10 pieces of advice Hugh Beaumont gave to parents in 1959

Get some advice from one of television's top dads!

Hugh Beaumont played the role of one of television's top dads, Ward Cleaver, in the hit series Leave It to Beaver (1957). He was the father of Beaver and Wally Cleaver — which was a big task for any dad to take on.

Ward Cleaver was known for always being kind, wise and almost too patient with Beaver and Wally. Beaumont and his character shared a few things in common, but the biggest similarity between the two was how they decided to raise their children.

Beaumont was a professional dad; He had three children of his own and two fictional children. 

In a 1959 interview with The Atlanta Journal, Beaumont gave 10 pieces of advice to parents across the country. It's almost as if Ward Cleaver himself wrote them. 

Whether you've had kids, want kids, are expecting, or just love Beaver, these 10 parenting tips are straight from one of TV's greatest dads and actors.

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1. Be Gentle

"Don't be afraid to be gentle with your children. They appreciate gentleness and won't think of you as weak, particularly if you make an exception or two to this rule and become strong when the occasion demands."

2. Be Consistent

"Be consistent. Don't give your children one decision now and reverse yourself 10 minutes later. Once you have determined a course of action, stick to it."

3. Be Honest

"Be honest. Particularly, don't ask your children to lie for you on the phone or in any other way."

4. Don't Stop Growing

"Don't allow yourself to stop growing. If your kids see that you are still willing to learn, you shorten the gap between the children and adults."

5. Don't Make Demands

"Be satisfied with less than perfection from the children. Don't demand they be at the top of the class, best in sports and paragons of virtue."

6. Have a Soft Voice

"Cultivate a soft voice. During periods of excitement, a soft voice will get more attention than a shout."

7. Create healthy relationships

"Build family jobs and fun habits. It is especially good to encourage private jokes that only mom, dad, brother and sister are 'in' on."

8. Mix Up Your Routine

"Get away from steady routines every once in awhile. City families should go to the country, country families should visit the cities, periodically."

9. Start Teaching Early

"Start teaching responsibility early. Assign projects such as household duties, caring for pets and so on at as early of an age as possible."

10. Stay Positive

"Finally, don't let your kids become discouraged no matter how dark things may seem. In my own case I always bring to mind the old saying 'This too, shall pass.'"

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42 Comments

Runeshaper 1 month ago
Love ❤️ this! Very relevant in my life right now ☺️
Pacificsun 1 month ago
Just as a reminder to the "controversy" below. LITB was created as entertainment and escapism. And not to replace Dr. Spock (in the day, and very real). The show was also taken from the producers' own experience, never claiming it to be everyone's. Someone would write a Show differently for handling very young children. And Hugh Beaumont, clearly (and thankfully) listed his own principles. Is every parent perfect or consistent? do issues change, as children are growing, new grades and teachers, and in LITB's fictional universe even their neighborhood. But I have met parents who wouldn't disagree in the presence of their children. Did LITB have time to side-bar each parent's opinion; probably not. Did anyone's parents become more strict as the kids aged? Uhhh, mine did. Did they have time to philosophize about everything (as LITB offered in those early seasons?). Maturity brings responsibility, and that's a trait Ward was emphasizing more and more, as he believed they should know better. And that's where most of the later plots came from. During six seasons, each one had something different to offer. The idea is taking the Series as a whole, to be appreciated. It was certainly unique in it's day, for not being self-conscious (meaning obviously concerned about ratings) by trying to impress viewers for less than genuine purpose.

I admire the honesty about the production.
professorecho 1 month ago
I much prefer the first couple of seasons of BEAVER where Ward is not portrayed as being perfect and actually screws up at times. In later seasons where he always wore suits at home he’s really a stiff, preaching and lecturing and no longer believable in the slightest as a genuine human being. This along with other things, like Jerry Mathers forgetting how to act and Beaver becoming an epic dunce, kill the later seasons of the series.
Right. I'm on my third or fourth time through and it suffered after Season 3. Mathers outgrew the role and June became a hovering neurotic busybody. By the last Season they became quite unlikable. Ron Howard said years ago that any series is good for about three years. After that they're just compiling a syndication package.
Tds2112 1 month ago
I was very fortunate to have a good neighbor just like Ward Cleaver in youth. He made sure all the neighborhood kids were kept busy with lots of fun activities like throwing football with the boys building club houses making paper airplanes, Scouting, baseball manager. He just the best Neighborhood Dad anyone could have. His name was Sam Crowther.
LalaLucy 1 month ago
Solid wisdom from my favorite TV dad. There was a lot of himself put into Ward and it shows. Really miss the days when dads on shows were more than the butt of jokes.
Hpsnape1957 1 month ago
We need more shows like Leave it to Beaver and The Andy Griffith Show. Family entertainment with good story lines, laughs and learned morals and values at the same time. Sure beats the shows, movies and video games full of violence that just teaches kids to solve problems with violence.
ladydi9882 1 month ago
I think Ward was very mean to Wally and Beaver and June never hardly opened her mouth when he was yelling at them. I thought his eyes looked like don’t cross me today. That is just my thoughts
PuckyEvil ladydi9882 1 month ago
Maybe you should try actually watching the show.
professorecho PuckyEvil 1 month ago
No, she’s right. The later season Ward is a robot with his 24/7 suits on and never ever making mistakes. June just gets more and more deferential to him later on due to his ridiculous sanctimonious outlook. Both parents are actually believable PEOPLE in the early seasons instead of the artificial intelligence they become later on when the show tanks.
Pacificsun PuckyEvil 1 month ago
👍

Your comment actually made me go out and find an emoji!
"Making a man out of them" is how abusers justify their actions. More prevalent in the immediate post war years than now and certainly in the LITB timeframe.
tootsieg 1 month ago
Very nice story and sound advice.
Zip 1 month ago
All good advice, Hugh. Mr. Rogers couldn't have said it better.
LoveMETV22 1 month ago
Although he may not have been the only advice guru of the time?, Ward (Hugh) gave pretty good pointers.
SparkleMotion 1 month ago
Hugh Beaumont's Ward Cleaver is my favorite TV dad. It sounds like he was a good dad in real life.
Hugh Beaumont was more like Ward than the TV Lieutenants and other characters of the era (IMO) He was a casual actor but it must've been easier to play a nice guy than a villain, or a character without much personality.
Andybandit 1 month ago
I sounds like my Dad, when I was growing up.
blackled Andybandit 1 month ago
You were lucky. Everyone should have a dad like that. And, you were lucky.
Lillyrose 1 month ago
Great advice from Hugh Beaumont, aka Ward Cleaver!
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