Candace Cameron Bure is no entry-level mom — her children are 19, 21 and 22 — but for the Fuller House star, "parenting never ends," especially in a pandemic.
"My biggest parenting concerns, because I have older children, [is that] they're at that pivotal stage in their life, graduating high school [and] starting college," Bure, 44, tells Yahoo Life. "And these are big career moments and adjustments in their lives. And Plan A is like, out the window. And so it's really challenging as a parent of young adults to help them navigate their new lives because these are transitional years for them."
Last spring, the Bures bunkered down with the rest of the country, which gave the actress, her husband Val and their children, daughter Natasha and sons Lev and Maksim, time for cooking marathons and board game competitions, ahead of the series finale of Bure's Netflix show Fuller House (a reboot of the television series Full House in which she played teen D.J. Tanner) and the filming of two Hallmark Channel projects If Only I Had Christmas and Aurora Teagarden Mysteries.
"I learned so much in the pandemic about myself, as a mother and as a wife," says Bure. "…I've always known that a parent is always their child's biggest example, but all the more in this pandemic because we've all been together and we haven't had those moments to take off for the weekend or go to the gym. …I'm a patient person, but I am not a stress-free person. And I show it."
She adds, "It's taken a lot of self-reflection to realize that your kids are always watching … [the pandemic] has really put the spotlight on my own faults."
Although Bure says her marriage is stronger for it, she admits, "It got really hairy after the first few months, like bad. All the things that we have avoided for years talking about, they all surfaced and they were in our face and it was unavoidable to actually have these discussions with one another and work through the 'real deal' crap."
Bure's grown children were the couple's "greatest asset" in helping them realize they are better together. "My son Lev gave us a 45-minute sermon straight out of the Bible and was like, 'This is not my opinion, this is what God's word says and this is how you guys need to look at this and work this out,'" explains Bure. She and Val are closer for it but the New York Times bestselling author won't be penning marriage how-to books "I am no expert on marriage," says Bure. "We've managed to do it, but by the grace of God."
In 1996, one year after the conclusion of Full House, Bure, then 20, married the former NHL player and they quickly started a family. "As a really young mom, I was so schedule-driven, and I was quite militant about it," she reflects. "I would have done that part differently, being so agenda-oriented with their sleeping, eating and play schedule." Even with childcare, she says, "You're like, 'No, I can't trust anybody because [they] don't put them to bed at exactly the right time.' Oh my gosh, this doesn't even matter — relax!"
Now, Bure considers her kids equals. "I am friends with all of my children," she says. "[They are] the best, most rewarding relationships in my life … but my husband and I put the work in first. We created boundaries, and the rules and the discipline if it had to come to that. But now as young adults, we are reaping the rewards … my kids actually like hanging out with me and they like hanging out with my husband and they choose having dinner at home — a lot of times over going out with their friends." Bure has even tossed her "strictest parent in town" cap for one that reads "cool" mom.
Her children are nearly grown and flown but Bure still needs parenting advice, although she doesn't rant in online mom groups. "And that's just because of being a celebrity," she explains. "I feel like I get enough parenting advice, unsolicited parenting advice, on Instagram." (Remember the family Christmas card controversy?). Instead, Bure turns to the moms in her small Bible group and her three siblings, including former Growing Pains star and father-of-six Kirk Cameron. "We all talk and throw the questions out."
"The parenting never ends whether they're at home or they live on their own, whether they're married or not," says Bure, revealing that she asks her own parents advice "all the time."
"They're very protective and supportive," says Bure, "but sometimes you just need to hear old-school or old-fashioned advice and just get back to the basics. And you're like, 'Oh yeah, that's just darn good parenting.'"
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