, I'm your mom," she told Wendy Williams in an interview when talking about motherhood.
“I just feel an obligation as her mom to keep her living in the real world. I don’t care who you are or what you do, if you’re a mom, you’re a mom.”
It's clear that Kelly may have been a teensy-weensy scared of the teenage years, as she had also added, "If you don't set limits and boundaries for your kids early on, and that means not giving into every temper tantrum, then later on, once they're teens it's too late."
The real reason for these boundaries is, undoubtedly, because her daughter Lola has been the problem child from the start.
15 Kelly Doesn't Care If Lola Dislikes Her
Most parents will get upset if their kids yell that they don't love them anymore, or refuse to hug them (this can be especially tough during toddlerhood), but not Kelly.
Not only does she refuse to be her kids' friend or BFF, but she also couldn't care less if they don't like her. Prefacing the comment that she made to Wendy Williams about how she refuses to be her kids' friend, Kelly said about her daughter Lola, "I don’t think she likes me, but I don’t care."
That's actually kind of sad since most moms actually look forward the most to the mother/daughter bonding times and will do anything to be BFFs with their daughters. Is Kelly missing out on something amazing?
14 They Must Obey The Calendar
Think you could handle having Kelly as your mom? Probably not. Unlike her fun and bubbly persona on TV, she's quite different behind closed doors at home. According to WebMD, she joked, "Everybody knows exactly what's happening, all the time."
She further explained her stance on the Wendy Williams Show: "It's so old-fashioned and people think I'm kidding. We hang a paper calendar in the house and it has everybody's activities. A visual aid really helps us. A lot of people keep it in their cell phones and iPads but having the benefit of a paper calendar makes a difference in preventing that 'you forgot to come pick me up from school' phone call."
13 She Will Snoop
Not only do phones get confiscated at the drop of the hat, but if Kelly's kids happen to leave their phones on the table unattended, then she also won't hesitate to shamelessly swipe to unlock and read everything.
"I walked into her room and she wasn't there. But there was her phone, which isn't supposed to be in her room during study hours. So I was like 'let me just accidentally dial in her code' [...] I saw a lot of things like "so-and-so responded to your Instagram' or 'so-and-so liked your photo.' She was in the bathroom showering."
She defended her actions, saying that her kids aren't allowed to have their phones while studying. But there is still something to be said about how she clearly knew she was in the wrong because she also stated that her daughter knew she had the code, but never thought that she would take advantage of it.
12 Social Media Will Get Read
With that in mind, even if her kids don't leave their phones unattended, they should still expect that she will check up on their social media. As she also told Wendy Williams:
"We will give you certain freedoms, but when you want privacy in a not private world... you can't have privacy and be on Instagram."
"Privacy is if you want to write a letter or write in your journal, I'm not going to read that. But if you want to Tweet about what a pain [...] your mom is, I'm going to see that," she also continued.
11 Failing Spanish Isn't An Option
As strict as she might be about this rule, Kelly does have a point.
"You're half Mexican. Your grandmother is a Spanish teacher. You're not allowed to fail Spanish. It's the one thing you're not allowed to fail," she told Wendy Williams.
Although, we have a feeling that the kids are probably not encouraged to fail any other topics either, but it's still nice to see that she is prioritizing her kids being bilingual and not losing their heritage. It's one of those things that can come majorly handy later in life and her kids will definitely never regret that she pushed them to learn a second language properly.
10 She'll Bend If They're Embarrassed
Another parenting hot topic that Kelly has been massively vocal about on her talk show Live is how her kids (or more specifically her daughter Lola) won't let her post any pictures of themselves.
"It’s so bizarre. I’m never allowed to post a photo of her, ever," Ripa lamented to Jimmy Fallon, "Why did I have these kids if not to exploit them on social media?"
In particular, she was upset that her daughter Lola made her take down an eight-year-old Halloween picture. "She's like, 'You take it down right now! My friends follow you for some reason and they will see this!' I was like, 'You know what? I will take it down. I'll take it down for you."
Then again, does she count if she gives in after having posted it? Clearly, Lola would rather she didn't post any pictures, which her mom continues to do without her permission, like she recently did yet again with her graduation picture.
9 But Not About Her Personal Life
As much as she will relent if one of her kids requests that she take down an "embarrassing" picture, the one thing that Kelly refuses to budge on is her own personal life. As parents, it can be hard to disassociate ourselves from our mom and dad image, but Kelly has drawn the line firmly in the sand. Yes, she's a mom, but she's also a smoking hot wife and she makes no apologies for her bikini pics and otherwise suggestive social media posts.
