Mayim Bialik Keeps Her Days as Blossom a Secret From Her Son For Now

07/19/2009 at 04:00 PM ET
Chris Weeks/WireImage

For young children, separating fact from fiction when it comes to television and movies can oftentimes be a difficult concept for their developing minds to comprehend; add their parents in the leading roles and the utter confusion is completely understandable. Fortunately, for actress Mayim Bialik — who portrayed Blossom on the 90s sitcom — her holistic approach to parenting has kept her 3 ½ -year-old son Miles in the dark as to her television career! “He does not watch television and he does not know that I was on TV,” she tells PARADE.

“He knows that I have meetings that are sometimes early in the morning. He knows that there are scripts, but I don’t think he’s put it together.”

While the family opts out of television time, Mayim admits that Miles has managed to catch “a couple of cartoons or sports when we’ve been at friends’ houses,” but has not grasped the concept of acting as of yet. “I don’t know if he understands the whole people pretending to be someone else with a script, so it’s kind of funny,” she says.

Mayim and her husband Michael are also parents to 11-month-old Fred. Next up for the actress is a role on The Secret Life of the American Teenager as a school guidance counselor.

Source: PARADE

— Anya

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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ab on

I am a bit confused about her way of parenting. So, she doesn’t want her children watching TV, but she is going to continue being an actress on a TV show? Sounds a little backwards to me!

elle on

I completely agree, ab. Assuming she’s only taking TV jobs because she wants to act, then she should try to do theater or something instead. She doesn’t appear to be doing it for the money. I’d like to hear in depth as to why she would choose to keep her home television-free but is perfectly fine with going back to the biz.

Devon on

I don’t think it’s that horrible that she acts on television, but doesn’t let her children watch it. He’s 3 and a half. He doesn’t need to watch TV. Attention spans of children are getting shorter and shorter and TV probably doesn’t help that. Nothing makes me madder than parents plopping their children in front of a television as an acting babysitter. Once he is old enough, I’m sure she’ll explain and allow him to watch. I definitely plan on not allowing my kids to watch TV until a certain age. There is so much crap on TV!

I’m really not a fan of TV, I only have cable to watch hockey games (it’s irritating that I need to pay for 3 tiers of channels to watch only 3 channels!), and there are much better ways to occupy ones time. She probably enjoys television opposed to working in theatre since there is more down time. Working in theatre is usually a 7 day a week job, with at least 2 shows a day. Working in television, she gets days off and can have a more structured family life.

Mrs. R. on

I don’t think it’s backwards at all.
She’s teaching her child to not rely on TV for entertainment. That she acts on TV is irrelevant. The kinds of things she does aren’t appropriate for her child, so to put off introducing her sons to it isn’t a bad thing at all.

It’s actually kind of common I think with actors… a lot of actors have said their kids don’t watch TV, nor do they. Most find what’s on TV for children to be generally stupid and don’t want their kids to waste their time watching stupid stuff.

gaia's mom on

I find that odd as well. TV is something you don’t want in your childs life, yet you want to work in television something that will be entering the homes of other people with children?

Jo on

Seems a bit hypocritical to me. She is planning on making a living doing something that she does not personally support. In other words, she wouldn’t allow her son to watch her on TV, but has no problem with your child watching her on TV.
It reminds me of a friend who works in a rather rough school as a teacher. She will always say how the community needs to support the school by sending all the local kids there, and not to private schools. Until she had a child of her own and that child is, surprise surprise, off to private school this year.

mp on

I’m glad I’m not the only one who finds Mayim & her choices a bit hypocritical.

Jamie on

I don’t think it’s hypocritical at all–her sons are 3.5 years and 11 months old. There’s no need for them to be watching TV that young!

Once they’re older, perhaps they’ll want to watch some TV, and maybe see stuff their mother has done, but I see absolutely no problem (and actually find it wonderful and refreshing!) that Mayim doesn’t let her young kids watch TV. Go Mayim!

anon on

Television is the devil didn’t you know? Apparently children who grow up with one are devoid of an imagination. I feel kinda bad for children who grow up with NO television, sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, freee freee free, here’s a stick go play new-agey ‘holistic’ parenting. I personally feel everything is fine in moderation, including television.

elle on

But here’s the thing (for those of you who say it’s not hypocritical): She’s not *restricting* TV – it’s not allowed in their home (i.e. it’s banned from the home). It seems to have nothing to do with age.

