Kelly Ripa & Mark Consuelos: Good Manners Not Lost On Our Kids

11/06/2010 at 08:00 AM ET
 alt= Hector Vallenilla/Pacific Coast News

When it comes to instilling good manners in their three children, Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos look to family dinners every night of the week for help.

“It’s when we do some of our best parenting,” Ripa told PEOPLE at The World of Gloria Vanderbilt book signing in New York on Thursday.

“We have a routine. We go around the table and listen to everyone’s stories of the day, what happened in school, what we liked and didn’t like,” Consuelos added.

“I always tell my kids — you don’t have to be the best at sports, the smartest, the best at math, but you do have to have the best manners,” Ripa, 40, explains. “I don’t tolerate piggish behavior in kids, and mine have learned the hard way.”

For the Consuelos kids — Michael, 13, Lola, 9, and Joaquin, 7½ — that means “no interrupting people at the dinner table,” which Ripa says can be a constant battle between the two youngest kids.

“Lola and Joaquin actually like to cut each other off, so we work on letting everyone finish their thoughts respectfully.”

Another challenge? Getting them to put pen to paper! “I am very serious about sending thank you notes — to the point where my oldest son, Michael, has asked to not have birthday presents anymore because he doesn’t want the burden of thank you letters,” laughs Ripa.

Thankfully, her kids cut her a break when it comes to what to wear — and her youngest son is the most stylin’.

“Joaquin is so fashionable and hip,” notes Ripa. “He loves fedoras, ripped jeans, scarves, and anything he sees Mark wear. I love all my children equally, but Joaquin always looks the coolest!”

–Kate Hallett

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , News , Parenting

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Showing 31 comments

mary on

I agree supper is very important at our house as well. We have four kids 18, 16, 9, and 6 and they ALL must eat with us, no exceptions. I love it. And YES our two youngest are always cutting into the others we are working on that as well.

It’s funny cause at school our youngest were told is the quietest one in class, except at lunch time, (they eat in their classroom) she is the loudest child, the teacher told us she can’t figure that one out. I told her it’s because at home, she has to speak loudly to be heard whilst cutting off one of her siblings from speaking.

momin florida on

I have always liked the idea of going around the dinner table at night and each of us tells everybody their ‘favorite part of the day’. Everybody interrupts, but we are working on it now too.

Alleen on

I now admire Kelly and Mark even more than I did before. They are the epitome of class!

It is so refreshing to see parents who are raising children who will have excellent manners. Kudos to Mark and Kelly!

chrissy on

Her kids are so cute. Love this story. My husband and I sit down together for dinner almost every single night, even if one of us has to wait to eat. We have only been married a year, but we have been doing this for a little over two years. It is one time that a family can be together, and I think it is really important. I still remember having dinner together every night before my older sisters started high school and sports and dinner together was impossible. Great memories 😀

Allison on

YES! A family that values good manners as much as my family does. I was brought up in the deep South saying “yes,ma’am” and “yes, sir.” I couldn’t play with my toys until I wrote a thank-you note to the giver, and I couldn’t get up from the dinner table unless I asked to be excused.

Now that I have my own kids (ages 7 and 10), we take manners very seriously, as well. I taught both of them to say “please” and “thank you” from a very young age, as well as how to properly shake someone’s hand and introduce yourself. We are big on thank-you notes, too.

Almost every week,someone tells me, “wow, your kids have such wonderful manners.” It makes me feel I am doing a good job as their mother when I hear this.

I wish more parents would focus on the pleases and thank-you’s, as well as the tradition of writing thank-you notes for presents. Manners never go out of style.

Love the Ripa-Consuelos family!

Jill on

I have always been a big fan of theirs when they were on AMC! I can’t get over how big their kids have gotten! Such an adorable family, out of the spotlight, with good morals. Bravo!!

Karen on

Bravo to them! I love that they keep the kids out of the limelight as much as possible, believe in good manners, and take the time to sit and talk AND listen to their children.

Kate Gosselin could learn a thing or two from them.

karin on

I believe very strongly in good manners. It is hard to find these days.Congratulation Kelly & Mark

Lisa on

Kelly is sooooooooo talented! (As well as Mark) A true beauty, and a wonderful Mom! How lucky their kids are to have good “old fashioned” and important rules in their house. In the long run, their children will probably carry on this important part of family life when they have children. BRAVO, KELLY AND MARK.

Linda on

I am verry fond of Kelly & mark, i loved them in AMC and I think they are a beautiful couple. It is so good to know that celebrities have good standards for their children. Keep up the good work. May God bless your whole family and keep you all close together.

fd98 on

We met them at the Grand Canyon in 2008. They were very gracious and classy. The kids were well behaved. We took pictures and joked around with them. Great people!

Marlene Sagendorf on

Bravo Kelly and Mark,

It’s good to see these good old fashioned family values. My husband and I too, were raised in a loving family with good manners. Which, by the way has carried us all to adulthood. We too were taught “please” and”thank you”. Speak when you are spoken too, always ask permission, never interrupt. All adults are treated with respect and we never talked back, still don’t…ha ha.

I remember reading someplace how Kelly and Mark are still asked to cut the lawn when they go home to see their parents, because, the parents didn’t want them to forget where they came from…..soooooooo cute!! I loved that they did it, and didn’t complain. What good kids! 😉 I also, love how Kelly openly speaks about how she loves her mother-in-law, that is refreshing with all the mother-in-law jokes that are so tired.

