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Lori Loughlin Interview: Full House Alum Talks Raising Teenagers

Remember the TV show Full House? Perhaps you, like many of the show’s fans, had a big-time crush on actress Lori Loughlin, who played Rebecca. These days, you can find Lori Loughlin starring in the Hallmark Channel’s popular series When Calls the Heart. Recently, the actress talked to Your Teen about raising teenagers in her own full house.

Interview with Actress Lori Loughlin

Q: How many children do you have?

Loughlin: I have two daughters — 14 and 15 — and a 22-year-old stepson.

Q: How would you describe yourself as a parent of teenagers? 

Loughlin: I try to be open-minded and patient. It’s trickier now that the girls are teenagers because they look at me like I’m not hip or cool — like I don’t really know what’s going on. I try to parent so that they don’t really realize they’re being parented and approach them in a way that’s not too aggressive or stern. For the most part, I’m there in it, with the everyday ebb and flow of their moods. And yes, it can be challenging.

Q: Do your daughters want to act?

Loughlin: When they were younger, they would say that they wanted to act, but I don’t hear about it anymore. I think my older one would like to work in fashion, in some capacity, and my younger one loves makeup. I would not be surprised if she became a makeup artist. She’s 14 and shows a lot of talent for it. They both could end up doing something behind the camera.

Q: Neither one has done theater in high school? 

Loughlin: They go to a wonderful school with a great theater program, but they have not auditioned for anything. You’re either passionate about theater (you want to get on that stage) or you aren’t. Since they’ve never auditioned, I know that they’re not that interested.

Q: And when did you know that you wanted to act? 

Loughlin: I knew when I was five years old. I grew up in New York and was exposed to Broadway shows from a young age. I loved movies as a child and that was always my fantasy and the vision.

Q: Was it hard getting into the industry?

Loughlin: Not really. When I was about 12 years old, my mother’s friend invited me to go with her daughters to a modeling agency. My mom agreed, probably thinking that nothing would come of it. But, they hired me for some print work and modeling. I started out modeling and then doing commercials. When I was a teenager, I got a role on a daytime soap opera. But, we went into this completely blind, figuring it out as we went along.

Q: And how did you, at that young age, keep your head on your shoulders? 

Loughlin: My father said to me, “Listen, we will support you, and we will help you, but if I see any change in your attitude, you’re done. You’re out.” Also, I have a nice, down-to-earth family with no sense of entitlement. I was raised to be a grateful and courteous human being.

Q: I love that you said, “grateful and courteous.” How do you instill that in your teenagers?

Loughlin: I certainly try. My girls have rules to follow. My husband and I teach them good manners and gratitude. And, it’s funny — when we are out with kids who are, in their opinion, somewhat spoiled or impolite, my girls really notice and comment. And, I always say to them, “Let that be a lesson to you. People notice if you have manners, if you’re courteous and if you’re kind. People pay attention to that stuff.” And, it’s important just to be a good human being and put your best foot forward because certainly, like my grandmother used to say, “We all came into the world the same way, and we will all leave in the same way, and no one is more special or better than the next guy.” That’s what I try to instill in my kids.

Q: Are your kids growing up differently than you did?

Loughlin: In some ways. They have access in a different way than I did. I watched Scott Baio on TV, dreaming one day about meeting him. My girls have big crushes on Justin Bieber, and they were able to meet him. But, I try to keep that at a minimum. I don’t let them go to a party or a premiere on a school night. We just try to keep it as normal as possible.

Q: Wow, invited to a premiere, and they get told “No.” That’s something I don’t have to deal with.

Loughlin: Because of what I do, they have access in a different way. But, I always tell my girls that being famous isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. You know, being a good person, working hard, achieving goals — that’s what it’s all about. Fame doesn’t mean very much.

Q: Are you relieved that your girls didn’t go down that path at a young age?

Loughlin: I never gave them that opportunity. I told them to get an education and then explore acting. I didn’t go to college because I was busy working. And I always had this “sink or swim” feeling in my life. I want my girls to have something more substantial to fall back on if it doesn’t work out because it can be a hard business. But, like I said, they have not shown any interest in being in front of the camera.

Q: Can you share a best and worst parenting moment?

Loughlin: Oh my goodness, I am sure I have many of both. I have definitely lost my temper and reacted too quickly. The girls can catch me at a moment after they have been at me all day, and I just snap. I am not proud of those moments, but I know they probably happen to all of us. And, my best parenting moment is when I take a step back and don’t respond immediately, when I take a deep breath and collect myself. If something comes up in the morning and instead of reacting to it, I revisit it later in the day after I have collected my thoughts and can talk about it calmly.

Q: So you could write the parenting book. 

Loughlin: I couldn’t write any parenting book. Boy oh boy. I am just out there every day, swinging at it and doing the best I can. Some days are more successful than others, but I certainly don’t ever pretend to have any of the answers. I just don’t.

Q: Well nobody does, but you sound like you have some thoughtful approaches, which is good. 

Loughlin: I try. In my work, in my marriage, in my parenting, I try. I set that goal for myself every day. Whether I achieve it or not, I don’t know. Some days are better than others, like I said.

Q: Shifting from parenting, do you have a favorite role? 

Loughlin: I did a TV movie many years ago for FOX called, Doing Time on Maple Drive, with Ken Olin and a great cast. I really loved my character in that piece. I just loved the whole message of that movie.

Q: So, one question about Full House—Is the cast still in touch? 

Loughlin: Yes, we are in fact. We are absolutely still in touch. And, I am always talking to John Stamos and Candace Cameron.

Susan Borison

Susan Borison, mother of five, is the founder and editor of Your Teen Media. Because parenting teenagers is humbling and shouldn’t be tackled alone.