Mayim Bialik’s Parenting Playbook: Her Rules and Reasonings

By Isabel K November 23, 2023

This article was originally published on whythese

You’ve likely seen Mayim Bialik on popular hit shows like The Big Bang Theory and Call Me Cat TV series. Although this talented individual is best known for her acting skills, she is much more than that. With a Doctor of Philosophy degree in neuroscience, this doctor is not only making waves because of her on-screen roles. The character she plays, Amy Farrah-Fowler, also has the same qualifications, but Bialik’s titles don’t end there. She is also an author, TV host, and mother of two boys. Over the years, Mayim has gotten into some hot water over her parenting style. She is a firm believer in attachment-style parenting, and while this is her personal choice that we should respect, some people think some of her rules are too bizarre and out of line. She has written plenty of books and shared her opinions online for people to understand what she means. Here are some of the controversial household rules that seemed to cause a stir among her fans and followers: 

Mayim Doesn’t Give Her Kids Medication

When it comes to her kid’s well-being, Mayim doesn’t play any games. While we know Mayim’s preference for all things natural, did you know that this includes her kids’ health, too? She says their boys have had different health issues growing up, but they never got any antibiotics. 

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Mayim believes that the body can fight off illness without the help of medication. The actress believes that some of these pharmaceuticals can harm your body and hinder the natural processes required to help you heal from illness. Although she doesn’t believe in vaccines, the family did get vaccinated against Covid-19 in 2021. 

Her Sons Didn’t Wear Diapers

While most kids in the 2000s wore diapers to prevent potty accidents, more parents are shifting to eco-friendly options. Mayim is one of those parents. She didn’t allow her kids to wear diapers at all. By the age of one, her boys were potty trained. 

Image Source: missmayim /Instagram

Mayim says she could do this because she understood her baby’s signals so well. She was able to take them to the potty anytime she got the sign they needed to do their business. This approach to potty training showed Mayim that communication with infants is possible. 

Co-sleeping is Essential in Mayim’s Home

A significant part of attachment parenting is physical contact with children. To this end, Mayim takes all the chances she can get to be close to her kids. She doesn’t believe in sleeping separately from her kids; she sometimes shares her bed with them. 

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She says that co-sleeping creates a close bond with her sons that she treasures immensely. Mayim also says co-sleeping helps reduce separation anxiety and helps her sons be emotionally intelligent. It helps her maintain her close relationship with her sons.

Crying Isn’t Allowed Under Her Roof

If you’ve been around babies, you know they cry a lot. While crying is normal, Mayim believes it is entirely avoidable. She says that children have emotions, too that’s why they cry to show their discomfort, needs,  or sadness. To prevent this, Mayim decided to learn her baby’s signal for crying so she could avoid it. 

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The babies didn’t have to cry for what they needed. After learning the signals, she was able to react and calm her baby down before the crying started. Mayim believes that kids shouldn’t be left to cry on their own. This indicates that you feel they’re being an inconvenience to you because they have feelings, too. 

Natural Birth was a Priority

Mayim has two sons, and for both, she decided to bring them into the world through natural birth. While Mayim has strict rules for her kids, she also has them for herself. Because she believes that medicines are harmful to children, she opted for a home birth instead of going to the hospital. 

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Mayim wanted the birth of her kids to be as natural and safe as possible. She decided only to have a midwife around and give birth in her living room. She wanted to limit the people and interference while giving birth because she believed this allows both the mother and child to be healthy. 

Mayim Doesn’t Believe in Using Strollers

For parents, especially first-time parents, a stroller is essential to buy before the baby gets here. Strollers make getting from point A to point B easier without wearing yourself out. But Mayim didn’t buy one for any of her sons and doesn’t believe parents should use them. 

Image Source: missmayim /Instagram

This is primarily because of her attachment parenting style. ‘Baby-wearing’ is a huge part of attachment parenting. This term means that you have to wear your child most of the time using a baby sling. This sling ensures the mother is in constant physical contact with the child. Compared to a stroller, Mayim believes this keeps children happy and satisfied. 

No Meat or Animal Products for Her Family

If you are not aware, Mayim Bialik is a vegan. While Mayim chose to be a vegetarian when she was 19 years old, she decided to be more strict and became a full-time vegan in 2009. With all the health benefits she knows, it’s no surprise that her kids have also been vegan for a long time. 

Image Source: missmayim /Instagram

When she found out her son was allergic to dairy, she was more confident that her kids had to be vegan. She says that her decision is more of a lifestyle choice because she rather pay now for organic food instead of paying high healthcare costs in the future. 

