We all know Mayim Bialik from her hilarious role as the love of reluctant life partner Dr. Sheldon Cooper, Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler, on the hit CBS sitcom, The Big Bang Theory but some of us, ahem, slightly older folks remember her fondly as Blossom from the 90's TV sitcom with the same name. Some others, especially those who are parents, might know her from her parenting blog and YouTube channel. However Miss Mayim is known to various parts of the world, and she is taken seriously and considered a very intelligent person in Hollywood.
She has a habit of presenting her thoughts and opinions in a way that is non-threatening to those who have differing viewpoints. Mayim believes strongly in what is known as "attachment parenting" which she describes as "conscious, child-centered parenting". Over the years, she has raised eyebrows with some of the parenting methods she has chosen for her two sons, Miles and Frederick. While we may not agree on everything that Mayim does, we have to admit that her videos always manage to capture our attention and her blog posts hold our interest. Here are 25 interesting ways that mother of two, actress and real-life neuroscientist Mayim Bialik has handled motherhood.
25 She Believes In Extended nursing
Along with her husband, Mayim made the decision to wait until her sons were one year old before introducing solid foods to them. Her oldest son, Miles, was nursed for slightly over two years and her younger son, Fred, was nursed until at least 3 years of age. Someone spotted Mayim nursing Fred on a subway car in New York City and snapped a photo which has gone viral and caused many people to voice their concern for nursing a 3-year-old. Mayim was unapologetic about breastfeeding her toddler.
“I love that it's meeting a very valuable need nutritionally, immunologically and emotionally," she said of the photo. "What I like to point out is that was the best way for that subway ride to be pleasant for everyone. It was the end of a very long day."
24 She Homeschools
When her sons were younger, Mayim and her husband declared to the world that they would not hold their two sons to any daycare, pre-school or kindergarten standards of any kind except their own, and according to their sons' needs. Mayim has always homeschooled her sons and has said that she only chooses friends who lend support to independent thinking.
She has stated that she has "no one to impress" and believes that letting her children set their own pace for development is much important than forcing them to live up to state-regulated school standards. "My kids are fine," she has said. "You may not think so, but you get to raise your kids and I get to raise mine."
23 She Doesn't Attend "Mom's Groups"
Though Mayim has made it clear that she enjoys spending time with other moms and has surrounded herself and her two boys with other moms and their similarly-aged children, she didn't particularly enjoy a "mom's group" that she joined at a baby retail store when her first son, Miles, was a baby.
This is because she felt that the women at this group were encouraged to turn topics such as childbirth and how fast their babies were hitting milestones, into a major competition. “These were not my people," Mayim said of her realization, also admitting, "I left in tears … Moms are so competitive!"
22 Her Co-Sleeping Policy
Most parents with a traditional approach to parenting might find purposely making sleeping arrangements that consist of each parent sharing a bed with each child bizarre and perhaps even harmful but Mayim and her ex-husband, Michael, were adamant that co-sleeping was in the best interest of their children and them as well.
“With co-sleeping, mama gets more rest — period," Mayim said. "If you're breastfeeding or baby needs soothing, baby is right there. You don't have to get up at all.” She has also said that she and Michael chose to safely co-sleep with her children on a low surface, because they believe that not tending to a child that cries at night, "goes against your natural mammalian wiring."
21 No Daycare For Her Kids
It would make sense that if Mayim is against sending her sons to traditional school, assessment, and therapy, then she and ex-husband Michael likely wouldn't be interested in sending the boys, Miles, and Fred, to daycare.
Dr. Mayim Chaya Bialik used to have a job as a researcher, much like her character, Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler, on The Big Bang Theory but she decided to quit her job in "the real world" and stick with her acting career since she figured out that it would allow her to spend more time with her children. As a mother, Mayim has her priorities dialed in.
20 She Only Used Cloth Diapers
Some people might be confused as to how using cloth diapers exclusively ties in with attachment parenting. The answer is that it doesn't... not exactly, anyway. But most parents who are really into the attachment parenting method such as Mayim is, are into the most organic way of life as is possible.
Typically, parents who choose to nurse their children past six months of age and co-sleep with their children also believe in serving organic food without refined sugar with little to no processing. Since cloth diapers are better for the environment and better for babies who have sensitive skin, many attachment parenting mommies and daddies go the cloth diaper route - just like Mayim!
19 She Doesn't Make Her Sons Say "Please" Or "Thank You"
Mayim has said that modeling manners in front of her two sons is more important than "forcing" them to say "please" and "thank you" during situations that call for manners that society expects. Instead, Mayim has explained that instilling the natural instinct for good manners in her sons is much more important rather than just teaching her children what to say because they may not mean it from their hearts.
When her sons were very young, Mayim and her ex-husband, Michael, decided to put polite manners on display in their home, saying "please" and "thank you" often during appropriate times. "He is spontaneously authentic and he also knows the value of politeness, and that sounds about right for a 5-year-old," Mayim has said of one of her sons.
