If curling up in front of the TV is your way of unwinding after a long day, let it be not only entertaining but educational. Grab a pen and paper and take some notes because some of your favorite TV shows can teach you some valuable lessons about parenting.

Parenthood cast

Parenthood

NBC, Tuesdays 10/9 Central

Parenting Lesson^ It's okay to ask (your family) for advice

The Bravermans are a close-knit extended family who not only reside in the same city, but make it a point to gather as a group frequently (every Tuesday night, in fact!). And while it may not be possible to mimic the living arrangements of this fictional group (if you even want to!), you can still learn a lot from them.

When one of the four adult siblings, Julia (Erika Cristensen), Adam (Peter Krause), Sarah (Lauren Graham) and Crosby (Dax Shepard) has a parenting dilemma, which is often (every episode, in fact, hence the title), they often ask each other for advice. And although these brothers and sisters often, don't, like what they hear, they do their best to listen. And in the end, after your standard conflict has run its course and the story arc calls for resolution, they realize that they can't be prideful or stubborn if they truly want to better their situation and help their child, their marriage or all of the above. Especially when the parenting dilemmas range from topics from cancer to teen pregnancy.

The siblings are also not afraid to approach their parents (Craig T. Nelson and Bonnie Bedelia) for advice. And although they often butt in before asked, they do have sound advice. As we all know, it can be hard to listen to your parents — especially as an adult — and have to admit that you are struggling as a parent. But no matter how old you are... 5, 12 or 35, sometimes your mom and dad still do know best.

Follow Parenthood on Twitter for up-to-the-minute scoop on this (dys) functional family.

Modern Family cast

Modern Family

ABC, Wednesdays 9/8 Central

Parenting lesson^ Laughter really is the best medicine.

No matter how many times Haley Dunfey (Sarah Hyland) screws up and her parents Claire (Julie Bowen) and Peter (Ty Burell) can't agree on how to punish her, they always end up laughing at themselves. No matter how frequently Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) annoys partner Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Furguson) over how to raise their adopted daughter, Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons), the result is always a big LOL.This Emmy award-winning cast reminds us that family is complicated and challenging — and sometimes we just have to laugh at ourselves to get through this whole parenting thing.

As a parent, I've learned how critical it is to be able to laugh at yourself and know that you are fallible (well, this is more of a work-in-progress). To accept that I will make a thousand mistakes — and that's only before next Friday. It's a show like this that propels me to stay positive even in the hardest times of being a mom.

Check out Modern Family the next time you want to have a good laugh and be sure to follow the show on Twitter. (The cast and crew even tweets live on Wednesday nights #ModernFamily.)

Up All Night cast

Up All Night

NBC, Mondays, 8/7 Central

Parenting LEsson^ Understanding is key.

Like so many of us, new parents Chris (Will Arnett) and Reagan (Christina Applegate) feel the pressure parenthood can put on a marriage. (Daughter, Amy, is a toddler.) Until recently, Chris was a stay-at-home dad and Reagan a work-a-holic television producer. (Maya Rudolph plays her boss, Ava). Now, this husband and wife have swapped roles and let's just say navigating their new careers has not come without conflict. But what you can learn from Chris and Reagan is, no matter how hard it gets, if you put yourself in your spouse's shoes and do your best to be understanding, you can get through anything.

Follow Up All Night on Twitter to see what parenting dilemma Chris and Reagan will face (and handle well) next.

More TV watching ideas

Educational TV programs for kids
Netflix "Just for kids"
5 Guilty pleasures all moms should try

Cast images courtesy of NBC and ABC

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