Former *NSYNC Singer Joey Fatone Opens up About Parenting with Tough Love
He shares some great anecdotes in a round of Parenting Truths.
While most of us would probably go complete teenage fangirl if we came face to face with former *NSYNC singer Joey Fatone (sign my No Strings Attached album, Joey!!!), in the eyes of his two daughters, he’s just your typical embarrassing father.
Currently the host of Common Knowledge on Game Show Network, Joey is the father of Briahna, 17, and Kloey, 9. We sat down with him to play a game of Parenting Truths and pick his brain on how he parents. Our main takeaway—he likes to show his girls tough love.
Take this story, for example: when his oldest daughter refused to eat a hamburger on a vacation in Italy because there was a sauce on it (why are kids so picky?), Joey gave her some real talk. “I went over and I said to her 'do me a favor, if you don’t eat the hamburger, I’m gonna shove it down your throat. She just kind of looked at me, and I said 'you need to eat, because if not, you're going to starve, so please do me a favor and just eat it, and swallow a drink or something.'" Sure enough, his tactic worked and she ate that saucy burger.
Slightly harsh? Maybe. But we gotta cut him some slack—he grew up in an Italian household. "Obviously I got beat the crap out of when I was young," and not just by hand, but with wooden spoons, belts, plungers, and flip-flops. Even as a pop star, he still got called out by his mom.
While out at a hibachi place with his parents at the peak of N'SYNC fame, Joey had promised a mom sitting nearby that he'd take a picture with her daughters when they were done eating. When it came time for their photo opp, Joey ended up sending the mom away, upset that her daughters were recording him while he was trying to eat.
"As she started walking away, my mother smacked me, and looked at me and said 'you better go take that picture right now. I literally did the whole thing of 'But moommmmm.'"
But his most tough love parenting moment might be this: When his daughter was younger, she told him that she didn’t want to live with mommy and daddy anymore, so Joey played along and sent her to her grandparents. After she returned home from her mommy-daddy hiatus, Joey pretended he was going to send her off again with a family friend she didn't know, but at that point, she had enough and apologized.
One thing we did learn about Joey is that he doesn't yell and makes himself approachable to his daughters no matter what. "What a lot of parents don't really know is they yell so much at a level that kids become numb, and they don't really care," he says. Instead, he'd rather just tell his daughters things straight up. When his daughter was going out to a party, he directly asked if there would be drinking. She said yes. While he doesn't condone underage drinking, he didn't yell or try to stop it. Instead, he made sure that she knew that if her ride falls through, she better call him or an uber for a safe ride home.