Exclusive Interview: Laurie Gelman Talks Parenting Trends, Tiger Mom & More!
Laure Gelman is a mom, the co-founder of the Canadian parenting show called, “The Mom Show” and has over 20 years of national broadcast experience with her stints on “CBS The Early Show”, “Good Morning America” and “Fox After Breakfast.”She is also married to the executive producer of “Live With Regis and Kelly,” Michael Gelman, with whom she shares two little girls.
Laurie talks parenting and parenting trends on her BabyCenter blog and we had a chance to chat with her about what we can expect in 2012 in terms of parenting shifts. She dished on how she believes this may very well be the “Year of the Dad” and what nuggets of wisdom she took away from the Tiger Mom.
CM: We are a big fan of Baby Center and Momformation and I understand you are a contributor!
Laurie Gelman: “I am. I do a blog for them as well as a lot of other people. But whatever concerns you as a parent, you’ll find something about it on the Momformation blog.”
CM: Let’s talk parenting trends, moms are the prominent influencers in the household.
Laurie Gelman: “Not this year my friends! Mom will always be Numero Uno of course, but we are seeing this is really the year of the dad this year. With more guys losing their jobs, they are getting more comfortable being the primary caregiver in the household.”
CM: That’s what I was just going to say I’m finding the trend is leaning a little more towards the dads then in previous years. Do you think that’s because more moms are working outside the home?
Laurie Gelman: “Well, definitely more moms are working but more dads are losing their jobs. So someone has to take care of the kids because they can’t afford childcare. You’ll see lots of dads picking up from school and dropping off school, at the playground doing all the things we associate mom with doing, even grocery shopping! I don’t think it’s a bad thing.Babycenter did a Shopping Rituals report and they said over 26% of dads are now doing the grocery shopping.”
CM: I just read your recent article on Tiger Mom and I have to say I can really relate, I read that book and it really changed the way I viewed many different issues. Regardless of whether you loathed it or loved it it was definitely thought provoking. What else did you take away from reading that book.
Laurie Gelman: “Literally from what I just blogged about, I was doing the thank you notes and I was so frustrated with my daughter who just didn’t want to do them and I thought how rude! And then she handed me one that was just so completely half baked and I thought you know what you really have to step it up! I thought of the Tiger mom and she would not accept this we all deserve better. We aren’t as strict as our parents because we hated the fact that they were so strict but I think we have to get a little bit of that back.”
CM: I agree I think that technology has a little bit to do with that. Do you think that the amount of technology we have surrounding us is excessive? Do you think it hinders our parenting or do you think it enhances it?
Laurie Gelman: “I think that if you can’t beat them join them its not going away so what you have to do is adapt to it and figure out what works for you and what works for your kids. I mean it used to be no more than 2 1/2 hours of TV time, but now the Academy of Pediatrics has changed that to no more than 2 1/2 hours of screen time because they realize and we all realize that it is the iPads, the iPods, the video games and the computers. It’s not just your kids watching TV anymore its the video games and everything else.
What you need to do is just be a little smarter about it and I think you are going to see parents being a lot more thoughtful about the amount of time they spend doing this (playing with their phone) at the dinner table or whatever. Just so that their kids know that they are being present. And you’ll see a lot of those Kinect game systems from XBox. We have one at home and have such a good time and our kids, we all roll around laughing because it is such a great way to spend 2 hours in front of the TV as opposed to just watching a movie or everyone watching their different television shows.”
CM: What are your favorite games on the Kinect?
Laurie Gelman: “I love Just Dance 3 and I do Zumba as well but don’t tell anyone OK? But we all do it and we all laugh at each other and it gets your heart rate up and gets you sweating. They have a river rafting game too that I really like.”
CM: Which parenting trends do you think we’ll see more of in 2012.
Laurie Gelman: “I think that kids and reality TV is really going to explode this year because of the success of Toddlers and Tiaras and things like YouTube videos going viral. Example: Jimmy Kimmel’s Halloween Spoof where the boys had their candy taken away and they were so upset. They were flown out to Jimmy Kimmel to go on the show.
The two girls who did the Nicki Minaj super bass song and they go to be on the Ellen Degeneres Show. I don’t think they kids are excited as the parents. I think you’ll see a lot of parents unfortunately pushing their kids in front of the camera to do a wacky YouTube video so that we to can have our 15 minutes of fame.”
To stay updated on all the parenting trends, be sure to follow Laurie Gelman’s blog on BabyCenter.