Hi, my name’s Danielle, and my five-year-old has more Instagram followers than me. It’s crazy to think that it wasn’t that long ago when the world didn’t know who Boss Baby Brody was. Of course, we knew how special he was, but his dance moves and dramatic expressions were stuck in the confinements of our house in San Diego suburbia. If there was any child meant for the spotlight, it’s Brody.
I thought I knew what it was like to have kids in the industry, all of my kids had done some modeling and acting at some point. But when my little video of just another morning with Brody went viral, I knew things were different. This is a whole other beast, you guys! Hundreds of thousands of followers, news segments, brand deals—the number of opportunities this kid has had are insane.
Turns out having a child in the spotlight has actually been a dream for the family! We get the opportunity to help others through charity and non-profit organizations, and Brody is light to others in such a dark time. But through it all, Brody’s happiness has been our number one priority. I hope you enjoy these helpful tips I’ve remembered to navigate this crazy world we’re living in!
A child’s brain has its most dramatic growth period from birth until the age of 5. Kids learn from observation and instruction which sharpens their cognitive abilities.
Remember, He’s a Kid
First and foremost, he’s a kid. I remember early on interviewing for a big talk show and praying that Brody would rise to the occasion. The video was just going viral and I was stressed! I knew this could be big for him and I wanted to give him as many opportunities as I could. This was a big one. But it didn’t go as planned. Brody had been in a mood that day and was cranky from not getting enough sleep.
Instead of getting upset though, I just thought, “he’s just a kid.” He’s allowed mood swings, tired days, and grumpiness just like the rest of us. But especially as a toddler. This is something I always go back to—he’s a kid first, and a dance and Instagram star second (or like fourth or fifth, really). Because the priority should always be on him having fun and just being a normal happy kid!
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Make Sure That It’s Fun!
Following that thought, this whole thing is supposed to be fun, no matter how old he is. It’s easy for me, as a newly branded “momager,” to get caught up in the gigs and the news segments, and the dance classes. Of course, I want what’s best for him! But Brody loves everything about his life. And he’s one of the happiest kids I ever met. He’s having such a fun time and he’s so excited to be doing it every single day.
I never want this to be something he feels he’s forced to do. He tells me all the time how he wants to dance, he wants to be a star, he wants to make everyone happy and bring light to everyone’s day through his dance. It’s all about the memories and incredible opportunities to live his best life.
Studies have shown that if a kid watches more than 3 hours of TV a day, they may have a greater chance of emotional, relationship, and conduct problems when they reach 7 years of age.
Keep Communication Open
It’s important to me and Bobby that our kids feel like they can come and talk to us. About anything. So I know that Brody is happy because he tells me so! He loves to dance, sing, and perform. As he gets older, my hope is that this will continue and he’ll be able to talk with us if he ever wants anything to change or wants to try something else. (Actually, that just happened and now he’s taking piano lessons!)
At the end of the day, his interests may change as he grows and that’s totally okay. I just want to ensure that the line of communication is already open for when that happens. Trust is everything, but especially in such a unique situation like this.
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Balance Out Life
This is, by far, the most helpful tip I’ve come across. His life should be balanced. ALL our lives should be! But by allowing his talents to shine on Instagram, I’m setting him up to win. And there are so many other aspects to him that we keep off-camera. Let’s not forget, the public only sees 30 seconds of a 24 hour day.
I have three other amazing kids with their own unique talents, interests, and gifts, so it’s important to us that everyone feels seen and heard, and appreciated. We do a lot of family dance nights, a lot of technology-free nights, and anything we can do to take a step back and appreciate all these incredible opportunities we’ve been offered.
Playtime is a very powerful and necessary learning tool for youngsters. Playing is critical to a child making social connections, expanding and using their imagination, and developing language and motor skills.