Celebrity mom of three Kelly Ripa, mom to Michael, 14, Lola, 10, and Joaquin, 9, with husband Mark Consuelos, recently opened up to Good Housekeeping magazine about why she stalks her oldest son, who’s the real disciplinarian in her household and why she recently had a major mom meltdown.
Kelly explained the differences between her and Mark when it comes to discipline tactics: “He says he’s the bad cop and I’m the good cop, but really they associate him with fun and after-school activities. They associate me with inoculations, X-rays, and stitches.
He’s more apt to dole out discipline, but my punishments are real. I’ll take away my son’s iPod if he’s fresh. When we’re traveling, Mark will say, “If you don’t stop, I’m going to have the pilot turn this plane around.” I’ll whisper to him, “They know you can’t do that. The airline isn’t going to turn this plane around because you’re punishing the kids. You need to come up with something real.”
She added that they take away their kids’ privileges if they don’t make their grades: “We don’t let them watch TV during the week anyway, but [if we need to punish them] we’ll take that away on the weekends. We have a computer in the kitchen, the common area, and it’s usually used for homework, but on the weekends they can FaceTime [video chat] with their friends. We’ll take that away — which is like taking oxygen out of my daughter’s lungs. The fact that she doesn’t have a cell phone has ruined her life. She’ll be 11 in June, and according to her, she’s the only one of her friends who doesn’t have a cell phone yet. But I don’t believe that!”
On if she embarrasses Michael: “No, I respect [his wishes]. Well, OK, the only reason I’m telling you this is that he doesn’t read this magazine. This year he said, “I’m the only kid at school who gets dropped off and whose mother picks him up. I don’t want that anymore.” I said, “Fine.” Now, when the bus comes, I wait on the opposite corner, across the street, and I watch him walk home with his friends. He doesn’t know I’m there. He’s never seen me. I’m literally like a cat burglar following him home. In my opinion, when you take your eyes off them, sometimes they can get in a lot of trouble. He’s a very sweet kid, but I still hold on to that little ounce of keeping an eye on him. I do it my way, so he doesn’t have to know. He still has his freedom, but it’s a monitored freedom. I’m sure there will be a parenting expert reading this and saying I’m doing it wrong. I read that book How to Hug a Porcupine [by Julie Ross] — it’s my parenting bible. They say you have to trust your children and give them freedom. I say, OK, but this is New York City!”
On a recent mom meltdown, Kelly revealed: “Not too long ago I came home late, I hadn’t eaten dinner, and a babysitter was there. She said, “They were great; they were absolute angels,” and she left. Then a riot broke out — they got out of bed; Lola and Joaquin were hitting each other and screaming. I was separating them, and then Lola wanted me to read her a story. I said, “No, I have to eat dinner, and you need to go to bed.” Then Joaquin said, “If you read her a story, you have to read me a story!” And Michael’s like, “Mom, can I order a movie on iTunes?” I just broke down crying in front of them, which I had never done before. They reacted in a way that was so peculiar. The two boys retreated to their rooms and shut their doors. My daughter was like, “Oh, Mom, do you want me to rub your head?” I was like, “No, I want you to go to bed. I need to eat dinner.” That’s the only time I’ve really lost it in front of them.”
Have you ever melted down in front of your kids?
Photos: C.Smith/ WENN.com