Q&A series

Q: How has your view of parenting changed over the years?
 I was 22 when I had my first baby girl. So, a baby myself! I was told I could never have kids, so Madison means ‘Gift from God.’ She was my miracle baby. I had a hard time saying no to her because I was so thrilled to have her in my life that I wasn’t great at boundaries, and I didn’t like to make her ‘sad’. I’ve educated myself, and had the experience now to realize how important it is to set limits and that kids actually WANT them because it breeds security in them, even when they fight you on it.

Q: What were some key moments that altered your idea of parenthood?
A: Seeing a toddler have a tantrum isn’t much different than a teenager having an emotional meltdown. When your kids are teens, they seem so mature sometimes that you forget their brains still haven’t fully developed, and that they still need you to set limits and guide them. I’ve also learned not to take personally their fight for autonomy. It’s biologically appropriate, even when it doesn’t feel great.

Q: How did your upbringing affect your parenting?
A: I am so eternally grateful to my parents for the depth, love, support, and guidance that they showed me. I didn’t realize until I was out in the world how truly blessed I was in my upbringing. My parents taught me to have integrity, compassion, a servant’s heart, to be humble, and not just knowledgeable, but wise. I owe anything that I’ve done right to them. They showed me how to build my life on a solid foundation, and that with faith, there isn’t anything I can’t survive.

Q: How has your faith affected your ideas of marriage and parenting?
As my father used to say, ‘Whether you believe in the principles of the Bible or not…they work.’ I honestly don’t know how people thrive in marriage or parenting WITHOUT faith! They can both be tricky at times, and I love how the Bible teaches you to meditate on the good, strive to do what is right and create character, and at the same time teaches unconditional agape love. You need both/and, not either or. I pray every day that God will help me to find that balance in both my marriage, and with my kids.

Q: How has the age difference in your children affected your parenting/marriage for the better (or worse!)?
I cannot believe I got to be a mama again 17 years later! Children are such a blessing. I am so grateful to God for giving me the opportunity to do it again. I’d like to think I’m much wiser, it’s definitely been a more peaceful journey the second time around. I think my age, life experience, and having done it before makes for a completely new experience. However the deep love is exactly the same. Wanting to learn from and teach them is such an amazing ride. I’m looking forward to the next stretch with my 3 year old!

Q: What are some of the challenges of raising siblings who are much older/younger than the others?
I thought there would be no sibling rivalry with that many years in between. I was wrong. It’s much different than, ‘She took my toy!’ It’s more about the time sharing, and being number one, and adapting to a new life with pieces of the pie getting split up. So, I try to give them the example of a candle being lit in a room. When you love another, your light doesn’t go out…you’re lighting another candle, so the room just gets a little bit brighter, and filled with more love.

What are some of your favorite scriptures and why?
A:‘I have no greater joy than this, to see my children walking in the truth.’ 3 John 1:4. My dad had a friend who painted a picture of me and my sister with this verse, and it hung in our playroom my whole life. I now have a ‘walk in truth’ tattoo on my right foot. And, Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” At the end of Master Minds, I sign off by touching my head, my mouth, and my heart…what I’m saying is, ‘Think good thoughts, speak kind words, and have a strong heart.’ To me, this is the recipe for a healthy marriage, a happy family, and when I’ve accomplished this, I sleep very peacefully at night. 

About Brooke Burns:

Actress and Emmy®-nominated television host Brooke Burns is the host of “Master Minds” featuring “Jeopardy” champion, Ken Jennings. on the Game Show Network. Burns began her career with breakout roles in “Ally McBeal,” “Baywatch,” and “Melrose Place.” In 2002, she made her game show hosting debut on NBC’s “Dog Eat Dog,” and went on to host ABC’s “You Deserve It” with Chris Harrison. From 2013-2015 Burns served as host of Game Show Network’s Emmy®-nominated and wildly popular UK-adapted trivia show, “The Chase,” where she was also nominated for an Emmy® as outstanding game show host. Burns is also known for her starring roles on the Hallmark and Lifetime Channels, currently for the original movie franchise “Gourmet Detective,” and earlier films “A Sister’s Revenge,” “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” and “Christmas Connection.” Brooke lives with her husband and their three girls ages 3, 18, and 19 in Los Angeles.