Parenting coach and author Stormie Lynch speaks to Acorn about bringing up Hollywood kids and keeping them humble
The busier your kid, the less trouble they will get into
You have to keep kids off the couch. When they are young, you have control over their time and what they do. By junior high school, parents must keep kids busy so they don’t have time to get in trouble. Give them a structured schedule filled with guitar practice, rollerblading, singing, sports… get them so exhausted. This also gives them good work ethics later on in life.
Hard work being a kid
What really gets kids ready for being in the Hollywood industry is all the extracurricular activities they do when they are young. We did everything from acting, diving lessons, taekwondo, speech classes, singing classes, team sports, every activity we could fit in. It all helps to build their confidence on the stage.
Make your kids pack their own bags
I have so many kids (five) that I had no choice but to make them pack their own bags. I would say to them, “Do you have all your stuff?” “Is your dance bag ready?” and then I would wait in the van so they would have to get themselves ready without my help. My kids had to be in control of their own things. This also made them super independent.
In Hollywood, you must stay away from all the drama brought on by other stage moms. We got straight in the van as soon as class was over. My husband and I never talked drama in front of our children or else they would get wrapped up in it. After my son Ross became the star on the Disney show Austin & Ally, one Disney exec said to me, “Your son is exactly the same kid from when he started the show four years ago. How do you keep your him so humble?” It was such a compliment. Ross is one of five kids and when he comes home he has to take out the garbage. No special treatment.
Media and the child
The iPad babysitter is everywhere. We don’t allow that in our home. We rather our kids play a real sport than the same game on their phones. When we go out for dinner, it is a rule everyone leaves their phones in the car. There is a time for phones, and a time for no phones.
Lynch’s book Raising 5: A Parenting Conversation With Stormie is now available on Amazon.