Mother Knows Best
By: Donna Hoke Kahwaty
Soap Opera Digest Magazine
Tracey Ross (Eve, PASSIONS)
Mom's Pride and Joy:
Words of Wisdon:
"With all kids, but especially with teenagers, look for opportunities to say, 'I'm sorry' and 'I was wrong.' Some people think you don't have to aplogize to kids, but they feel so powerless that to have that means so much. It will make them trust you."
If you're a parent, you have either survived the teenage years, are in the process of collecting stories you hope you'll laugh about later or are being warned about what's ahead. Tracey Ross (Eve, PASSIONS) doesn't understand the fuss. "Bryce has never been a terrible teenager and that's the result of all the work I've put into him for years," she says. "For some kids, the teenage years are when they pay back parents for all the times they were unreasonable and they couldn't do anything about it."
Ross believes she's avoided the "payback" because she's made every effort to show Bryce why she thinks as she does. "I don't expect him to do things just because I said so," the actress maintains. "I hated it when my mother did that, so if I can't make a reasonable argument, I don't request it."
It started young. When Bryce was 3 or 4 years old, he wasn't grasping how important it was to be careful around cars. So Ross gave him a practical lesson: She took him to a busy parking lot. "Everywhere we walked, cars were moving," she recalls. "They were close, and I kept saying, 'See how big it is? See it coming?' And he understood the power of the car, that if it hit him, it would really hurt him. By the time we left the parking lot, he got it."
As Bryce got older, bigger dangers lurked. "When I was a kid, my father drove me around Harlem at 2 a.m. so I could watch this whole carnival of drug addicts; he wanted me to be horrified and I was," Ross shares. "Bryce and I have been talking about drugs since he was in my arms. We watch movies like The Basketball Diaries and discuss how if it came at you like a monster, you'd run away, but it comes slowly, so you don't see it until it's too late. He understood my reasoning and I've heard him repeating those things to other kids his age."
And so it goes with everything from discussing why coffee drinks aren't a great idea on school nights to why it might be okay to say some curse words, but not around grown-ups, children or girls. "I don't give orders; we reason it out and agree what might work best," she explains. "He reponds like he knows that I have his best interests at heart."