No toys in Mayim’s Home

How different would your childhood be if you didn’t have toys to play with? There is little to no chance of you finding a playroom or toys for the boys in her household. Mayim doesn’t believe that kids should get toys they only play with once and discard after a while. 

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She says this only proves how people are obsessed with consumerism. With such beliefs, Mayim doesn’t think it is necessary to get her son’s toys that will end up in the trash after a few weeks. She will, however, get her kids items that help them explore their interests, like books and learning kits. 

No Watching TV at Home

Almost every child remembers running home from school to watch their favorite cartoons or shows. Although Mayim’s career largely relies on television, she doesn’t allow her kids to watch TV. Her experience as an actress may be why she doesn’t want her sons exposed to too much television at such a young age. 

Image Source: missmayim /Instagram

Surprisingly, the first time her eldest son watched TV was when she showed him his birthing video. Although this was in preparation for his little brother’s birth, we aren’t sure it was the best way to introduce her son to TV. Mayim believes kids are easily shaped by television. That’s why she limits her kid’s exposure to it. 

Homeschooling For The Boys

With her education, Mayim knows how important learning can be to shaping an individual’s future. That’s why she decided not to take her kids to public school. Mayim homeschools the boys and provides them with a flexible and nurturing environment to learn as much as they can. 

Image Source: missmayim /Instagram

When her eldest son started homeschooling, she noted that they would identify his interests and slowly introduce new ideas without overwhelming him with information. She wanted to teach her son when he was ready and is doing the same for her youngest son.

Mayim Isn’t Planning on Buying Her Kid’s Smartphones

Most kids have to beg their parents to get them phones, and even if they do, there are still a lot of restrictions that come with owning a smartphone as a child. Like the influence of media and television, Mayim doesn’t want her kids to get swayed by what they see on their phones. 

Image Source: missmayim /Instagram

Mayim doesn’t think her kids need these and other gadgets like video game consoles. She prefers her kids to spend the day reading books rather than playing games or on social media. Limiting screen time can be beneficial due to the adverse effects excess screen time can cause on children. 

Mayim Doesn’t Believe Her Kids Should Share With Others

It isn’t as weird as it sounds. Which parent wouldn’t want their kids to share with other kids? Mayim doesn’t believe she should force her kids to do anything. So if they don’t want to share, she won’t force them just because society says they should. She believes in leaving her kids to make their own decisions. 

Image Source: missmayim /Instagram

While speaking to TODAY, Mayim said she doesn’t like it when she is at the park with her kids and other parents start scolding the kids for not sharing toys. She says the best option would be for every kid to play with their toy, and when they are done, they can choose to either share or not. 

Her Kids Need To Be Environmentally Conscious

It’s fantastic to teach your kids to be environmentally conscious because it will benefit our planet in the future. With her sons already being vegan, it is clear they learned from their mum the importance of caring for the environment. Their mother works hard to reduce her carbon footprint, which must be rubbing onto them. 

Image Source: missmayim /Instagram

Mayim believes that we should all play our part in taking care of the environment. And one of the best ways is through parenting. According to Mayim, parenting is the best way to create a generation of children that respects and loves people and the earth. It can only be possible if they are loved and respected by their parents. 

There is no Punishment in the Bialik Household

While each parent has their unique way of teaching their kids lessons and correcting their mistakes, some methods are very different from the norm. While most parents would ground their kids or take away their electronics, Mayim believes there are other ways of empathetically disciplining your child. 

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She doesn’t advocate for traditional forms of punishment because she believes they are harmful. Mayim prefers to talk to her kids like adults. Calmly speaking to them allows the boys to approach the problem with respect instead of fear. Mayim sees this as a better way to help them learn and build their sense of discipline and control.

Mayim Doesn’t Teach Her Kids to Say Sorry and Please

Teaching kids the proper manners allows them to treat others and themselves respectfully. While most parents will ensure their kids learn these manners as young as possible, Mayim doesn’t believe in teaching her sons terms like sorry and please. Here is why. 

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According to Mayim, others shouldn’t expect to hear words like please, sorry, or thank you from her kids because they won’t say them anytime soon. Instead, she teaches her son’s natural expressions that relay the same meaning because phrases like please can quickly lose meaning and value when spoken frequently. 

There is no Yelling in the Bialik Household

Both kids and adults yelling can be very uncomfortable to watch. When living with other people, it’s normal to get into disagreements because of everyone’s different opinions. One rule Mayim has is that yelling is not an option when trying to solve situations. She tries to be calm and stable when talking to her sons. 