And I certainly watched TV at 3 1/2, as did my niece.

jamie on

Excuse me, but didn’t she go to school and get a Ph.D in neuro science? Does she work in the medical field at all?

A friend of my moms said before having kids, “When I have kids, I will will not let them watch TV.” But, as soon as she had a kid, she said “the television is the best babysitter.” hahaha

I like Mayim, but I am confused why she went to school to get a Ph.D and then wants to go back into acting? Would love to know if she will work in the medical field when the kids get older.

jamie on

Did anyone see Joey Lawrence on Chelsey Lately? It seems like Mayim is the one that wanted Blossom to end when it did.

I think Joey wanted to do another season or two.

Jamie on

Elle–where does it say TV is banned from their house? It says they “opt out of television time.” It sounds to me as if they’re just not interested in it. If they’re not interested in it, then so be it. And anon, Mayim says Miles has watched it at other peoples’ houses, so it’s not like he’s NEVER seen TV before.

Her lifestyle may not appeal or be right for everyone, but if she is happy and making things work, I say more power to her! No TV provides more time for personal interaction with your children, as well as imaginative playtime, reading, etc.

elle on

Yes, they’ve seen it at other people’s houses, but not at theirs. I’m not criticizing her for not allowing TV time in their home — I’m just pointing out that it seems a tad contradictory for her to be a television actress and not allow her children to watch TV in their own home.

Aaron on

So there’s no TV time in her house. It’s her children, her choice. What goes on in any of your homes is also your choice. That’s the great thing about living in America…at least for now.

gaia's mom on

I don’t think that anyone cares that her kids don’t have tv time people can do what they want. However, its ridiculous to want to work and actively seek employment as a tv and or film actress and ban television from your household. Its hyprocritical and contradictory anyway you slice it. If you don’t approve of television for your family then don’t try to be on television.

noam on

in her interviews, she makes it sound like they do pretty much everything as the full family. so maybe she doesn’t want her kids to watch tv at this age, thus the full family “opts out” (as the article says) to tv time. as the kids get older, perhaps they’ll “opt in”. i don’t see where it says she has banned tv…
as for her acting–i think her decision would be confusing if she were working on kids shows, but she’s not. secret life is a show for teens. even if her sons did watch televison, they wouldn’t be watching that. saying she’s hypocritical is kind of like saying everyone who makes an r-rated film and doesn’t let their small children see it is hypocritical.

Tiff on

What is the big deal? She is an actress but chooses not to allow her kids to watch T.V.. just because that puts her on YOUR television doesn’t mean you have to let your kid watch it. As parents we have a choice.

Suzanne on

I read in a previous interview that she decided to get back into acting because that’s where the money is. Having an advanced degree in the sciences doesn’t mean you are going to make any money unless you get published and I think she said that the amount of time it takes to do the research that goes into writng isn’t condusive with the way she wants to raise her family….

Jamie on

Gaia’s mom–again, Mayim said nothing about ‘banning’ television from their household. She simply said they opt out of watching it. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t approve of television, it just means they have other things they’d rather do than sit around and watch TV. Mayim enjoys acting, that’s why she does it. She/they may not just like watching TV shows.

Suzanne on

I LOVE how people without children talk about how when they’re parents their kids wont be watching TV either! Ha!!!! Get back to me when you have three little ones under the age of 5 and laundry piling up, dishes to do, meals to prepare, etc…..a little TV never hurt anyone, as long as you monitor the amount of time spent in fron of the TV and the programs being watched….there are actually quite a few great and educational shows for kids….It’s just a matter of “everything in moderation…”

Tee on

She should not get the benefit of working on a television show and getting paid when she feels that TV is something bad for her children. It’s just like a public school teacher getting paid with taxpayer dollars and then sending her kid(s) to private or charter school because public schools are not good enough for her kids, a manufacturer of store brand (generic) foods only purchasing “name brand” products because they are “better” or the owner of a US car dealership having a garage full of foreign cars/ trucks.

