Comedian Chris Rock uses experiences from his childhood and teenage years as the inspiration for his hit TV show Everybody Hates Chris. Chris's own mother, Rose Rock, is the inspiration for the mother on the show. Gayle talks with Rose about what it was really like to raise Chris and his seven siblings and about her book Mama Rock's Rules: Ten Lessons for Raising a Houseful of Successful Children.
Rose says she had three rules in her house that her children had to follow:
I'm the parent, I make the rules.
You are the child, you follow the rules.
Any problems? Refer to rule number one.
While her approach to parenting may be strict and a bit humorous, Rose says a parent's main job is to provide rules. "I believe that if your household [is] structured, you don't need a lot of discipline," she says. Instead of being a friend to their children, Rose says parents must be authority figures who regulate who their children spend time with and where they are going at all times. "You are the one that ultimately has to give the rules, and you are the one who has to make decisions. And if you are a good friend, you can't do that," she says. "How are you going to tell your best friend, 'I don't like you with this person' or 'I don't want you to go to this place?'"
Now, with all of her children forging out successful careers and some becoming parents themselves, Rose says she's proud of the adults they've become. "I feel good when I look at them," she says. As for whether the loud and boisterous mother on Everyone Hates Chris is really an accurate portrayal of her and her parenting, Rose has this to say: "I lied to everybody when the show first came on. I was like 'No that isn't me! Have you ever seen me do that?'" she asks. "[But], it is accurate."
Printed from Oprah.com on Sunday, December 8, 2013