And if her kids are embarrassed? Too bad. She also doesn't care if body-shamers try to get her down, quickly shutting down any negative criticism.
8 Not Allowed To Reveal That She Lies
With how much talking Kelly does on a daily basis, there's one major rule that definitely makes sense: her kids need to have her back. More specifically, they can't contradict her. It goes without saying that this effectively places a lot of pressure on her kids, especially as there are three of them - one is already an adult and the other two are in midst of transitioning out of their teenage years.
A particularly funny and cringe-worthy moment happened to Kelly when she brought Lola to cook with her and Ryan on a segment of Live. When Ryan asked her about "what drives [her] the craziest about her mom", Lola turned and blurted out, "You tell stories about me that are just not true."
Being the professional that she is, Kelly kept her cool but she was obviously ticked off about the comment.
7 Can Get What They Want By Negotiating
On Live with Kelly and Ryan, Kelly recently revealed that her kids can pretty much get anything they want as long as they negotiate with them. When detailing how her daughter managed to negotiate a two-hour later "come home time" for prom night, she said:
"It was an intense negotiation. Basically, at a certain point, my husband wound up negotiating against himself. She wore him down to the point where he got so weak he started counter offering against himself and she swooped him and made the deal. Deal!"
That's pretty funny, but it also pointed to another easy-to-miss fact about the Ripa-Consuelos family: curfew is usually tight as well.
6 No Phones During Study Time
We have already covered Kelly's intense phone confiscation policy, but she also takes it up a notch by also completely forbidding phones during study time. In particular, she had mentioned this no phones policy when telling Wendy Williams about how she snooped through her daughter's phone when she was supposed to be studying.
Given how distracting getting notification after notification about how someone liked or commented on your picture can be, it does make sense, but forbidding a teenager from checking their phone can be equally distracting if she or he is waiting for particular social feedback. It's definitely a double-edged sword and one that differs in each household.
5 Must Hand In All Their Tech At Night
Expanding on the phones rule, Kelly also revealed to Megyn Kelly while on a segment of Live that she also makes all her kids hand over all of their electronic devices at night.
She explained, "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".
She doesn't specify the kinds of devices that she means but given that she clarifies all "electronic devices," it's safe to assume that they have to hand it more than just their phones. Any tablets, laptops, and iPods likely all need to be removed from their bedrooms.
4 Obsessed With Consistency
Don't expect mama Kelly to ever deviate from what she said. If she said no ice cream for dinner or no phone for a week, her kids have been trained from an early age to know that she means business.
"I'm big on letting my kids know exactly what to expect. I think children are consistency junkies; they need schedules and parameters, and it's up to us to provide them. My kids understand that we love them no matter what -- and they also know that 'no' means no."
Too many boundaries can also be a bad thing too, though.
3 All About Prevention
The running joke among parents is that if your kid gets sick, everyone's going to get sick. In every joke, there is a grain of truth and this certainly applies to this one since kids pretty much bring everything home -- germs, lice, you name it! But not Kelly's kids.
"And my house is like the CDC. I'm all about containment. We keep things really clean, really neat. The rooms are hydrated with humidifiers. When Michael was first in school, I had pinkeye six times that year. Now, it's prevention, prevention, prevention: We do supplements, probiotics, you name it," she told WebMD.
2 She Won't Give Into The Pressure
In our current age of technology and social media, Kelly is all too aware of the lurking dangers on the web. With that being said, she also doesn't care if all of her kids' friends have something and they don't.
"I grew up in the suburbs. ... There was so much less stimulation then, more freedom. And we were content with less. Kids today are so much savvier. ... I remember getting one of those huge boom boxes at 16 and thinking I was cool. Even Lola wants a cell phone and an iPod; all the kids do. It's much tougher on parents now."
1 No Junk Eating
Whereas some parents will give in and dedicate a cupboard or at the very least a shelf in the cupboard for junk, Kelly follows an "out of sight, out of mind" approach when it comes to junk food and her kids.
"We've always fed our kids that way. They don’t have a choice. We don’t keep a lot of junk in the house so they eat what's there, which is a big bowl of fresh fruit," she said according to Shape.com.
Controlling? Absolutely. But it's also a good thing in our crazy world of rampant obesity, especially childhood obesity.
References: YouTube, Hollywood Life, Redbook Mag, WebMD, YouTube, YouTube, and Shape.com.