Elle is right – work in theater, not TV. If TV is not good enough for your kids, why get to profit from it?

There are many of us that grew up watching Sesame Street, 321 Contact, etc. that learned a lot. What parents of today have to do is sacrifice self for their children and MONITOR WHAT they watch and choose NOT TO watch violent shows, sexual shows, etc. when the kids are around or awake. It’s not TV that’s the problem – it’s parents who take the minimalist approach to parenting.

JMO on

The TV thing is always going to be a debate yet I always find it funny that those who choose to be in the entertainment business are always the hypocrites who then refuse to have their children engage in it!! And I’m not even speaking of Mayim. I’m talking in general.

And here’s a little story. I work in a gym childcare on a part time basis. We always keep the tv on as an option for the little one’s. However our childcare room is HUGE with LOTS and LOTS of toys. I can tell you that EVERY child who comes into that gym who is not allowed to watch tv at home sits in front of that television like a zombie and never moves! The parents have to literally pull them out of the chair to get them to leave! The one’s who are allowed to watch tv end up never even looking at it because for them they’d rather play!! We even have one mother who is actually concerned that the 1/2 hr of Dora that her daughter sits and watches at the gym is going to “change” her personality!!! I literally didn’t even know what to say! But I can almost guarentee that any child that does not engage in television is anymore intelligent then one who does. Anyways, that’s my experience of studying children over the last 10 years.

JMO on

Anon –

Gosh I couldn’t agree more!! And where I live we have a community of these mothers who think that they’re better then everyone else because they don’t give their children candy or cookies and they are not allowed to watch tv and god forbid you put them in a Target or Walmart outfit. As someone I know put it, everything is a “teachable moment” instead of the park being something fun to do it’s a learning experience of how the mechanics of the teeter totter work and why it goes up and down. Has anyone heard of just letting your child be a kid!! Take them to the park, sit your butt on a bench, and let them be! Half the time they don’t want you smothering them with you over usage of knowledge!!! Gosh I am so thankful for my mother!

sorry that was more of a rant😉

Jamie on

Suzanne–I have 3 under 6 that I’m with at home all day long, and I manage just fine with little to no TV🙂

I agree with you, though, everything in moderation. But I’m not allowing the baby (8 mo) to watch TV yet as she’s just too young, I don’t want her brain stimulated by the quickly moving pictures as it’s been shown to contribute to ADD/ADHD. The 4 & 6 year old get to watch very minimally. All other times I encourage them to play together or separately with their toys, to read, draw, etc. That way I’m free to clean up/cook/etc!

Jamie on

BTW I don’t mean to sound all holier-than-thou!!! This is just my experience, that it’s possible to get by with little to no TV. It is a lot of work, I will say that, and there are times where I do just plunk them in front of the TV (with appropriate programming) just so I can have a bit of a break. I am human, after all🙂

anon on

JMO I completely agree. Everyone has the right to raise their child the way they want and I wouldn’t change that if I could. My issue with these types of parents is the pretentious aura many of them have.

I live in NYC and there’s this woman who’s purposing a ban that would not be allow those little birthday parties(that we’ve ALL had go on in our class at one point in our lives) because she doesn’t like “junk food cupcakes” being served in class! Lets be real, some kids birthday in elementary school was something everyone looked forward to and the teachers never complained. Its ridiculous to me how strangely uptight and militant some parents can be. If you don’t want your child eating a cupcake tell them they can’t have any. Oh well.

Liliana on

I don’t find Mayim’s views to be pretentious at all. In other posts regarding her family, she was being praised for opening up about her way of parenting without sounding preachy. I don’t think anything has changed with her statement over television.

As some have mentioned, she never said television is banned for her children until they leave the nest. Right now, her children are at the age where they don’t show interest in it. If they’re perfectly content doing other activities, there’s no need for them to watch tv. It’s not, as if, they’re missing out on anything.

Her choice to pursue television work is quite smart as a mother of two young children. Especially since, at the moment, she’s not a starring cast member on any given show, it’s more like a part time job. If she filmed movies, she’d have to be on location and shooting at various hours of the day. If she was in theater, it’s a daily job with, sometimes, multiple performances on any given day. I also don’t agree that it’s hypocritical of her to do so. It’s not as if she’s not allowing her boys to watch television but then makes guest appearences on Sesame Street. It’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager. The shows target audience is probably between 13 and 18; not three.

