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Tori Spelling’s Parenting Style

13 February 2009 11,181 views One Comment

Recently Celebrity Baby Blog had the opportunity to chat with Tori Spelling, 35, Thursday at the Pull-Ups Potty Dance Party — an event to encourage potty-training, held at the Helen Mills Theater in New York City — we found her just as funny, friendly and sweet as she comes across on TV. And guess what? She’s a CBB reader too!

You can learn what Tori had to say about parenting advice, first child vs. second child, potty-training and Donna Martin’s return to 90210 (she’s a mama!), plus take our potty training reward poll!

Tori Spelling married Dean McDermott on May 7, 2006,less than a month later after legally divorced with Charlie Shanian.

Tori gave birth to her first child, Liam Aaron McDermott (“Aaron” after her late father) on March 13, 2007 at Cedars-Sinai Hospital via emergency caesarean section. On June 9, 2008 Tori and her husband welcomed their second child together, a daughter named Stella Doreen McDermott (“Doreen” after Dean’s late mother) by caesarean section.

On Liam and Stella having their photograph taken by the paparazzi:
I never care about myself out in public when I get the paparazzi swarming me. But if I know we’re photographed out, I like to check the blogs to see if they got photos of Stella or Liam. I love Celebrity Baby Blog! Liam does not have a bad angle!
Now though, he’s about to hit the terrible twos, so he’s not always happy to see photographers. He’s in that mode now: Depending on the day, you might get a happy baby, or an angry one! He’s in a shy stage. We’ll say “Cheese” now before pictures, and he shields his face a bit. But before this, he was always looking for lights, or a camera. He loved paparazzi. He’d get mad if I tried shielding him, like “Get out of my shot, Mom!”Stella’s like that, too: Addicted to the camera. In every shot of her she’s looking right in the lens, posing.

On the best parenting advice she’s received:
When I was pregnant with both my children, everyone had advice and it kind of made my head explode. It was a lot to process. After I had my kids, I realized it’s pretty much all about instinct – you have to do what’s right for you. Everyone has an opinion, but it was all about what you do or don’t do. I was so overloaded, so I let my children dictate the way things were supposed to go, and things fell into place.

No one told me to trust my instinct! Everyone said, “You should do this, you should do that. You shouldn’t do this, you shouldn’t do that.” So now when I see new parents and they ask me for advice, I just tell them to trust their instincts. And they say “Okay.” But they’ll see!

Thoughts on specific baby gear:
Everyone has their preferred stroller, their preferred crib, their preferred Moses basket. And they have advice on that too!Stroller-wise we have been faithful to our Orbit. We love Orbit; it’s been our friend. We travel a lot and we’re on the road a lot, and obviously the kids are always with us. For Stella, it’s a car seat and stroller in one, so it’s the best, hands-down.

On her potty-training plan:
We started about a month ago, and I actually partnered with Pull-Ups, and they’ve been amazing. It was perfect timing, because we were just about to go into the potty-training stage, and I knew it would be Liam who dictated when he wanted to start. He was totally ready, was identifying with the bathroom, coming to me and letting me know he had to go.I got my information online. Pull-Ups has a Facebook page, because
they know everyone is on Facebook now, and that’s the big mom thing – all my mom friends are on it! Parents can also go to and they can get information on the Potty Dance.For us it was a saving grace, because I was completely stressed about making potty training work, making it fun, keeping Liam’s
attention, and wondering how I’d get through it personally without letting him know I was nervous about it.

Getting him to learn the Potty Dance, well, it was easy — he’s a big dancer. He loves to dance to The Killers, and knows like every word to their new song “Human.” He can’t say full sentences, but he knows a word here and there, and he does movements to the different lines. So when I learned the Potty Dance I taught it to him, and knew it was going to be so fun for him. For him it was like, “Wow, it’s dance time!” It was like a reward – every time he went potty, he got to do the potty dance. It was brilliant!

My fear was getting him to do it and rewarding him with it – I didn’t want to be that mom who offered him a cookie when he used the bathroom. Because once you start with something like that, you can’t go back. So the dance was something I wondered [if it] would work, but he’s totally psyched about it. After he goes to the bathroom, I tell him, “You’re such a good boy!” Then he puts up his fist and shows he’s ready to dance. He’s getting there. It’s a process.

On playing Donna Martin on 90210 again, this time as a mom:

Well it’s hard because when I do my reality show, I get to film with my kids. It’s the best job in the world because I get to be with my family. And now when I do 90210 I have to leave my kids at home. One day we worked for 17 hours, and I kept thinking about how I was missing my kids. I love acting, I love doing this, but finding the balance was so hard – I missed them desperately.

In the show, Donna has a baby, and the baby was working – they’re actually twins on the show because of child labor laws – and I was just clinging to the baby, and rocking her, thinking of Stella, and missing her so much. This baby really reminded me of her.

On having the kids on-set:
Dean’s brought them to the set, but they get tired. Liam wants to leave when he gets there! You can’t have them on set for too long because they’re unpredictable, and they make noise. They’re babies. So they sit in my trailer, and that’s just not that much fun for them. But they have come to the set to visit.

Liam actually came last week, and one of the scenes was outside – we were shooting in Beverly Hills. And they had a restaurant/café set up with all the prop food, and it’s real, because in the scene people are eating it. So he got all excited to be there, and I sat him down with me at the table, but he started eating all the prop food! I was like, “I’m sorry, this is out for the scene,” but he was just like, “Oooh bagels, chips, fruit!”

On the differences between first and second children:
Stella is much more advanced at everything, I find, than Liam was. He was my first and we didn’t know what we were doing or not doing right, and clearly I didn’t listen to advice or what people said, so I let him lead the way.With Stella, she sees Liam running, she wants to walk. She literally can’t sit still, and won’t let you hold her. I’m convinced she probably won’t crawl, but go straight to walking.She’s strong too: You hold her up, and she’s on her tiptoes, wanting to walk. She’s talking faster already, and she literally focuses on Liam and watches everything he does. The interaction between them is amazing.

Actually, last night they had their first little showdown. She was holding a toy, he came over and grabbed it, and then she grabbed it back. Then they locked eyes. She’s so much littler, but they were both grunting at each other. She was like, “Come on, bring it on!” He backed off – I think she may have won! She’s a toughie, I can tell already.I feel like the second child feels like they have to do everything faster. She’s definitely louder, too, and I always hear people say their second child is louder because they want to be heard, while
the first child is used to getting all the attention. Stella came out louder – it’s not like she realized one day she was the second, she’s just been louder since birth.

Tori’s 1st book ,sTori Telling, achieved high to the top of the New York Times Best Seller’s List! and Tori’s second book, Mommywood, will be out in April.


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