Victoria Koloff – one of the parents featured in Lifetime’s Preachers’ Daughters – lets the public into her life as a mom to four daughters - Kolby, Teryn, Tawni, and Kendra, every Wednesday night. The series is produced by Thinkfactory Media and follows the lives of four preacher families – including the daughters who struggle to live up to the expectations of their parents and their congregations.
Celebrity Baby Scoop recently caught up with Victoria to discuss the series, her family, and her parenting style.
CBS: Your parenting style has been labeled as overbearing. What rules do your daughters think are too strict?
VK: If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s that you’re always going to have your critics! I’ve definitely had my share, especially now that I’m on a reality show. So, instead of answering this question myself, I decided to ask my daughters if they’d considered me an overbearing parent. They told me that my parenting didn’t make them feel that I was overbearing, but made them feel loved, cared for and safe. I’d say that if knowing who my daughters friends were, spending time with them, knowing where they were at all times or who they were with, or having a set of rules and boundaries made me an overbearing parent, then I’m guilty!
As far as what my strictest rule was? The girls have expressed many times that my “No Dating Till 16″ rule was it. Looking back now, I’d have to admit that I agree with them. Although my girls are so much alike, they are also different in many ways. One of them could have been mature enough to date earlier, while another daughter may not have been ready till she was older. I did the best I knew at the time and have few regrets about how I raised my girls. The proof’s in the women they’ve become. Because here’s what I know. I have healthy relationships with each one of my daughters and they have close, healthy relationships with each other. We are all extremely close, have open communication and the utmost respect and trust for one another. So, I’d say, overbearing or not, I did something right because they are four of the most incredible people I’ve ever known!
CBS: What advice do you have for parents who want to set clear boundaries, but give their kids enough room to reach their potential?
VK: First of all, I believe boundaries are incredibly important. Our children need them, just as they crave discipline and guidance. My advice to parents would be get to know each one of your children well. Find out who they are, what interests them, etc. Something that may work well for one may not necessarily work for another. I had the same boundaries for all four of my daughters. That’s a mistake I wouldn’t make again. One thing I wouldn’t change is this. I gave my daughters permission to hate me and didn’t take it personal when I got a door slammed in my face! I encouraged them to “color outside the lines”. And now, I’m proud to say that my girls aren’t afraid to try anything. They don’t define themselves by whether they succeed or fail. If they want something, they go for it. So, give your children room to breathe, but also give them room to fail. My girls know that no matter what they do or don’t do, I’m going to be here for them and love them unconditionally for the rest of my life. We need to assure our children that failing at something doesn’t mean they’re a failure.
CBS Many parents struggle discussing sex with their kids, why do you feel it’s important to be candid and address the topic head on?
VK: My own parents barely spoke to each other unless they were fighting, let alone with me or my siblings. As a child, I craved conversations with them, but rarely got them. So, I made a decision early on that when I became a parent, I would strive to have healthy conversations with my own children, determined to be the parent I never had. It’s not always comfortable having uncomfortable conversations with our kids, but it’s very necessary! I don’t know about you, but I wanted my children to come to me when they were curious about something or had questions about life, sex, friends or anything else then go to someone else. Another person could have given them the wrong information or answered according to their own morals and values instead of mine. It may not be comfortable to talk about tough issues, but as parents, we have to step out of our comfort zones and do what’s best for our kids! It worked for us and created an environment of open communication and trust.
CBS: What’s it like raising four daughters?
VK: Raising my four daughters has been the greatest joy of my life! Sure, it’s been challenging at times, but it’s also been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life! I wouldn’t have traded it for anything. My four daughters, Teryn, Tawni, Kendra and Kolby, are truly four of the best things I’ve ever done!
Preachers’ Daughters airs on Wednesday, May 7 at 9p ET/PT.View Slideshow »»