Nicole Sullivan: My Kids Were Early Talkers

04/23/2012 at 04:00 PM ET
Suntzulynn for LE/Splash News Online

Not unlike mom, both of comedienne Nicole Sullivan‘s sons, 5-year-old Dashel Pierce and 2½-year-old Beckett Edward, immediately took to expressing themselves.

“They were really early talkers,” she tells PEOPLE. “My first son could speak by the time he was 14 months; He was speaking small sentences.”

Though, the feat was not without its setbacks. “They learn to complain a lot sooner that way,” Sullivan, 41, jokes. “They get to exercise their options to say no to a lot of things.”

Luckily for the actress, her sons don’t put up much of a fight when it comes to eating healthy, something Sullivan works hard to achieve in her home since joining the Jenny Craig program after her second pregnancy.

“They’ll never remember a time when I didn’t eat vegetables or go for walks or go for runs,” she says. “Giving your kid that sort of example to live up to or live with, I think that’s the biggest thing. We’re always looking for leg-ups to give our kids and giving them the idea that healthy is normal is a big leg-up.”

In addition to nutrition, Sullivan invites her boys to share in her other biggest passion – acting – as well, though not always on set.

“The last thing I need is for them to be in the middle of the shot,” she says of her stint as a therapist on Cougar Town, “or me yelling, ‘Don’t eat that off the floor!'”

But just because they don’t often see mommy at work, Dashel and Beckett are not completely unaware of Sullivan’s day job.

“When they say they’re pretending to go to work, they pick up a bunch of papers, because they see me carry scripts around. That’s their version of work,” she says. “[But] they know my cartoon stuff. They know that I do voices on the cartoons, and they love that.”

— Kiran Hefa

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , News , Parenting

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Shannon on

Her boys have great names.

Catca on


I’m sooo jealous of you! My son is the exact opposite – off the charts early on motor skills and problem solving and slightly late with the talking milestones.

Trust me, it’s a lot easier to hear complaining than having a 20 month old who not only figures out how to unlock the screen and window behind it to sneak out of his bedroom into the yard when you put him in bedroom for a nap than hear a kid complain (and we have brand new expensive windows and screens with locks that are not exactly easy to undo).

I have to keep a video monitor in his bedroom and constantly check it – never a break even when he naps.

L ANN on

Was she the dog walker on King Of Queens ?

Sarah S. on

@LANN…why yes, she was.

Anonymous on

“Pretending to go to work.” Haha. Her kids are hilarious, and Nicole sounds like such a fun, laid-back mom!

Kate on

Her kids have really nice names. I am not a big fan of comparing milestones, but a 14 month-old is not an early talker. Many kids talk in full sentences by the time they are one year-old.

Momof2in1yr on

Actually, Kate (the “non-milestone comparer”, LOL!), the average child begins using 2-3 word sentences at about 2 years. Therefore, 14 months is an early talker– your child was as well. Nice try at the backhanded put-down though.