Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
Actor David Koechner and his wife, Leigh, are the proud parents of 5 children, but how do they manage to balance a busy career with their family life? The pair talk to GoodyBlog about their best parenting moments and the importance of finding time for family.
You’ve had a great career in acting as a comedian. How does your sense of humor help during stressful parenting moments?
David: Parenting has many parallels to comedies. When I get into a situation of cross-purposes with a child and refuse to give in or try to hold onto a power position, it helps to smile and realize I am being a fool.
Looking back over the past couple of years, do you have any advice for busy parents like yourself?
Leigh: Make yourself a priority, and give your kids both boundaries and attention. It does wonders to give your kids some quality face time and remind them that they’re a priority in your life, too.
David: Get up early if you want to get something done for yourself, and try and turn your career world off after 5pm. Also, figure out what works best for your family; when everything jives together, being busy isn’t so hard.
What about your approach to disciplining your kids? Do you play good cop/bad cop?
Both: We’ve found that not reacting to bad behavior works the best. Stay calm, walk away, and then talk to them after the outburst passes. We also try to be a united front when disciplining so that the kids don’t see one of us as the bad guy. A more positive atmosphere that’s filled with appropriate praise keeps the outbursts manageable.
Tell us about your messiest parenting moment.
Leigh: Our oldest, Charlie, was 3 months old and we were at our friend’s house for Easter. I had bought him a sear sucker suit that was just adorable. About an hour into the party, he had an explosion that shot straight up the back of the diaper and soiled his darling new Easter suit. I had forgotten to bring a back-up outfit, but thankfully I came prepared with Huggies wipes to clean up such a mess!
Sounds like mom to the rescue! David, what’s one parenting task that you’d say you’re better at?
David: I am way better at getting on all 4’s and giving my kids a horsey ride. There really is no competition.
What is something your kids have said lately that made you crack up?
Leigh: My 5-year old daughter Audrey said, “Oh mother I feel so bad for you. You’re turning into an old lady. Your skin is so dry. Hold on I need to get some lotion.” Then she rubbed lotion on my arm while we sat in her bed at bedtime.
David: I taught my kids to do an impression of the comic actor Paul Lynde. We will go around the dinner table and everyone takes a turn saying, “I’m Paaaaul Lynde!”
That sounds like quite a tradition! What other family moments do you enjoy together?
Leigh: Friday night family night, exercising and going to church.
David: I enjoy Friday night family night, which includes making a big mess at dinner and then spending time to clean it up together. We also love playing “frozen fish” in our pool, which is a combination of Marco Polo and freeze tag and somehow daddy is always ”it.”
Which of your children would be most likely to be president of the United States?
Both: Audrey. She is fierce, funny, smart and truly wise, and she’s only five!
If your kids had superpowers, what would they be and why?
Charlie, who is 12, would be able to hurl people who cause heartache into another galaxy.
Margot, who is 10, would sing like an angel on a cloud with Adele.
Sargent, who is 5, would be the incredible hulk in a Lego world.
Audrey, who is also 5, would dominate all with her power of personality.
Eve, who is 15 months, would be a super-napper and have the power to sleep through the racket of barking dogs.
Those sound like some awesome super heros! Are there any of qualities in your children that you most admire?
David: I can already tell that they will be there for each other long after we are gone. Like any kids, they do fight, but they really take care of each other and truly understand the importance of family.
Leigh: I am most impressed with how they are each so unique and different from the other. They have a certain way of looking at life and are honing who they are way sooner than I. I also love how each one of them has a compassionate heart.
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