18 She Believes In"Baby Wearing"
Mayim has stated that it is completely natural for babies to want to be held by their parents and going against that natural instinct or denying babies that desire is not natural. Babywearing, using a sling or similar apparatus to hold babies to the parent's body, is a win/win situation according to Mayim.
She has said that by using this method, parents get to be hands-free without the added expense of strollers and car seat carriers while babies get their natural need met and can bond more deeply with their parents. As an added bonus, Mayim has also said that babies can safely explore (visually) the world around them by being "worn" by their parents.
17 She Never Used Pacifiers Or Bottles
Pacifiers and baby bottles seem like the kind of thing that new mothers could never get enough of but for mama Mayim, during the time her sons were babies, she kept her home free of these items that seem like baby necessities to us as well as most people out there. There are a few reasons as to why a parent who subscribes to the attachment parenting theory would not want to let her children use these items.
They might believe that the child's own thumbs are a much more natural solution or that artificial bottles are easier for a baby to latch onto, whereas with nursing can be difficult, which may cause confusion or even reduce an infant’s ability to correctly latch onto the breast.
16 She Doesn't Push Her Kids To Excel
It might seem strange that a parent who was a celebrated child actor, is currently on one of the hottest TV shows and oh yeah, also happens to hold a doctorate degree in Neuroscience from UCLA, would insist that "just because a child can do something, it doesn’t mean they should." But Mayim believes even though a toddler, for example, might be capable of learning how to do things that are considered normal milestones such as learning colors and shapes, this may not really be what the child needs.
"Childhood is so brief and so delicate," Mayim has said. "Letting children achieve on their own time frame and in their own way works for us. We feel that we are letting the true desires of our children develop."
15 She Gave Birth From The Comfort Of Her Own Home
Mayim is a two-time survivor of, and advocate for natural childbirth at home. She said that her younger son, Frederick was born in the family home's living room after three hours of labor. The only people present besides Mayim and of course, the guest of honor, baby Fred was her ex-husband, Michael, their older son, Miles and Mayim's midwife.
“Being in the most comfortable place for me and having faith that my body was made to do this was the most reasonable way for me to have a baby," Mayim said. Miles was even allowed to help his father cut the umbilical cord.
14 She Is Okay With Her Kids Not Sharing
Like most moms of young children, Mayim spends a lot of time at local parks. She has said that it drives her crazy when she sees parents telling their children to share with her sons or telling her sons to share their toys with other kids.
"Here’s my deal: when my kid is done with that toy, they’ll give your kid a turn, and if your kid is not done with a toy, my kid can go ahead and wait, even if they throw the tantrum," Mayim has said. She believes that as a parent, it is her job to help children deal with disappointment and to help instill genuine instincts for compassion in her children.
13 She Believes That "Divorce Isn't The End Of A Family"
In a candid video, Mayim spoke openly about her divorce to the father of her two children, Michael Stone, and said that they are both still very much involved with each other's families and though she, Stone and their two sons might not be a nuclear family any longer, they still do things together and celebrate events as a family because "life isn't a dress rehearsal".
She further stated that her kids only get one shot at childhood and she wants to make sure that she and her husband do whatever it takes to let her children know that they are loved and supported by everyone in their lives.
12 She Doesn't Believe In every type of punishment
One of Mayim's most popular videos focuses on the importance of not hitting or spanking kids. While many people are against violence against children, even spanking which some view as a normal solution to discipline, Mayim insists that "hitting teaches avoidance rather than obedience." She goes on to say that certain children have personalities and brain chemistries that allows the child to develop in an unhealthy manner if they are struck.
There is no way to determine which child has this sort of personality or brain chemistry until the impact is shown. The bottom line? No kids should be hit - in any form. Instead, Mayim suggests setting boundaries and enforcing them consistently.
11 No Medications Or Antibiotics For Her Brood
"Between our two boys, ages six and three-and-a-half, we have dealt with just about every ailment, sickness and flu out there," Mayim has said. Even though her children have not been immune to sicknesses that most children are exposed to, neither of her sons has been on antibiotics or been given any sort of pain relievers like Tylenol, Motrin, antihistamines or even cough syrup.
While she insists that she is not trying to make an argument to be negligent to children who are sick, she said that she stated, "I've learned from talking to other moms that almost everything you have right now in your home and your heart is enough to deal with most everything."
10 The Attachment Parenting Way For Mayim
Of attachment parenting, Mayim has said that she doesn't take an "all or nothing approach. "The core principle is that a child’s voice matters," she explained. She went on to state that while she believes in co-sleeping, baby-wearing, etc. for her children, another parent who believes in attachment parenting may find that those methods don't work for their kids and that's fine.
Her book which focuses on the attachment parenting theory, Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way, has 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon and many reviewers have commented that Mayim wrote the book with a scientific and non-judgmental approach.
