Ali Wentworth & Dr. Adolph Brown on Why ‘The Parent Test’ Gets So Emotional (VIDEO)

We’re obsessed with The Parent Test, the new competition series hosted by Ali Wentworth and parenting expert/clinical psychologist (and dad of eight!) Dr. Adolph Brown, that aims to determine the best style of parenting.

“This show works for people who have kids, but also are a kid – we all have parents,” says Wentworth a mom of two teens. “We haven’t had a lot of these conversations before in our culture. People are very protective of their parenting style. We wanted a show that was a toolbox, pulling different things from different styles.”

Twelve styles to be exact. A dozen families with different approaches to raising children – from helicopter to free-range; traditional to new age – complete challenges designed to stress test each method. Since the January 5 premiere, the kids have been asked to tackle the high dive, cook dinner (with supervision!), switch roles with the adults (Freaky Friday!), and more. All the parents watch the footage, discuss what works best, and vote on which style to eliminate.

And did we mention it gets real? Emotions run high and tears are spilled as the parents question each other (“I felt attacked,” admits one mom), confess their fears and insecurities, and offer each other encouragement and support.

“What a lot of parents don’t plan on in your actual, present-day parenting, is it brings a lot of your history as a child, and oftentimes it is unresolved history, so those tears that you’re seeing are those parents putting themselves back in those trigger moments,” Brown says.

The January 26 challenges include one that’s been notoriously easy for centuries: discussing the facts of life with your kids.

The Parent Test, Thursdays, 9/8c, ABC