You probably know Candace Cameron Bure as D.J. Tanner from Full House, but you may not know that amid the era of child-stars-turned-troubled-adults, Candace turned out pretty normal. She stars on ABC Family’s hit drama Make It Or Break It and she’s also a low-key L.A. mom to three adorable kids – Natasha, 11; Lev, 10; and Maksim, 8 – with NHL hockey player husband, Valeri Bure. The bubbly mom spoke with Babble about her house rules (super-strict), her faith (super-important), and who made a better parent: Uncle Jesse or Danny Tanner.
Who’s the good cop – you or your husband?
My husband and I have a great balance. We’re both disciplinarians but we’re also loving and gentle. Neither one of us is the good cop or bad cop. If the kids are disobeying my authority when I’m home, I won’t wait for their dad to come home and discipline, and the same goes for him. We’re both on the same page. I’m slightly more lenient, but not much.
If you could teach your children one life lesson, what would it be?
I would hope that they would put others’ needs before their own. That’s the heart of what I teach my children, because we’re given – especially in the country we live in – so much. What I’m trying to teach my children is that it’s so much more fulfilling to put others’ needs before our own. The feeling of helping is so much more rewarding.
What’s your parenting philosophy?
Rules, rules, rules! I’m a tough mom. I hope I balance love with being tough, but the rules are there for [my kids'] best interest, to guide them. But we definitely have a structured home and a schedule – it works the best. With kids who are 11, 10 and 8 years old, I definitely err more on the conservative side.
How have you managed public tantrums?
Apparently pretty calmly. In that moment of a tantrum, especially with small children, I go into adrenaline mode where I don’t even know what I’m doing because I don’t want to embarrass myself. I’ve actually had people compliment me, “Wow, you handled that so well!” I try to be as calm as possible, and I don’t give in to my children. When my kids were younger, if they had a fit, I would walk out of the store, take them to the car or bathroom and simply let them know that [their behavior] was not appropriate.
What shocked you most about parenting?
Before I had children, I didn’t realize how much of my world revolved around me. When you become a parent, you truly become blessed because you realize how much you want the best for your children. It’s putting [your] children’s needs before [your] own. I don’t think I realized how much I would be giving up. But I gained so much more.
What’s off-limits in your house?
The pantry – my kids always seem to sneak in there! I have a shelf with chocolate, which I recently moved to a new hiding place, because I’ve gone into my children’s rooms and I’ve noticed chocolate wrappers everywhere!
As a child, you grew up in the spotlight on Full House. Did that affect how you parented your kids?
The industry hasn’t affected my parenting that much. I’m an open book; what you see is what you get with me. I’m comfortable with myself; I’m grounded in my faith and confident in how my parents raised me. Being back in the entertainment industry and back in Los Angeles, I’ve definitely become more protective, but I’m not sheltering them to the point where they don’t know worldly ways.
If you could be any TV or movie parent, who would you be?
Mrs. Cunningham or June Cleaver! I really love fifties housewives, even though that’s not completely who I am. I love the mom who stays home, takes care of the kids and regards her husband highly. And I’m trying to do that, just in a more modern way.
Who do you think was a better parent: Danny Tanner or Uncle Jesse?
Danny Tanner, only because Uncle Jesse has his wild side. I think Danny Tanner gave so many hugs and showed so much love to his children, which ultimately is the most important thing.
What’s been your biggest challenge as a parent?
Balancing my children, my husband and work. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for ten years, and only in the past year and a half have thrown work into the mix. That’s been a hard balance. It’s not easy to juggle.
What do you do for “me” time?
Exercise, which is a stress reliever, and something I have to do for myself, mentally and physically. The second is my small group Bible study, which I’ve had for about eight years. It’s my time that I can get very intimate with my girlfriends and learn the Bible. The third is shopping; I love that time alone, whether it’s going to Target or going to a little boutique in L.A.