9 She Believes In Diaper-Free Potty Training
This one may cause the most eyebrows to raise. Apparently, Mayim is a big fan of a toilet training method known as the "elimination technique" which means that parents toilet train their kids by reading signals like body language.
The elimination technique isn't a part of attachment parenting like co-sleeping or baby-wearing although many who implement the practices of AP use the elimination technique. It doesn't fall under the umbrella of attachment parenting, but many who follow the principles do practice it. Both of her sons were potty-trained by 1 year old... can't argue with those results!
8 She Would Rather Consult Another Mom Than A Pediatrician
Even though she earned a doctorate degree in Neuroscience from UCLA, she used to work as a researcher and continues to work in the field of science for the sake of helping children understand it better. But Mayim Bialik doesn't have all the answers as a mother - no one does!
She has said that she would rather consult another mom than a pediatrician for solutions to problems that crop up with her two boys. It isn't that she has anything against the medical field - she wrote "I trust my pediatrician" in her blog - but she believes that no amount of schooling can compare to the actual experience of being a mother.
7 She Doesn't Believe In Assessment Or Therapy For Her Kids
As open as Mayim has been about her parenting style, she has been equally as open about the amount of criticism that she has received from the public. One of the hot topics that critics of Mayim's parenting have chosen to be vocal about is her decision not to send her sons for assessment and therapy.
Mayim has said that unless there is a major medical reason present, she believes in letting children progress at their own natural pace. So even though she acknowledges that her sons hit some of the markers for autism and developmental delays, she is completely confident that both of them will turn out just fine.
6 She Trusts Her Mother's Intuition More Than Anything Else
Just as Mayim trusts advice from other moms that she knows and respects, she trusts her own intuition more than anything else. As someone who earned a doctorate degree in neuroscience, Mayim is certainly intelligent without question. She also has a lot of life experience, maybe more than that average person, due to being raised as the star of a hit TV sitcom.
We're thinking that maybe Mayim has good reason to trust her intuition. She seems to be completely in tune with her children's needs and feelings and they say that nothing is as strong as a mother's intuition.
5 She is Focused On Teaching Her Kids How To Interpret Other's Feelings
Mayim has said that she and her ex-husband, Michael learned a certain philosophy from a "Parent & Me" workshop that they attended with their two sons and at first, both she and Michael thought the method was crazy at first. The method calls for parents to model the behavior that they want their children to have especially when it comes to sharing. Learning to share from the heart is the main goal of this practice.
The desired goal is for children to want to share through instincts, compassion, and generosity. It requires children to learn to observe the social cues of others, interpret body language and other techniques in order to gauge the feelings of the people around them.
4 She's Okay With Her Kids Being "Delayed"
"Delayed" is a relative term - it means something different to everyone. Each person has different standards and Mayim doesn't believe in raising her children to simply imitate behavior that they are shown. Instead, she wants her children to experience feelings and truly understand social behaviors rather than just being told what to do without a proper explaining or understanding. More than anything, it is important that her children grow and develop at a pace that they set for themselves.
"I believe strongly in conscious, child-centered parenting," Mayim has stated. "It doesn’t make me better than you, but it does make you need to wait for me on walks with our kids -- because I can guarantee you my kid’s not as fast a walker as yours. And that’s OK."
3 She Has Stated That "Just Because A Child Can Do Something Doesn't Mean They Should"
Mayim has said that just because it is possible for a child to do something, that doesn't mean that it is in their best interest to do it. She believes that the standards set by the dominant educational system may not be pushing lessons and teachings of inherent value at children today.
For example, she said that learning the alphabet song, colors, shapes and certain dances is not as important as letting children achieve learning on their very own timetable and in their own way. Since time passes so quickly and childhood can be done and over before we know it, Mayim wants her kids to have the best, most beneficial childhood that they possibly can and of course, this applies to learning as well.
2 Her Kids Haven't Grown Up Watching Cartoons
Mayim has said that with attachment parenting, she and her ex-husband, Michael feel that they are allowing "the true desires of our children develop." She admits that when people meet her children, they are often shocked by what the two boys don't know, things that most children their age do know. But she also insists that her sons are "healthy, inquisitive, curious, fun, gentle, and thriving."
Allowing them to grow on their own and develop interests and hobbies that suit them instead of pushing interests on them that are standard to children their age is Mayim's goal. "That they don’t know Dora from SpongeBob seems inconsequential," Mayim has said.
1 She Doesn't Take Parenting Advice From Her Parents Or In-Laws
Many moms with little ones look to their own moms for advice but Mayim has said that both her parents and her ex-husband, Michael's parents have learned to stand back and let Mayim and Michael make decisions for their sons, Miles, and Frederick. She added that the boys' grandparents get the "watch the results and thankfully, our boys have not disappointed them yet."
We can imagine that most parents and in-laws would have plenty to say about things like co-sleeping and diaper-less potty training! "My kids are fine," Mayim has stated on her blog. "You may not think so, but you get to raise your kids and I get to raise mine."