Shalay on

I don’t see what the big uproar is about. Her kids are 3 and 11 months. Maybe they have better things to do with their time than sitting around watching TV. Obviously Mayim doesn’t think television is the devil, or she wouldn’t be so accepting of her children watching it outside of the home, as she claims they do.

And I don’t think she is a hypocrite at all. It would be hypocritical of her to actually star on a children’s TV show, and ban her kids from watching it. But she’s not. She’s on a show geared towards teens. I’m sorry, but as parents, people make the best decisions they can for their families. Just because a parent chooses to partake in something, but doesn’t let their child do so, does not neccessarily make them a hypocrite. Is a rapper who doesn’t let his 3 year old listen to hip hop a hypocrite for doing so? Or is a motorcyclist who doesn’t let his young children ride motorcycles a hypocrite? Come on. People do the best they can.

Catherine on

I don’t think it’s hypocritical at all. There’s nothing wrong with feeling that tv is good for adults or older children, but not appropriate for younger children. And, who cares whether or not she uses her PhD? She may have done it purely out of a thirst for knowledge, not to get a job. She may well use it in the future, but who cares if she doesn’t?

Anna on

I don’t think it’s hypocritical either. It’s just a choice she makes for her family. Her children are young and they don’t need TV, they can play and do other things. They don’t come home from working 8 hours so they some mindless entertainment like adults.

JMO, why would you have a TV on in a gym? As a parent you take your child to the gym to be active not to watch TV. Of course a child that doesn’t have TV at home will be attracted to moving colourful images.

For a lot of people the TV has become something that is on all the time (even in a gym!) and they can’t stand it that there are people that are not as dependent on TV.

phililpa on

I dont’ think a three year old would be interested in watching Blossom anyway. I know my three year old only likes cartoons.
As far as not letting them watch t.v.–good for her. I wish I never had my kids introduced to it.They are t.v. fanatics. I monitor their television time because they would watch most of the day if I let them. It is amazing how once I turn it off (I have to unplug it, because my 18 mos. old know the on button) they will have a fit,and then in no time start playing and forget about it.
I am totally honest, it is easy to put them in front of the t.v. to get things done–I have done it.
Sometimes I want to get rid of our t.v. so I don’t have to have the fight.
There is nothing wrong with watching a little, and nothing wrong with not letting them watch any.
As far as people saying she is hypocritical because she acts. I don’t agree. She is just making money. Just because she works on t.v. doesn’t mean she has to let her kids watch it.Our jobs can be seperate from our home lives.
And soon enough I am sure they will get their share of television.

Dounia on

I know that TV can be a bad influence specially if your kids watch it without the presence of an adult, but banning TV for your children…IMHO that’s taking things a bit too far. Nevertheless I respect her choice, it’s no worse or better than others, and I’d rather see a child reading a book than watching Hannah Montana.

lis on

I can totally see the logic of putting off tv until they’re older. It has to be doubly complicated if they go through the phase where they cannot grasp actors. When you try to explain what mommy does, that has to be hard to grasp. So wait until they can. No big deal.

Bree on

This whole banning talk is getting to me! She never once said she banned TV for her children! She merely said he doesn’t watch television and the family opts out. I think its a good way to go! If she had completley banned it, don’t you think she would have issues with him catching “a couple cartoons and sports”?

I for one, respect her decision. My job is a job. If because she is an actor her child has to watch television is the reasoning we are going with, does it mean that because I work in the steel industry, I should have my children come cut some steel?!

Suzanne on

I manage just fine with little or no TV as well…
I’m just saying that it’s ridiculous for people without children to say they will never let their kids watch TV….my 3 little ones watch very little TV either and at the moment they are happily drawing while I am typing this, now I’m off to make breakfast and the TV is still not on….🙂

Christina on

If she were a stripper, would it be hypocritical of her not to permit her toddlers to see strippers perform? Lots of parents(moms and dads) keep their jobs separate from their children. No biggie.

IIRC, the AAP recommendations for children & tv is no television AT ALL before the age of 2. Her younger child is well below two, and her oldest child is not much older than 2.