Image Source: missmayim /Instagram

Although she has confessed to losing her temper once or twice, we can’t blame her because we are all human. When it does happen, she apologizes to her sons and instills in them that yelling is not the answer to life’s problems. Teaching her boys how to deal with issues calmly is one of the rules we admire for the Bialik home. 

She Breastfed Her Kids Until They Were Four

Mayim happens to be one of the strongest advocates for breastfeeding. She believes that children get a lot of essential nutrients from breastfeeding, and it also strengthens the bond between her and her children. Mayim thinks that the longer you can breastfeed your child, the better. 

Image Source: missmayim /Instagram

While some people may disagree with this way of thinking, Mayim believes it is best. She breastfed her kids until they were around four years old. She faced backlash because of this decision and revealed that some of the negative comments online made her cry. Such interactions explain why she doesn’t want her sons on the internet. 

Mayim’s Sons Can’t Use the Internet for Learning.

Mayim doesn’t want her sons influenced by social media and TV. To this end, her sons aren’t allowed to use the internet for learning purposes. Although there is a lot of information on the internet to help children, Mayim doesn’t believe it can help kids in any way, shape, or form. 

Image Source: missmayim /Instagram

If Mayim’s kids want to learn something new or look for answers to a question, they need to do it the old-school way and find a book. She also uses practical teaching by allowing her kids to explore and learn more about the world themselves. This is a great tip because kids can quickly get distracted and wander into the dark side of the internet. 

Her Sons Don’t Get Presents During The Holidays

One thing that kids love about the holidays is being able to get gifts. The kids don’t experience holidays the same way in the Bialik home. Mayim insists on not buying her kids presents for the holidays. With how Mayim feels about consumerism, this isn’t a surprise. 

Image Source: missmayim /Instagram

She doesn’t have a problem with their kid’s grandparents getting them gifts once in a while, but she isn’t going all out to get presents for her sons. Being that she is also environmentally conscious, she doesn’t want to get tons of gifts that might end up being thrown away a few months later. Holidays must be very different in the Bialik household. 

Mayim Doesn’t Believe in Sleep Training

Getting your kids into a regular sleeping pattern is an uphill task for many parents. With all the distractions today, it is even harder because kids need enough rest to grow and remain healthy. Mayim, however, decided not to sleep train her sons because she believes it can be a traumatic experience for kids. 

Image Source: missmayim /Instagram

Mayim is all for kids creating their rhythm and sleeping when they’re tired and ready. According to Mayim, some sleep training techniques can lead to a child being stressed and apathetic. She says her sons are calmer because they are satisfied with their sleep. 

Mayim Doesn’t Believe in Scheduling Her Kid’s Lives

When most of us were kids, there was a timetable for when to read a book, eat, sleep, and play. Mayim, however, refuses to give her sons a schedule to follow for their daily lives. Mayim doesn’t want to schedule anything for her kids; instead, she wants them to do anything when they want to. 

Image Source: missmayim /Instagram

With her preference for attachment-style parenting, she doesn’t see the need of waiting for a specific time during the day for her kids to eat, sleep or do anything else. She says kids will be much happier living like this instead of letting them go hungry until it’s the right time to eat. 

Candy and Sweet Treats are Only Allowed Once a Week

With this family being vegan, it’s no surprise that they don’t eat much junk food at home. Aside from being bad for your teeth, Mayim doesn’t want her sons craving sweets all the time. The last thing you will find is this family heading to McDonald’s for a treat because Mayim has strict rules for eating sweet foods. 

Image Source: missmayim /Instagram

This fact doesn’t mean that she keeps the sweets away from her kids completely. She confessed once that the Sabbath is the only day she allows something fun or sweet in the morning. Whether it is bagels or leftover poundcake, her kids always have a snack they can look forward to. 

Mayim believes in Treating her Kids like Adults

While most parents like to speak ‘baby talk’ when talking to their kids, Mayim wants to treat her children as adults from a young age. She didn’t use the standard baby terms when she was raising her kids. She believes speaking to kids goes a long way in teaching them the correct vocabulary. 

Image Source: missmayim /Instagram

She doesn’t only talk to them like adults but also about adult issues. While talking to People Magazine she said, “We’ve always spoken to our children very frankly and used biologically appropriate terms.” We don’t want them to have shame about their bodies or fear about women’s bodies.”

Vaccination Only When Necessary

Vaccination is a sensitive health issue because some parents don’t believe they should vaccinate their children. According to rumors, Mayim is a strong anti-vaxxer, and when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, many people were waiting to see what she would do. With all the speculation, she decided to address the questions herself. 