I have always loved Kelly and Mark too, since there All My Children days. I remember when they got married in Las Vegas. May God richly bless them in their marriage. So glad to see a celebrity couple on the right track and teaching their kids the proper way to behave.

Ida on

I find it hard to believe hers is the voice on manners the way she speaks and acts around a particular substitute host on the show she works on. She disrespects her husband and children by her actions with that person when he is on and is NOT the best example to be speaking on manners OR how to raise children. Unless hers is the example of do as I say not as I do, she has some serious work to do in that area.

kristi on

I love this story! Every time I read something about this family it makes me respect them even more. They are a true family, not a Hollywood family that believes they are above everyone else.

Brooklyn on

Love this family and love Kelly!

Heather on

I was brought up with my mother constantly hounding us about manners and we Always had to write thank-you notes. Being gracious and well-mannered has served me well and I have always been grateful that my mother was so strict about it! I admire Kelly and Mark so much more!

Cindy Smith on

What an adorable couple! Kelly and Mark are both so talented and down to earth. It’s so rewarding to see them as active parents who’s main concern is raising their kids with good family morals. Kelly and Mark you are an inspiration to so many people. Your children are blessed to have you as parents.

I was at the Live With Regis & Kelly show her first week in Feb. 2001. I’ve been a big fan since day 1.


Maggie on

Why did she feel the need to single out the youngest as the coolest?!
I’m sure the older brother doesn’t appreciate that; if you’re going
to praise one kid who has siblings, find something to praise about the
others at the same time.

soph on

Her dress is short! It’s a dress, right, not shorts? I love her quote on not standing “piggish behavior.” They are a cute family.

Stacey on

I miss family dinner now that we’re all grown and in different places. But family dinner was important growing up. I love Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuela! They are so down to earth!

Rae on

I love Kelly’s additude. she is funny to watch with Regis.

Jennifer on

Ida – My thoughts exactly! Kelly doesn’t practice what she preaches – I find her to be unbelievable disrespectful. Interrupting and being obnoxious is her specialty! So how can she possible expect her kids to learn by example? Also, there’s a much more important point that she seems to be missing. It’s more important to raise her kids to be good morally, learn the act of giving (as opposed to getting). In other words it’s good to raise a child to say ‘thank you’ but more much more important to raise a child who knows the importance of giving (and I don’t mean birthday gifts) *sigh*

Rose on

@Ida: Could you please elaborate because your post was vague and I haven’t watched Live in a couple of years and I’m curious about what you’re alluding to, but I can’t figure it out because your comments are too vague. Thanks.

Rose on

@Jennifer: Why does it have to be one or the other? It’s possible to teach a child to give to others and to be grateful for what they are given. And how do you know that Kelly doesn’t encourage her kids to give back? This isn’t an article about charity, it’s an article about manners. So I’m not sure why you’re bothered that Kelly isn’t addressing a completely separate issue.

Mary on

I love Kelly and Mark, I am so impressed at how she excels at her marriage and her family. Every hollywood couple can take a page out of their book. I can tell she is a class act even though she acts like the clown on ‘Live’, she is a wonderful wife, mother, friend, daughter and esp daughter-in-law. I love the way she speaks so highly of her husband and esp her inlaws. She is so respectful of everyone. I think they have the ultimate marriage and family.

I just wish they would do a makeover on her at ‘Live’, she is so smoking and yet they dress her like a secretary or a housewife, no offense to secretaries or housewives, and she looks better off Live than on. She needs a more edgy fashion look, kinda like Elisabeth Hasslebeck on the View. I have often wonder if her fashion sense is understated because Regis have to look so stylin and wears all these high priced suit; all Kelly seems to wear is a top and pencil skirt. Sometimes even the guests are better dressed, come on Gellman ante up and make our girl Kelly look like the true star that she is.

Well done Kelly and Mark, manners are everything in children these days.

Jennifer on

MY GOD, people like Ida and Jennifer make me sick! You are the kind of people who can find fault in everyone but yourself! Are you perfect? Do you not believe that she has a television persona and an at home persona? Do you behave at home the way you do at work? Get a grip for crying out loud. You are not perfect so stop expecting everyone else to be perfect!

Tess on

Why wouldn’t people behave the same at home as they do at work??

And none of the posters said they were perfect, they said that Kelly is a hypocrite.

Mira on

I can’t watch Kelly’s show, because she’s way too perky for my taste, but I really respect her for having a strong family and for being a good, involved parent. Good for them!

Mel on

FINALLY! Manners are so lost these days! My kids are always reminded to thank those who say or do nice things and yes sir, no ma’am, please, etc. Also to apologize immediately for anything they do wrong…always to be respectful because it carries them far and I was raised that way. I’m 38 and still say yes ma’am out of habit. It never left me. My Southern upbringing was always structured and although back then, it was hard to handle always being reminded, I find myself doing the same with my kids. It’s important and they will always be welcomed places. I’ve been told my kids are the most well-behaved, polite kids. I’m proud of that!

Michelle McGrew on

Good old fashion parenting… It’s so wonderful to hear of parents instilling manners. It is important in society. I’m appalled when adults do not have manners.

Lori on

That is so great. Kelly and Mark obviously had a great upbringings and they are making sure that their kids are getting the same. I don’t think we’ll see any problems with their kids when they are older and grown.