I didn’t have a tv growing up (they were hard to come by in the USSR in those days) and turned out just fine. Now that I’m an adult and have one, I find there is very little that is worth spending the time watching. JMHO.

JMO on

Anna –

We have PBS on and occasionally the Disney Channel with only appropriate shows (i.e. Imagination Movers, Dora, Diego etc).
And it’s a childcare center where we watch the children while the parents are working out. We do nothing more then keep an eye on them for the lotted time. There are other activities the children can engage in w/ their parents on the parents time. But when they drop a child off to the childcare center we are paid babysitters not teachers!!

JMO on

Anon –

It’s so true. I know were getting a little off topic here but I always remember being in public school and having a halloween, Christmas, and Easter party.

Now the Halloween party in our district is called a Harvest/Fall Festival. No costumes! No Parades! Cup cakes have since been banned from the school (after parents complained it’s an unhealthy choice for their children) and don’t even speak of good old Santa Clause anymore! What happened to people that they have to make such a stink about everything that they are making it very unfun for the kids in this generation! We already complain children grow up too fast so why are we taking away the good old traditions of dressing up in halloween costumes and eating cupcakes! I don’t know but I really am glad I grew up in a time where being a kid was just fun and we didn’t have to worry about the constant complaining of adults!

boo on

Would you criticize a foresic scientist for not letting his child see an autopsy? Acting is her job…how many of us expose our children to our job on a daily basis? The kid will get into TV and I think she knows that, but the adults in the house obviously don’t have it running, as they find other avenues of entertainment.

Danielle on

ooh I love Mayim and parenting style so much. I hope to be like her when I have my children. Yes Im one of these people who doesn’t have children and is going to make a comment. But I am a nanny of 12 years who works 5 days a week 11hrs a day. I have been working for 2 VERY different families. One family, kids 5yrs and 3yrs, watches a lot of TV (when I’m not on duty so basically an hour in the morning, an hour before bed and all weekend, and most of the holidays) and the other family, kids 6,4,and 2, have no tv but the children are allowed a DVD on a Saturday night on the projector.
And I have to say the family who doesn’t watch, the children are far far more imaginative and intelligent whether that is coincidence who knows, the 5yr old in the other family has dispraxia and is behind at school, really he should be sitting down and doing extra work, he also has exercises he is supposed to do and doesn’t do them as much, because all he wants to do is play gameboy and watch tv. All their games are about Ben 10 and star wars or pokemon as are most of their toys now. Their mum also says oh a little tv wont hurt and everything in moderation, but it seems parents who say that end up with kids who don’t want to move from the tv while scoffing fatty/sugary snacks. Hence the rise in obesity in children.

Read ‘The plug in Drug’ by Marie Winn, she explains how it isn’t just the contents they watch, in fact the concerning part with tv and kids is actually how much they watch. As adults we have life experience and knowledge to cope with what we see on tv, to children its like sugar, its a drug and they get hooked.

Oh and the family who don’t have a tv, have 3 children, 6 and under, both parents work but they manage to run a very large house and look after 3 kids.

Jacquie on

I don’t find it odd given her children’s ages. They are too young to really watch a lot of TV if that is her choice. And I have to say that just because she acts doesn’t mean she allow her children unlimited access to TV… I think there are probably a lot of parents who don’t allow their children to have contact with their occupation. Think about it…

Debra on

I have read Danielle posts#41 several times and have been confused as to why would you write this comment “Oh and the family who don’t have a tv, have 3 children, 6 and under, both parents work but they manage to run a very large house and look after 3 kids” Makes no sense you would praise a family that takes care of their house and kids all by themselves when you wrote earlier that you work for them 55yrs a week. Of course they can take care of a house and work two full time jobs, they have a full time nanny to care for the kids, not because they decided to have no TV’s in the house.

Kasee on

Haha, anon your post cracked me up. I love how people take it to the extreme and say “No TV” just because some of it is bad. Should kids park it in front of the TV all day? Certainly not. But what is wrong with Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers? I loved those shows as a kid and turned out to be a successful, active adult. It never fails – completely restricting something from a kid (unless its something absurdly obvious and safety-motivated, like no touching knives or running with scissors) will make it the “forbidden fruit” and they will want it that much more.

