Posts Tagged ‘ celeb moms ’

5 Lessons of Motherhood We Learned From Joan Rivers

Friday, September 5th, 2014

The Queen of Comedy. The Queen of Mean. Joan Rivers certainly earned a few titles in her 81 years before she passed away yesterday after suffering complications from an outpatient procedure in New York City. Despite starring on her own reality show with her daughter “Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?“, Queen of Motherhood is not a title usually equated with the woman who uttered more four-letter words in a day than many do in a year. Still, there are (at least) five valuable lessons we can learn from Joan the woman, the comedienne, the mother.

Number 1: How to be honest

Joan was infamous for her brutal and sometimes scathing honesty on E!’s Fashion Police. While I don’t advocate mocking your friends (or even celebrities), I do advocate honesty and open communication. Honesty will solve problems in your life and it’s a value worth promoting in your kids. While lying is a developmental marker for children, it’s also important to teach them the currency of the truth.

Number 2: How to Make the Best of Any Situation

As a comedian, it was Joan’s job to bring light to situations ranging from the annoying to the tragic. As the brash broad once said, “Comedy is to make everybody laugh at everybody and deal with things.” Remember to look on the bright side whenever you can.

Number 3: How to Persevere

You may not know (because I didn’t) that Joan Rivers hosted “The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers” on Fox in 1986. Yup. A woman in late night! But the show flopped. (It was worse than Conan’s moment.) Yet, she is still regarded as one of the comic geniuses of our time. She worked hard through professional downfalls and personal struggles. Joan always looked forward.

Number 4: How to Love Yourself

At 81 years old, Joan Rivers did NOT look 81 years old. And she wasn’t ashamed of her plastic surgery one iota. But the difference between Joan’s plastic surgery was that she wasn’t using it to hide. Her appearance was a gift to herself. She was often indulgent and she was unapologetic for how she looked and how she spoke. Not only was she loved in spite of this, she was love because of this.

Number 5: How to Heal a Relationship

Joan said that Melissa blamed her for her father’s suicide, creating a boiling tension between the mother-daughter pair. But, Joan made a point to always be in touch with Melissa and they even entered psychotherapy together at the time. Joan fought hard (and so did Melissa) to save their relationship. And sure enough, the two came out of the woods and were as thick as thieves until the end.

Even as a career-woman, Joan was a hands-on parent. What’s your parenting style?

The Trick to Balancing Kids and a Career
The Trick to Balancing Kids and a Career
The Trick to Balancing Kids and a Career

Photograph: S Buckley/

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What Happened to Moms? How Dads Became the New TV Role Models

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Family Watching TV

When you think about the best TV moms, who comes to mind? Clair Huxtable? Carol Brady? Lorelai Gilmore? Or perhaps June Cleaver? But what about moms currently seen in primetime?

Nurturing moms appear to be getting less-and-less screen time while, let’s say complicated mothers are becoming the norm. The so-called “Momsters,” as coined by the New York Daily News, include characters like Games of Thrones’ Cersei Lannister, Mad Men’s Betty Draper, and Scandal’s Maya Pope, who just happens to be a for-hire terrorist. (Yes, Rowan Pope is no saint either, but at least he’s not a terrorist…yet.)

While there certainly are still positive mom characters on TV (Kristina on Parenthood, Lily from How I Met Your Mother, and Claire from Modern Family come to mind), doesn’t it seem like moms are getting a bad rep recently? Even moms that don’t make regular appearances on shows can’t catch a break. In The Big Bang Theory, one of the most popular shows currently airing, the moms of the four main characters can seem less than ideal – they include one who’s emotionally-unavailable to her son, one who, though loving, is judgmental of her son and his friends’ ‘alternative’ beliefs and lifestyle, one who screams at her son from another room, and one who’s constantly pressuring her son to marry, preferably within their own race.

What gives?

On the opposite end of the spectrum, though, dads are getting a nice boost in the positive role-model department on TV. Have you noticed?

Burt Hummel on Glee is incredibly supportive of his openly-gay son and often encourages Kurt to follow his seemingly impossible dreams. Danny Williams (aka Danno) on Hawaii Five-0 is a single dad who moved more than 4,000 miles just to be closer to his daughter. And the Reagan men on Blue Bloods have proven time and time again how much they value family time.

