EXCLUSIVE: Warryn and Erica Campbell share secrets to raising kids and their happy marriage

Warryn and Erica Campbell share secrets on raising kids and making their marriage work.

Erica & Warryn Campbell

We’re The Campbells premiered on TVOne this week and we caught up with Warryn and Erica Campbell to find out all about their new family-focused reality show.

The married music moguls share three children and will offer fans an inside look at how they keep their family train running smoothly while balancing hectic schedules with the needs of their kids and running their church. The series will also highlight the strong bond the couple shares and how they prioritize their relationship.

“Love isn’t always pretty and neither is marriage but I know one thing for sure is we are stuck together. If it gets rough then we work through the rough stuff and it’s important for people to see that. Dealing with kids like and what they go through as far as bullying, colorism, and growing up and standing in the shadows of their parents are things a lot of people have to deal with,” says Erica Campbell. “I think it will be a reflection of what happens in the good homes that don’t get the cameras. People usually just get to see chaos. We’re a family that loves each other and want to make it work. This is a chance to really shed a positive light on an African American family.”

Although fans have been admiring their marriage for years, Warryn Campbell hopes people understand that things aren’t always as picture perfect as they seem. 

“Whenever I look at social media and see the comments, I hate to see people write #Goals. It gives me a little anxiety sometimes because I realize people don’t understand how much goes into making marriage work. I hope we don’t let them down because we’re not perfect and people go through a lot of different things,” he says.

The couple offered up a few of their unbreakable rules of parenting:

  1. Don’t be friends.“Don’t try to be friends with your kids. Be the adult. I don’t mind if my kids don’t like me right now because they will respect me and they will thanks me later when it counts. When they grow up and they see that everything I have done or had them do when it comes to hard work or discipline. or these things they don’t want to do, they will look back and say thank you, dad. If you didn’t make me do that, I wouldn’t have done this. Don’t try to be your kids friends so much that you don’t raise them right,” says Warryn. 
  2. Communication is key.I think there should be a relationship so your kids feel free to talk to you. They should feel safe with you. They should feel like they can tell us anything and it won’t be a joke at the next family gathering,” says Erica Campbell. “Don’t humiliate your children. I think a lot of parents mess up when we laugh and minimize things that are really important to them so they don’t feel comfortable talking. We strive to create an environment where they can share and talk and sometimes you have to grit your teeth because they may shock you with some of the things they say. I think a relationship built on love and trust and communication with your kids is very important.”
  3. Tell the truth.“We can’t never ever ever deal with a lie, but we can always deal with the truth,” says Erica. “Tell us the truth and we can figure our way through it, but if you lie, you in trouble.” 
  4. Prepare kids for the tough stuff.“As far back as Ferguson, I exposed my son to injustice immediately because I wanted him to understand what kind of country and world we live in and learn what he needs to avoid in his life. I wanted him to see that we don’t live in a fairy tale world and everything not always fair and nice. I make him strike worlds like “can’t” and “not fair” out of his vocabulary because nothing is fair. I explain that outside of this house, people don’t love you and they’re not going to give you anything. Everything you want and everything you do is going to require you to work hard for it. Some people will treat you differently because of the color of your skin but if I prepare him for it then he won’t be scared of it or shocked by it,” says Warryn. “He will know what to do when he gets pulled over by the cops. I have been in handcuffs, been harassed, been thrown on the ground by police but I’m still breathing because I understood what it was and I knew how to talk to them. It’s sad my son will be dealing with those same issues but here we are. He’s only eight but I’m letting him know now that this could happen. I show him every chance I get. It’s not just our sons either. Sandra Bland is real. So we need to teach these things to our daughters as well.”

We’re The Campbells airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on TV One.