Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Interesting article with Matt Roloff regarding his parenting philosophy

For those of you that like analyzing the Roloffs and the different personalities and interactions, there is a rather interesting interview with Matt about parenting.

http://www.babble.com/celebrity/celebrity-babies/matt-roloff-little-people-big-world-shares-parenting-from-a-little-persons-perspetive/

Everyone will form their own opinions, personally though, I would take issue with two statements.

One, while I absolutely agree with Matt about how affectionate the Roloffs kids are towards their parents, given everything people know about the Roloffs history "off camera" and the more you know about their friends and people whom they are friendly with -- "open-minded" is not a word I would used to describe the Roloff kids. A lot of people aren't, but it's not a compliment I would reserve for the Roloff kids.

Two, I'm surprised that one of the questions implies that they (the shocking part to me is including Matt) favor Zach over the other kids. The general consensus is that Matt's "favorite" is quite obviously Jeremy. That question seemed a bit off the mark if you really observe the Roloffs.

However, the interview is interesting. A little more than some of the "same old" quotes from Matt. He made an interesting comment about Jacob when talking about the most shocking thing about parenting:

"You can do the exact same thing, give them the same dose of love and discipline, but ultimately, you learn that each kid requires their own manual. We’ve learned that the hard way, especially with Jacob, who has a mind of his own. That was shocking; we were pretty naïve."


http://www.babble.com/celebrity/celebrity-babies/matt-roloff-little-people-big-world-shares-parenting-from-a-little-persons-perspetive/

Parenting from a Little Person’s Perspective
Little People, Big World’s Matt Roloff sounds off.
by Andrea Zimmerman

You may know Matt Roloff from his TLC show Little People, Big World, which documents the life of little people parents, Amy & Matt Roloff, and their four kids — Molly, Jacob, and fraternal twins, Jeremy and Zach — all of whom are average height except for Zach, who is a dwarf like his parents. We caught up with Matt to talk about raising resilient kids, what’s totally off-limits in his house, and what it’s like to be shorter than your kids. — Andrea Zimmerman

How has your height affected your parenting?

Obviously, you’re less physically intimidating, but there’s a reason why teaching is the biggest profession for dwarfs: the relatability factor. They’re the same size as the kids, so it opens their hearts and minds better. There’s a certain vulnerability kids see that I think is advantageous. None of our kids is embarrassed to come up and kiss us. My dad was a huge guy, and I was always embarrassed, like “Dad, get out of here!” But my kids see us and they’re like, “Hey, that’s my dad!” It forced them at an early age to be proud that their parents were little people, and if you can teach your kids to be proud of being different, it makes them more open-minded.

On your show, it’s clear you treat all of your children very fairly. But with your son Zach, who’s also a little person like you, are you ever unintentionally easier on him?

No. What you see on the show is just a window, and that’s the crux of being on TV. We’ve heard the accusations before that we may favor Zachary, but he’s a different person. He’s more introverted, more thoughtful. We know he may have different reactions to things, and we treat him accordingly. What we do not do is showcase equal treatment because we feel fan pressure. [The way we treat him] has much more to do with his personality than with his height.

Were you worried about Zach & Jeremy’s relationship as they got older, with Zach being a little person and Jeremy not?

I’ve had apprehension since the day they were born. Jeremy could always do things quicker than Zach, and he always had a more outgoing, magnetic personality, whereas Zach was more thoughtful and introverted. I had apprehension about how rough that would be on a little person — to have a twin who’s the measuring stick to everything you’re supposed to measure up to. It’s one thing when you have an older or younger brother, but it’s a constant visual reminder of the fact that you’re not as mobile or as agile. We were always concerned about how that was going to affect both of them

Are Zach and Jeremy still as close as they’ve gotten older?

There’s evolution. Last night I was at a restaurant and they both popped in with their buddies, and they were apart and together at the same time. They do things together, but they do have separate things, their own friends and cars. It’s very balanced, very healthy.

Who’s the bad cop — you or your wife?

The role switches from situation to situation, but we always take one of the sides. If it has to do with my kids’ friends coming over and making sure they don’t empty my fridge, I’m the bad cop. If it has to do with using their cell phones, I’m the good cop.

What’s your parenting philosophy?

To not have a philosophy because it will never work. We believe in freedom of thought and opinion and being yourself. We don’t try to box our kids in. If they want to be neat as pins or be sloppy in their bedrooms, we don’t try to bend them. We’re very much about letting the kids be who they are — and encouraging them to be who they are — rather than trying to make them into someone we think they should be. We also have a deep faith, and we want the kids to understand what their purpose in life is.

If you could teach your children one life lesson, what would it be?

Resiliency. I would love to write a book on how to raise resilient children — it’s one thing Amy and I are in sync on. When their kids are young, many parents coddle them. We always told our kids to pick themselves up. We will always show love and support, but at the same time, we never wanted to raise crybabies. Bad things happen to good people. It’s not fair, but it means you’re going to be able to handle bigger problems in the future. Some people think you can only become resilient when you survive a tragedy, but I believe you can become resilient without that.