Danielle on

Sorry Debra i should have said I don’t work for that family full time, I work for the other family full time, and the ones with no tv, part time, its a share so they would drop the 6 yr old at school then the 2 younder kids off at the other families house with me in the morning then I would take them to nursery after lunch and they would collect them a couple of hours later. Does that make sense?
What I was trying to point out was that they managed to juggle lots of things, work, housework, and childcare etc. They often work from home when it would be so easy im sure to plop them in front of the tv. They also didn’t have any help until this year.
My main boss (the ones with the tv) only has her kids on a saturday and they spend most of it watching tv or playing gameboy. Lets not get me started on computer games for small children…..

Brittany on

Personally, I think this is quite normal. I was homeschooled, and while I was allowed to watch TV, some of my friends didn’t have one in their home, and others had one, but were only allowed to watch casette tapes. I was only allowed to watch casette tapes when I was younger, except for a grand total of two TV shows. She is acting for a living, and they live in California, where TV jobs are more common than theatre jobs. Her decisions make perfect sense.

Anie on

In reply to the woman with 3 kids under 5 and needing the t.v I know of several families who have 5 young children (or MORE) and never use T.V ever.
Their kids read books, play outside, play with toys and help their Momma around the house. Since there is no T.V in the house they certainly don’t care. Get rid of the idiot box and the kids will find more constructive things to do with their time.

Anon on

Some of you looked up the definition of similes puh-lease.

Being a forensic specialist and not allowing you child to look at an autopsy photo is not the same thing. Being a stripper and not allowing your toddler to watch strippers is not close to being the same thing as being an TV actress and not allowing your child to watch TV because you find SOMETHING about it negative. If you find something detrimental about television then don’t be on television because you are apart of it and making money off of it.

Its like Cam’ron being a rapper and telling his song he can’t listen to (any) hiphop music. What kind of sense does that make?

Anon on

The “idiot box”…


SH on

Yeah, Anie, they could be like you and find more constructive things to do like bash people who let their kids watch the idiot box? WOW.

Some parents don’t “use” a TV. It’s freakin entertainment once in awhile. You know, there ARE some shows on TV that are educational to children and fun for them to watch. Get a grip.

I have 4 kids under 5 years old and every day they read books, play outside, play with toys, read, draw, help me around the house, AND **GASP** WATCH SOME TV!! The SHAME of it ALL!!!

OH, and BTW, my 5 year old daughter (who isn’t in kindergarden yet) is reading at a 2nd grade level…and she watches the idiot box!

Alex on

Her children=her choice in how she raises them.

skeptic on

a study in contrasts…

so she’s a TV Actor who doesn’t watch TV and also a scientist who embraces total pseudoscience in raising her children. Just Lovely. She lost me as a fan once she joined the anti-vax debate.

mom to a fully vaccinated son who doesn’t watch TV.

Suzanne on

LOVED your comment, I couldn’t agree more!

Suzanne on

Do you have kids….didn’t think so…
A little TV never hurt anyone, as long as you monitor what is being watched. My kids read, draw and paint and play all day long…they also watch a little TV (Magic School Bus, Dora, etc.) and they are bright and imaginative kids. Don’t judge until you have kids and then let me know how it’s going….

JMO on

The idiot box LOL

okay my niece is watching tv right now and she’s 4 1/2 but she also is tired and doesnt’ feel well. I guess I’m being the horrible aunt of a babysitter because instead of reading to her she’s sitting in front of the television getting dumber *smh*

IDK but at two years old she was speaking spanish and not one person in my family speaks it….the only place we figured she picked it up from was Dora. And get this at the age of one she could sign up to fifteen words, could sing her ABC’s, Count to ten and point out he colors. At almost 4 years old she’s way advanced for her age group. Guess we better turn the tv off now before it suddenly fries her brain into squash!!

CelebBabyLover on

skeptic- Mayim has the right to raise her children the way she wants to (as long as she’s not abusing them or doing anything illegal). I agree with you on the not vaccinating issue, but other than that, I see nothing wrong with her choices.

Also, Mayim has a Ph.D. in neurosciences, so I’m sure she knows more about kids’ brains than we do.

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