For years, we’ve heard complaints about how dads are portrayed as absent or the ‘dummy,’ but as the number of stay-at-homes dads continues to increase, and more fathers are spending more time at home.

A 2012 Wall Street Journal article asked, “Are Dads the New Mom?” and declared “the age of dads as full partners in parenting has arrived.” And apparently popular culture has followed suit.

So, is the demise of the good mom character connected to the rise of the good dad? I certainly hope not! Why can’t we have co-parents who love their kids, support them emotionally, and don’t murder people? That’s not too much to ask for, right?


Tell us! Who are your favorite TV parents?

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How Tech Impacts Your Child's Creativity
How Tech Impacts Your Child's Creativity
How Tech Impacts Your Child's Creativity

Image: Young family watching TV together at home via Shutterstock

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Should the press be allowed to take photos of celeb children?

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Actress and mom Jennifer GarnerFrom the Star Shots of Star to the Hot Pics of US Weekly, from the Startracks of People to the News in Photos of OK! magazines compete to get their hands on the best snapshots of celebrities and their families. Photos of celebrity children are in demand because readers nationwide clamor for them.

We want to know that stars are just like us, juggling kids and diaper bags and carpools. (In fact, US Weekly dedicates a whole page to the callout “Stars—they’re just like US!” and now a full page to “Kids Stars—they’re just like US!”) But do we stop to think about how the paparazzi that feed into these publications managed to snag these shots?

Halle Berry described one situation during her custody battle that bordered on a verbal assault of her 5-year-old daughter Nahla, “[The photographer] said,  ‘How do you feel, Nahla? You may not see your father again. How do you feel about that?”

Now pregnant with her second child, Berry is taking action by supporting strict amendments to a bill known as SB606. The existing law states that it is a misdemeanor crime to “harass a child due to the occupation of his or her parents or guardian.” The proposed amendments to the law would allow the attempt to photograph or record a child without parental consent to be classified as such harassment and would escalate the punishment of these crimes (from an up to $1,000 fine to an up to $10,000 fine and increase the maximum imprisonment from six months to one year). The new law would also allow the parents to file a civil action against perpetrators.

Of course, the media is up in arms waving First Amendment rights and Freedom of the Press. Motion Picture Association of America and other organizations oppose the bill for these reasons and for the unintended consequences that could result: What if you take a picture of your kid at soccer practice and Suri Cruz just happens to be in the background?

But, in truth, the MPAA need not worry about this. The law, as it is currently proposed, bans harassment. Taking a photo of a child in public in and of itself is not harassment, but can be considered harassment if the act “seriously alarms, annoys, torments, or terrorizes the child” to the point of “substantial emotional distress.”

Listening to the stories of these celeb parents, the paparazzi’s behavior is not just an invasion of privacy it is potentially harmful to these kids. On August 13, Jennifer Garner—actress and mom of three—testified to the Assembly Judiciary Committee in Sacramento, “Large aggressive men swarm us causing a mob scene, yelling, jockeying for a position, crowding around the kids. My 17-month-old baby is terrified and cries.” Berry stated that her daughter is afraid to go to school because photographers are always jumping out of the bushes.

The bill passed the Judiciary Committee and now awaits judgment by the Assembly Appropriations Committee before becoming official law. While Berry and Garner are the public supporters of the bill, I can only imagine that other actors and actresses feel the same way. One could argue that along with their career choice, they have opted in to a life in the public eye. But should their children’s daily lives be fodder for our daily entertainment by default?

Garner nearly burst into tears as she pleaded her case, “I don’t want a gang of shouting, arguing, lawbreaking photographers who camp out everywhere we are all day every day to continue traumatizing my kids.”

Since much of the intention behind these pictures is to show that celebrities are just like us, perhaps we should consider if us average Janes would put up with the constant camera flashes and provocative shouting every time we went to the grocery store or school or piano lessons or T-ball. Do the kids of stars have a right to the same treatment as our children?

Let us know your thoughts below!

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