Mayim Bialik Tackles Her Boys’ Tough Questions

07/09/2013 at 11:00 AM ET

She plays a neuroscientist on TV, but The Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik also happens to be one in real life, something that proved helpful when her sons, 4½-year-old Fred and 7½-year-old Miles, began asking about the birds and the bees.

“They’re very interested in where babies come from. That happened. We had a very explicit conversation about that,” she jokes to PEOPLE. “Fred is almost 5 and he was very late to talk, so he’s asking a lot of interesting, cognitive questions that he’s clearly been waiting years to ask.”

Bialik continues, “Many of them are biological, like, ‘Why do we have body hair? What’s that for? When will I get it?’ Fun things that scientist moms love to have their kids ask.”

Mayim Bialik Gillette
Charley Gallay/Getty for Gillette

But one question the boys won’t be asking? About mom’s Hollywood resume, as the star admits she’s never let her sons see any of her acting work — or much television in general.

“I think they’ve seen a commercial,” she says. “It kind of freaked my older son out. His jaw was on the floor.”

“I don’t show them television,” she explains. “I feel when they’re closer to the age I was when I was in Beaches, for example, I would love to show them what my life was like then, but there’s so many other things about me that I think are more interesting, important and sometimes annoying to them. I think that’s enough of an identity.”

While on break from filming the hit CBS comedy, Bialik, 37, intends to spend the summer doing everyday things with her boys.

“We do beach days in the summer in a group of homeschooling families; we go camping with two other close friends of ours who have kids,” she says. “There’s a little resort [in Mexico] that’s hosting us for a little relaxation. [I] just want to spend as much time as I can with the boys, even doing normal daily things and cooking for them and all that stuff because I go back to work in August.”

In addition, the star is hoping to pass on a passion of hers to her children: comic books.

“I grew up in a pretty heavy comic book literate home. My dad grew up in the 1940s and 1950s collecting comics and my brother was a comic book collector. I spent a lot of my childhood in comic book stores,” Bialik says. “Particularly Superman, I still have my favorite Superman figurine from when I was a kid. With two young boys, we’re already kind of introducing them to the world of comics.”

That love, which ironically her onscreen alter ego Amy Farrah Fowler does not share, is why the actress partnered with Gillette on a new campaign that pits her against director Kevin Smith and fellow scientist Bill Nye, among others, to discern how the Man of Steel shaves.

“I just sort of thought a bit about hair follicle structure and came up with this protein theory, which I think is a pretty good one,” she says, noting her degree also gave her an edge in formulating it. “I think also being the only female gives me an unusual set of notoriety on the panel.”

— Kiran Hefa

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Showing 19 comments

Sarah S. on

Off the topic, but her hair looks really nice here!

I'm Honestly Curious on

What did her kids think she did when she was at work? Plus I don’t understand why there are people that don’t seem keen on their children watching tv, but are ok with Star Wars, Dungeons & Dragons or comic book violence. Interesting themes and words can pop up anywhere; it isn’t exclusive to television.

Rhonda on

I admire her and read all her blog entries. She’s a very smart and well educated woman and deserves all the success in her life.

Noonah on

To the Honestly Curious,

My children do not watch TV on regular basis, and I have no idea what Dungeons and Dragons are. My children do watch movies and some sports programs. It’s not only violence, it is just a dumb way to spend time. A lot of programming geared to young children does nothing to develop their creativity, thinking or any life skills. We do listen to the news on the radio, and if violent/sensitive topic comes up, I try my best to explain it in age-appropriate terms, if the children ask questions and are interested. I am not trying to shield my children from the world outside, I don’t want them to waste time watching TV. All in all, my family spends on average less than an hour per week in front of TV, and the children spend on average a hour a week playing computer games.

Also. over the years, I have noted that the less my children watch TV, the better they behave, the better they play on their own, and the less they say they’re bored. Also, if they ask to watch TV, I almost never say NO. Just because they almost never ask, they have better things to do.

Rachael on

I’m loving the trend I see with some new moms opting to keep the tv’s turned off until their kids are quite a bit older! Kids don’t need tv or movies – they have the best imaginations!

Samantha on

I make my money by acting in television, but no, no, no, it is not for MY precious children. I can afford to be a hypocrite for them…

Surf City on

I’m more curious what she tells them when they wonder why they are still breastfeeding or sharing a bed with mommy. I love my kids but am no fan of sharing a bed or having my full grown toddler at my boob. No shock that divorce happens when the parents stop being attached to each other!

Anonymous on

People like her should not procreate.

Kate on


manomer on

To each their own. Nothing wrong with not letting your child watch TV and nothing wrong with letting them watch tv…as long as it’s not b/c you don’t want to “deal” with them…THAT is when it becomes a problem. My kids have the TV on all day long but most of the time you will find them playing in the back yard, riding bikes or playing some sort of crazy game..or dressing up the dogs….they also have Ipads and use them to make hilarious videos…that are very creative. Everything in moderation. Pretty simple. (by the way we have no behavior problems, and they are straight A students)

Charlotte on

Must she mention her degree every time she opens her mouth?

lucy on

so cool shes love for comic books.

amanda k. on

love her!

leni on

Oh Samantha. Shut up. She might earn her money from acting. That doesn’t mean she needs to park her kids in front of the TV. Which is bad for children. Period. Just vecause I work at a McYuck doesn’t mean I need to feed my kids this disgusting stuff.

I actually would prefer that I was allowed to sleep in my mom’s bed to hearing that she put me in front of the TV to shut me up. There’s nothing wrong with attachment parenting. That’s what people did for millenia until some idiots decided it was time to put newborns in a crib in their own room far away from the protective love of their parents. It’s insane. And what’s worse: People actually think it’s normal.

susan schweitzer on

She looks great! I really like her on and off screen.

Lisa on

#1 she took time off from acting to get a degree not like she didn’t get an education in the process I love Mayim I love the attachment parenting I see parents who actually put HD TVs I their kids room with all the channels and let them watch tv all day and video games my kids I turn off the cable in the summer they play outside my little 7yr old if she watches tv it about animal show she loves animal planet my oldest graduated salutatorian i respect the way Mayim is raising her kids my kids r well behaved and polite my little relatives who watch tv all day r rude and demanding ill take Mayims way to raise a child

newfan on

She was recently on WHAT NOT TO WEAR they cut her hair it was very long and had no structure she is pretty funny her style of clothing is very different sh was very polite & just laughed and said how she thought her outfits were cute shes a pretty interesting individual to say the least

veesmom on

I Love her! Her parenting practices don’t have to be the same as mine or yours or yours. Obviously she loves her boys and that’s the most important thing. And I think she’s awesome on The Big Bang Theory. She’s hysterical along with the rest of the cast. I loved her in Beaches and I still love her.

barry on

How do these little kids know about body hair, who did they see naked and why……hmmmmm!!!!