Image Source: missmayim /Instagram

Mayim said that her kids received the Covid-19 vaccine when they were old enough and ready. She added, “This is not like, the common cold. This is not even like the common flu. This is a different thing.”. Mayim understood that with the state of the pandemic around the globe, most parents were uncertain about a lot of things. Clearing this up helped shut down some false rumors. 

The Family Goes on Joint Vacations with Her Ex-husband

Being raised in a single-parent home isn’t the easiest situation, especially for young kids. Mayim and Michael were married for a decade and divorced in 2013. Although their relationships gave them their beautiful kids, their marriage wasn’t working, and they needed to go separate ways. 

Image Source: missmayim /Instagram

Even though Mayim is now a single mother, she doesn’t want to deny her boys the chance to spend time with their father. To this end, they go on joint vacations. She says separate holidays are sad, and because they remain a family even after divorce, it is excellent for the kids to sit down and share a meal with their father. 

No Trash Talking at Home

When divorce happens in a family, it’s easy for the kids to be affected because of the change in their home’s usual dynamic and structure. While Mayim and ex-husband Michael Stone are co-parenting, they didn’t want the divorce to take up a considerable chunk of the kids’ lives. 

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Mayim and Michael have agreed not to trash-talk to each other when the kids are around. Although she admits that her ex did things during their marriage that annoyed her, they have to make the most of what they have. That’s what families do for each other during such times. 

The Kids Can Make Fun of Mummy

Every family has its way of bonding and having a good time. One of the ways the Bialik boys can do this is by making fun of their mum. Mayim wants a closer relationship with her sons, and she understands kids like teasing and making jokes as they grow older. It’s how they interact and make sense of the world.

Image Source: missmayim /Instagram

To strengthen their bond, Mayim doesn’t mind if her kids tease her once in a while. Like most celebrity kids, Mayim noted that her sons were slightly embarrassed by her. She says they make fun of almost anything she does, like shopping, walking, and even her parking skills. She likes it because it makes her feel closer to her kids. 

She Told Her Sons to Take Part in Alternative Playtime

Mayim has been called out several times for her unusual parenting techniques. These include when she revealed that she doesn’t let her sons play like other kids. She doesn’t want her kids to spend too much time playing video games or watching television like other kids like to do today. 

Image Source: missmayim /Instagram

Instead, Mayim encourages her kids to have fun by reading books, finding bugs outside, and nurturing skills that will be beneficial in their future. Some of the fun activities she does with her kids include reading to them. She believes reading is a great way to develop kids’ imagination and knowledge. 

Chores in the Bialik Household are a Must

One thing that would bother any child when they want to play is chores. But in the Mayim household, chores are part of their daily lives. As a successful actress, it’s easy to assume that Mayim gets help to clean and raise her kids, but she doesn’t. With her strong opinions, Mayim has decided to live a minimal lifestyle which includes not having nannies to care for her children. 

Image Source: missmayim /Instagram

While doing chores isn’t extraordinary, Mayim has a net worth of close to $25 million, so it’s surprising to see a celebrity take on these roles full-time. The kids have to help out with chores around the house because Mayim believes the boys shouldn’t grow up thinking someone else will do everything for them for the rest of their lives. 

Faith is an Important part of Mayim’s Home

As a child of Jewish immigrants, Mayim was raised in a religious home herself. She is not one to shy away from her spiritual roots, and her kids know this. While she was raised as a reform Jew, she decided to convert to a modern orthodox Jew when she was older.

Image Source: missmayim /Instagram

Her ex-husband was raised Mormon but converted to Judaism when he married Mayim. With these religions in one home, Mayim wants to make sure that her sons fully embrace the religions they were born into. The kids go to the synagogue together and can also speak Hebrew. 

Mayim Believes That Physical Violence is Never the Answer

Parents around the globe use different methods to discipline their kids. Some use time-outs and grounding to correct mistakes their children make. For most parents today, clear communication is becoming the best way to discipline children instead of physical punishment. 

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Mayim believes that nothing should make you hit your kids. She believes it causes emotional damage to everyone involved when anyone resorts to physical violence to solve a situation. While some adults who were hit as children turned out okay, Mayim doesn’t want to take that chance with her kids.

Mayim and Her Sons Sing a Jewish Prayer Every Night

We know that Mayim doesn’t want to schedule many activities for their children. This includes sleeping. According to Mayim’s rules, her kids can sleep when they want to sleep. When the time comes, and they are feeling sleepy. But one thing she makes sure they do is to sing a Jewish prayer. 

