09/16/2014 02:57 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Lessons Brande Roderick Wants Her Kids to Learn About Bullies, Body Image, Sexuality and More


Photo Courtesy of Keith Munyan

The first time I had a candid Q&A with actress and former 2001 Playmate of the Year, Brande Roderick, was six years ago for a fun political blog, "Playmates on Politics: Q&A with Politically Savvy Bunnies." At that time, Roderick was newly married to Glenn Cadrez, retired NFL two-time Super Bowl champ. She was a stepmom of three, but hadn't yet had her boys Keaton, 4, and Kannon, 3.

My second Q&A with Roderick was in 2013. I wanted her to weigh in on the topic of reality TV for my blog, "Reality Star 101: What the Experts Say It Takes to Make It Big" as Roderick was a formidable contender on All-Star Celebrity Apprentice.

And now, my third Q&A with Roderick relates to motherhood reflecting the changes in both her life and mine -- I'm the mom of a five-year-old girl and interested in everything to do with parenting.

From Baywatch Hawaii, to starring in movies like Starsky & Hutch, as well as her book Bounce, Don't Break, Roderick has a full career. But this time, I wanted to find out more about Roderick's life as a mom.

What is the best advice about parenting you have received?

Savor and take in every single moment with your children because it goes by way too fast.

From your experience, what tips do you have for stepmoms?

Don't try and be their mom -- they already have one. Let their dad discipline them, not you. Just be there for them, and be fun!

What lessons do you want to teach your kids about beauty, body image and sexuality?

I want my kids to grow up feeling secure about themselves and be able to look at others as beautiful, no matter what shape, size, color.

I'm also very open with nudity. If there is a naked picture in a magazine or someone naked on TV, I don't make a big deal about it, because I feel that if we're open about sexuality and nudity now, then when their friends are going crazy about trying to see girls' boobs, they'll just say, 'What's the big deal? They're just boobs.'

What is your biggest frustration as a parent?

One of the most difficult things I find as a parent is the constant worrying: from choking on their lunch at school, to kidnapping, to wondering if they will grow up to be gentlemen, if they will have a career they enjoy, if they will avoid getting a girl pregnant, if I will love their wife, if I will remember all these moments. The list could go on forever. It's hard, but I try my best to put the worries aside and live in the moment.

What brings you the most joy as a parent?

I love it when my children are polite and caring towards others. I love waking up to my little guys' faces saying, 'Morning mommy.' I love cuddling with my little guys and get so much joy from hearing my children laugh.

How do you maintain the connection and romance with your husband in a full house?

Huh? Romance? What's that? That is a difficult question to answer because for moms of young children, we don't feel all that romantic, but I would definitely say that it's important to take time to make your man feel special, just like you do your children because, in reality, men are just little boys in grown up bodies.

Is there something as a mom that you're doing that you don't see other mom's doing -- something that's unique to you?

It's important as a mom and a wife to find a little alone time to get your nails and hair done. If you look good, you feel good. Even if it's just an hour or so to lock your bathroom door, take a bubble bath, drink a glass of wine, color your hair, paint your nails or lather on the self-tanner!

How should kids deal with bullies and mean girls?

I feel that a child should stick up for themselves with their words and not back down to a bully. Most bullies have to use their brawn simply because they aren't smart enough to use their words, so if a kid can turn it around on the bully and show the bully that they aren't scared of him or her, I think the bully would go and pick on someone that will be scared. However, that's easier said than done.

I'm going to try and teach my kids at this very young age to never let anyone bully them and let them know that the reality is that the bullies are just scared little boys and girls using bullying as a protection of their own weaknesses and fears.

How does the way you were parented affect your parenting?

My mom was very nurturing, loving and affectionate. That's exactly the way I am with my kids. However, the way that I will differ in parenting is the teenage years. My parents were very open and liberal. I didn't really have a curfew and was able to date at a very young age.

My kids will have much stricter parents. They will have curfews and won't be dating until at least 16. Also, my parents didn't put much emphasis on education, something that I feel is extremely important. My kids will definitely know that college is a must -- no exceptions.

What values do you want to pass on to your children?

Family comes first. It's also extremely important that my boys grow up to be gentlemen that respect women. Most importantly, if mommy doesn't approve of a girl, she's out! One can only hope, right?

Career-wise what projects are you working on?

I love being a spokesperson for Alkaline88 water... I want to meet my great grandchildren, and I believe raising my PH with the alkaline water is going to help me achieve that. Not to mention it just makes me feel better. I'm also working on a new thriller, a film called Ravage, set to start shooting in the fall.