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Is Danielle Staub "The Best Mom in the World?"

By helaineo |

Here’s a tip for Real Housewives of New Jersey star Danielle Stuab: If you believe the only way anyone is going to know you are a good mother is by sitting down and saying to a camera, “I am the best mom in the world,’ chances are you need some help from a parenting coach.

Staub demonstrated her less-than-stellar parenting and life skills in this week’s episode, which featured daughter Christine’s Sweet 16. Danielle quickly decided that the nationally televised party would make a great vehicle for … daughter Jillian, an eleven-year-old aspiring singer/songwriter.  There was only one problem with the plan. Daughter Jillian wasn’t so sure this was a great idea. “I don’t want to sing in front of people. I’m afraid people won’t like it,” she told her mom. But Danielle wasn’t deterred. “You are going to be bigger than big,” she tells her reluctant daughter. When her daughter breaks down during a practice session Staub, who has never met an audience she couldn’t perform for, was not exactly sympathetic. “You need to do it,” she tells her, and more or less bullies her into continuing on.

That the child did finally sing nicely for a crowd of more than 300 guests, admitting to the ever-present cameras that all her nervousness vanished as soon as she got up on stage to sing,  seems almost beside the point. The entire episode was cringe-inducing, and pointed to the desperate need for state authorities to step in to protect minor children who are featured in reality shows.

Many observers have noted in the past that Staub’s daughters seem almost mortified by the constant filming of their lives, not to mention their mother’s repeated attempts to leverage the show into attention for the entire family. This week’s episode, however,  seemed to cross an invisible line. It’s not really cinema verite documentary film-making when a mother appears to force her child into a recorded public performance, a performance one suspects would not have taken place if it wasn’t going to be televised.  There’s another word that applies here. That word is abuse.

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Photo: Bravo

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About helaineo



Helaine Olen's writing has been published by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal,, and, where she is an associate editor. Her first book, Office Mate: The Guide to Finding True Love on the Job will be published this fall. She lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.

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18 thoughts on “Is Danielle Staub "The Best Mom in the World?"

  1. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    Had a meeting with a pediatrician before my son was born. He said the hallmark of a bad parent was the parent who always touted how much of a good parent they were. That assessment works for me.

  2. PlumbLucky says:

    I believe it may be filed under “thou protest too much”, just like you said Mistress ;-)

  3. bob says:

    I thought Angelina Jolie was the world’s best mother. So confusing!

  4. KellyK says:

    Bob made me laugh out loud…
    I was more concerned that she told her daughters she was wearing her (7 carat) wedding ring to the party on her right hand…where her x-husband would be and his new wife. This woman is so crazy it seems highly irresponsible for BRAVO to keep filiming her. And yes authorities should step in.

  5. JZ says:

    I think she thinks shes building her daughters self esteem in some weird way.

  6. Heather says:

    I agree with Kelly, I thought the whole ring thing was downright creepy. And yes I agree if you have to tell everybody how good of a mother you are, than chances are your not. Especially when at the same time you are going around badmouthing every other mother you come in contact with. They won’t stop filming her though because she makes for good television.

  7. ad says:

    kind of like how teresa went around telling everyone how “nice” she is. others should say that-and they’re not

  8. [...] Staub is in court seeking primary custody of younger daughter Jillian, a quest that anyone who read my last post about Danielle’s mothering skills must realize I hope he succeeds in. I am also aware of the [...]

  9. Pauline says:

    I get the distinct impression that Christine is merely biding her time, and developing a plan to get as far from Danielle as possible once she turns 18. If indeed she becomes a successful model, she will earn enough money to escape if she goes to court to become an emancipated minor. I see the wheels turning behind her pretty face, as she quietly tries to pacify Danielle. I wince at the many times Danielle practically forces the girls to say that they love her. I don’t care if Danielle’s lunacy does make for “good TV”–Bravo should sacrifice a few bucks for her daughter’s future well-being–Danielle is clearly humiliating them with sex tapes, mobsters in their kitchen, constant police presence at their home. The girl’s schoolmates either pity them or mock them. It’s just sickening.

  10. Linda says:

    I’ve never seen this show or any of the others like it, and I’m really happy with that choice. I’m cringing just reading about it. Yikes!

  11. [...] Is Danielle Staub “The Best Mom in the World?” [...]

  12. [...] Is Danielle Staub “The Best Mom in the World?” [...]

  13. [...] Is Danielle Staub “The Best Mom in the World?” [...]

  14. [...] Is Danielle Staub “The Best Mom in the World?” [...]

  15. jklkj says:

    Like her or not she is their mother. I think Danielle is the best mother that she knows how to be and that she loves her daughters. We should not judge. The girls don’t seem to hate her or even be difficult. They are shy. I do wish Danielle would not share so many things with her daughters though. They are too young to hear all that drama.

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