Image Source: missmayim /Instagram

This tradition is common for people raised in Jewish households like the one Mayim grew up in. She was always singing Jewish prayers before she went to bed, and she wanted her kids to do the same. For Mayim, it’s not only a way to bond with her sons but also to continue their tradition. 

You Won’t Catch Mayim Nagging Her Kids

While everyone seems to have an opinion about Mayim’s parenting style, she believes that her sons are model-class citizens. Her two sons, Miles and Frederick, have been raised in a unique home, and Mayim says she has prepared them to handle whatever life throws their way in the future. 

Image Source: missmayim /Instagram

She attributes some of this success to the fact that she doesn’t nag her sons. Mayim believes nagging kids about their clothing choices, eating habits, and interests make them nervous and unhappy. She thinks the better alternative is to practice good behavior and let the kids follow suit. 

Laughter is the Best Medicine in the Bialik Household

While most people will assume that Mayim is as serious as her on-screen character on The Big Bang Theory, Amy Farrah-Fowler, that isn’t the case. Mayim loves being happy and wants to teach her kids that laughter is always the best medicine for their problems. 

Image Source: missmayim /Instagram

She believes that laughter can help diffuse negative emotions. Her kids seem happy when riding on tigers through the shopping mall or using plates as props for their photos, so it must be working. Mayim wants her kids to be as free as possible, and laughter helps. 

Alone Time is Necessary For Mayim’s Kids

Yes, alone time. This might sound weird due to Mayim’s advocation for attachment-style parenting, but it isn’t. Although they spend a lot of time together, Mayim and her sons still need alone time once in a while. She believes it is necessary to boost the mental health of everyone involved.  

Image Source: missmayim /Instagram

According to Mayim, the best relationships require a mixture of separation and attachment. Maintaining this balance is important for Mayim because her kids are homeschooled, and they don’t have nannies to care for them. It is also great for recharging their batteries before spending more time together. 

Mayim Always Keeps it Real

One thing about Mayim is that she will treat her kids like responsible individuals. Part of this means she has to keep it real, even when it comes to uncomfortable topics about the dark realities of life. Even if they don’t want to hear it, Mayim will not sugarcoat anything for her sons. 

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She wants to prepare her sons for the realities of life. When asked about how parents can empower daughters, Mayim noted that it’s best to be realistic and tell them not everyone will like what they say or do. She insists that it’s okay for young women to stand up for themselves and go against the grain. 

Mayim Always Wants to Shower Her Kids with Physical affection.

While her sons are all grown up now, there are still some parenting techniques that Mayim uses today. She still does the same things, especially regarding showing physical affection to their kids. Mayim believes that kids need as much affection as possible, but that shouldn’t stop when they get older. 

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Mayim feels that parents only need to change how they show their affection to their kids when they are teenagers. They can’t fit on your lap anymore, so you should find other ways to express your affection so your kids always feel loved. You can’t cuddle them the same way, but you can still make them feel your adoration. 

Mayim Doesn’t Want Her Kids to Answer One Controversial Question

Being related to a celebrity is challenging because you will answer complex questions that can be uncomfortable. For a long time, rumors went around that Mayim’s parenting style might be one of the reasons her marriage to Michael Stone came to an end. And for a while, Mayim never commented on the matter.

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Although she didn’t pay attention to any of these rumors, she knew she had to address them before the media got to her sons for answers. She made it clear that neither she nor her sons would address the matter. She said, “The hands-on style of parenting we practice played no role in the changes that led to this decision; relationships are complicated no matter what style of parenting you choose.”

She Wants Her Kids to Choose Their Battles Carefully

Parenting can feel like a lot sometimes. And when you’re a single mother with two sons to raise, it can be much more challenging. Kids will do annoying things that can often be overwhelming to parents when growing up. That’s why she teaches her sons to choose their battles wisely. 

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Mayim doesn’t force this way of thinking onto her kids. She also practices it when disciplining her kids when they make mistakes. Mayim believes that kids will do irritating things, and you just need to wait them out. She says it is better than getting angry and trying to fix everything. 

Go to Mom for help, not Dad!

Although Mayim is now a single mum, she was once married to Michael Stone. Mayim would encourage her kids to go to her instead of their father when they were all under one roof. It’s not as bad as it sounds. 

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She probably didn’t want her husband to be disturbed when she could quickly solve the problem. If the children needed anything that only their mother could provide, they had to go to her. This was most likely so that their father coils also get a break.