All The Most Questionable Parenting Moments From '7th Heaven'

List Rules
Vote up all the questionable parenting practices that make you think the Camdens weren't as saintly as they wanted us all to believe.

Of all the popular '90s shows, 7th Heaven was often one of the most cringe-worthy. Despite the sanctimony and self-righteousness of Reverend Camden and his wife, Annie, the show was wildly popular, even among younger viewers. Everyone loved the 7th Heaven characters. The problem is that, although the show presented itself as morally infallible, there were actually a lot of questionable parenting decisions. Bad TV parents who deserve to have their kids taken away are nothing new but the kids on this relatively Christian show had direly problematic parents, and no one noticed.

Even some of the best episodes of 7th Heaven contain examples of objectively bad parenting. Here is a myriad of instances in which the Camdens should be criticized for their parenting technique instead of blindly celebrated for it.


  • 1
    1,165 VOTES

    Eric's Not Overly Concerned By Apparent Inter-Familial Relations

    Eric's Not Overly Concerned By Apparent Inter-Familial Relations
    Video: YouTube

    In this supposedly whimsical scene, Mary has convinced her older brother to give her a kissing lesson. Father Eric walks in, sees them, and does indeed look a little disconcerted but when Matt says, "It's not what it looks like," Dad simply responds, "That's a relief." Then he walks away. It looks like his two oldest children are about to kiss each other, Eric Camden is allowed to freak out. Instead, he reserves his freakouts for more minor offenses. 

  • 2
    955 VOTES

    Eric Watches His Daughter's Sensual Dance Routine

    Eric Watches His Daughter's Sensual Dance Routine
    Photo: The CW

    In this scene, which is supposed to be funny, Eric walks in on his high school daughter practicing grown-up dance moves. Instead of being comical, it ends up being one of the most uncomfortable scenes in television history. The reverend watches her for about 15 seconds and walks away. Now he's clearly disturbed by what he's seeing but that doesn't change the fact that it takes him entirely too long to walk away.

  • 3
    1,189 VOTES

    Simon Commits Manslaughter And Is Rewarded With A Little Vacation

    Simon Commits Manslaughter And Is Rewarded With A Little Vacation
    Photo: The CW

    The eighth season opened with a bang after Simon kills a kid while driving. The Camdens decide to take a vacation to the beach house in the hopes that he'll get over his crime. Annie pleads with him on the beach to enjoy himself. She says, "It's the last day of vacation."

    The whole family works to take his mind off of the accident, which includes the parents' decision to impose zero consequences on their son. He committed vehicular manslaughter and though it was an accident, maybe they should've taken his keys for a while or something. 

  • 4
    674 VOTES

    Reverend Eric Gives Parenting Advice About Gang Activity, A Subject He Knows Nothing About

    Reverend Eric Gives Parenting Advice About Gang Activity, A Subject He Knows Nothing About
    Photo: The CW

    There's an episode in the second season titled "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," which is an oddly lighthearted choice considering that the subject of the storyline is gang activity. Reverend Camden is called in to help his friends when they discover that their daughter's in a gang. When confronted, the girl says it's not a big deal so the parents turn to Eric. He rambles about a "place" they can send her in Colorado. His immediate response is to send her away without knowing anything about the girl's situation.

    He should've pumped his breaks, learned more, spoke with police, and figured out something more proactive then a mysterious dumping ground in Colorado.

  • 5
    613 VOTES

    Eric Tells His Son He's Going To End Up In Jail Because Of His Clothes

    Eric Tells His Son He's Going To End Up In Jail Because Of His Clothes
    Photo: The CW

    Simon went through a somewhat embarrassing phase as a teenager, but fortunately for him, his parents were fully aware of the certain dangers that it presented. After one of Simon's friends call youngest Camden girl Ruthie a derogatory word, Simon's parents forbid him from hanging out with that kid. That's totally reasonable. What's not reasonable is the continuation of the conversation, when Eric notices Simon wearing baggy pants. The reverend asks, "Where did you get those pants? Do you know where that particular fashion trend got started? Prison." The rest of this fifth season episode is about the corrupting nature of hip hop. The Camdens refuse to let their son become a victim to it.

  • 6
    674 VOTES

    The Camdens Do Nothing To Rectify Their Son's Racial Ignorance

    The Camdens Do Nothing To Rectify Their Son's Racial Ignorance
    Photo: The CW

    In episode "The Color of God," in which a Black church (attended by the show's token Black family) is burned down, the Camdens take the opportunity to better acquaint themselves with this family, and they become friends. Consequently, some kids at school call Simon an offensive name so he fights them. Attaboy Simon!

    The Camden parents explain to their indignant son that violence is never the answer, even though they understand his anger. What they don't explain is anything about the long history of racism in the country. It's also revealed earlier in the episode that Simon doesn't even know who Rosa Parks is. They had a golden opportunity to teach their son something truly important and they missed it.