How did you manage a public tantrum?

We didn’t have too many of those. Amy is incredibly firm when she wants to be, and if [the kids] step out of line, especially in public, she’d firmly grab their arm, and they’d know it was unacceptable. She’s a lot more lenient in the house, but if the kids act out in public, it’s a very serious offense.

What shocked you the most about parenting?

You can raise kids the exact same way, and yet they turn out so different. You can do the exact same thing, give them the same dose of love and discipline, but ultimately, you learn that each kid requires their own manual. We’ve learned that the hard way, especially with Jacob, who has a mind of his own. That was shocking; we were pretty naïve. But we never say to him, “Oh we wish you were more like your brothers.”

What’s off-limits in your house?

Jacob isn’t supposed to be on the roof. He loves to run and jump off of it into the trees or onto the cars. My office has a pretty good view of it, and there are times when I’ve said, “What in the world are you doing on the roof?” That’s definitely off-limits.

14 comments:

Greg said...

"When their kids are young, many parents coddle them. We always told our kids to pick themselves up. We will always show love and support, but at the same time, we never wanted to raise crybabies."

Wow. Just wow.

I'm hard pressed to think of two more coddled 20 year olds than Jeremy and Zach Roloff.

Judy said...

Good article. Nice thoughts from Matt.

That shows me that those of us who sense a problem with Jacob's behavior are correct. That's only what makes the show. Matt obviously keeps a lot off about Jacob. Read into the quote.

"We learned the hard way"..."We were shocked"...

What do you think he is referring to?

Matt isn't saying that about Jeremy.

M said...

So he finally stopped his youngest son jumping off the roof? Yeah sure nobody seem to care before Amy didn't even bat an eye when Molly told him last season about them running on the roof. Redic.

Something tells me he's just saying that because that is what we normal people find horrible!

Jocelynn said...

M, I agree. Everytime I read or hear them talk about Jacob jumping off the roof I think it's some kind of gag for laughs.

Oh, the kid is jumping off the roof again.

What??

If Jacob is jumping from the roof into trees and onto cars, I am shocked if he hasn't been to the hospital again or worse.

Kids jumping off the roof usually is not a problem that normal families deal with.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Jacobs part of the script is "funny guy falls off things", yup, really funny. Some play the villian, the exasperated housewife, the perfect daughter, the brain dead older brother, the emotionally unsure son--- then there's Jake!!! It's like a 50's sit-com! All the roles have been filled. That Matt is so clever!

mythoughtis said...

I still don't think Matt has a clue about Jacob, other than Jacob is probably more like Matt was as a pre-teen than Matt wants to admit.. Wheelchair stories from high school come to mind?
And, Matt treats his kids fairly? Where did they find that interviewer?

AussieMum said...

That assumption sounds spot on. People are now calling the show a soap opera anyway.

Rap541 said...

"What do you think he is referring to?

Matt isn't saying that about Jeremy. "

If he's not referring to Jeremy calling mike detjen his nigger then it says a great deal about Matt. And not in a nice way.

Brandon said...

============
Some play the villian, the exasperated housewife, the perfect daughter, the brain dead older brother, the emotionally unsure son--- then there's Jake!!! It's like a 50's sit-com! All the roles have been filled. That Matt is so clever!
============

You might have hit the nail on the head. The Roloffs are such fine Christian liars.

LPBW and the 80s sitcom 'Growing Pains' have a lot of similarities if Ben had been a dwarf. The cast is a lot alike.

The cooky dad.

The Mom who loves the kids, trying to keep the family together.

The smart, perfect daughter.

The dumb/bad boy with a good heart underneath it all/ cute heart throb.

Shadow said...

...to have a twin who’s the measuring stick to everything you’re supposed to measure up to.

Well, that one statement for me said it all. JJJ is apparently the measure of perfection to dear old dad, and has been since the twins were little. Zach never had a chance.

Rap541 said...

Shadow, yeah, that was an interesting way to phrase things, wasn't it?

On an aside, wow, all of sudden the Roloffs are hitting the interviews as hard as Kate Gosselin. That's definetely different from previous seasons where these outside interviews were a rarity.

Shadow said...

Rap - I think they coasted along on JK8's coattails for a long time. When that disappeared, and ratings plunged, I suspect TLC started kicking some Roloff butt. Hence the flurry of "openness" and interviews lately. Pretty transparent, and smells suspiciously of desperation.

I doubt they'll survive until Molly's wedding (LOL), unless she's a teenage bride. Maybe another year or two...

Rap541 said...

Speaking of interesting phrases, Shadow, did you see that in the episode comment thread on mattroloff.com for the most recently aired episode that one of the boardies described the UK team as "oompa loompas"?

I kinda want an interviewer to ask Matt about that! :)

Shadow said...

Nah, I get enough of Dana's and Sheri's type of comments on this board. MattRoloff.com would probably make my head spin. But that certainly sounds like an "interesting" comment. Almost like something JJJ might say...

Don't hold your breath waiting for anyone to ask Matt about it (or more to the point, for him to answer), or I might not have your witty reviews to brighten my week.