BetteBack: On Raising Sophie

Bette Midler doesn’t let her 2-year-old watch sesame street or other TV because ‘it hardens’ kids & ‘makes them less like children.’
Article from:PR Newswire Article date:February 14, 1989



/ADVANCE/NEW YORK, Feb. 14 /PRNewswire/ — Bette Midler says she doesn’t let her 2-year-old daughter, Sophie, watch Sesame Street or other television because “it hardens” kids and “makes them less like children.”

Midler states in the current (March) issue of Redbook, “I’m happy to teach (Sophie) numbers and letters myself…I don’t want to let a machine do it. I think you should let a certain amount of the world into a child’s life but not the whole world. I think it hardens them. It makes them less like children.”

Midler reveals that she and her husband, Harry Kipper (whose real name is Martin von Haselberg), are “trying” for another child and that she ultimately wants to have six.

The actress says she doesn’t want Sophie treated like a star’s daughter. “I’m not going to drag her around to my shows. I’m not going to make her go to the movie theater and watch my pictures. I don’t want her to lionize me. I don’t want her to hear people applauding me and wonder why they’re not applauding her….I just want to be mommy to her. I don’t want to be some Bette Midler thing. Mostly I want to make sure we have a strong mother-daughter relationship before I throw out to the world and have it pinch and scratch and bite her.”

When asked what surprised her the most about being a mother, Midler responds, “That I would love someone so much. That I was capable of coming out of myself, of waking up from my self-interested stupor and seeing that there was this little thing there. I could nurture it, teach it, make it laugh, have fun. What a big surprise.”

Midler states in Redbook that her mother “made me believe that I was as good as anybody….I never had any self-doubt about whether I could make the grade. That’s a very important thing. Self-esteem will carry you a long, long way.”

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