Brooke Burke's Blog

Brooke Burke: A Different Kind Of Trip

I'm off to New York, kids in tow, and this trip is such a different experience. Last night, instead of my usual separation-anxiety over leaving my family, I was filled with excitement knowing that they're joining me in the Big Apple.We just made it through the airport and I was having déjà vu remembering the days I wore my baby in a Baby Bjorn and another one in a stroller with two car seats attached plus bottles and pacifiers. Always a challenge, but we were world travelers and found ways to make it work. But now I've ditched the baby gear for books and homework and my son has become a helper - instead of a sleeping sack of potatoes. I miss those days, but I'm loving this different experience watching my kids lay out their own clothes and even help carry our bags. My bag is bigger than my son, and still the little gentleman is attempting to help Mom out.I can't wait to get to the city; I have a bunch of fun things planned for us. It's usually an in-and-out, whirlwind tour when I'm working in New York but this time I get to do it with my kids and they have no idea what they're in for.Thursday (April 24) happens to be a super fun national holiday - Bring Your Kids To Work Day - so that's exactly what I'm doing.  It just so happens that my gig that day is at Dylan's Candy Shop, which is one of the greatest candy stores in the world. I have a feeling this one may backfire on me in the funniest of ways when my son realizes that the professional landscape I work in just happens to be in a candy shop. Oh boy, I may never get out of the house alone again!Then I'm taking the kids to the Empire State Building where the search for King Kong continues. Every time I used to leave my son to go to New York for work, he asked if I could find King Kong somewhere in the skyscrapers and capture a picture for him. This time I get to take him to the top of the building... I'll be sure to post a pic.I'm so excited to be able to see New York with different eyes this time with my children. I'll avoid the New York Zoo and possibly step into a museum and maybe even take my family to a Broadway show.I'm so grateful to have my family with me this trip and I'll let you know how our NYC adventure goes.  Work is especially fun when I can mix business with pleasure. Letting my kids know what I do at work and including them when possible not only makes them feel special but gives them a great visual of what Mom's professional tasks look like.  I can't wait to see Shaya and Rain's faces when we pull up to the Candy Shop.  This one is a far stretch from reality, but who says working shouldn't be totally sweet?! 

Brooke Burke: The Mind Is Like A Parachute

Do you ever wonder if our children are really listening, and if the lessons we try to instill in them are actually sinking in? Do our words make an impression? This week my daughter surprised me, touched me and made me look closely at my own behavior. After a massive fight with her sister and some major disappointment in her consequences (I took their phones away for one month!) she came to me with a 1,430 word letter.  Yes, that’s three typed pages that she spit out in less than 30 minutes.  Oh how I wish she would apply that same conviction to her schoolwork!Amazing what a kid can do when they are driven by passion.  The letter began with some words of wisdom that I shared with her many years ago.  I never knew she was listening…"Dear Mommy," she wrote, "The mind is like parachute, it works much better when it is open, so please read this with an open mind and open heart…"I won’t share the details of the letter but what was so meaningful was learning that she took my words to heart and later used them to reach out to me.  I wonder how it really works - will the lessons that my grandmother taught my mother, that she then taught me and I passed on to my own children, continue to be an ethical value system that we share in our family?  How much of what we share with our children every day do they really take in?I was so impressed with my daughter’s ability to express her feelings and do so in a constructive way to help me understand why she does what she does. I realized how much she is growing up and I am so happy that she is able to communicate with enough confidence to be vulnerable with me. We sat together on my closet floor and I listened quietly and attentively as she read her letter to me.  It  was a bit of a role reversal, almost as if she was teaching me some things - really, she was teaching me about herself.  Midway though her letter, I had already changed my point of view and she helped me realize what I might do differently in the future to help both of my daughters through their too-often conflicts.  She shared what she could do differently too, what she could do to get along better with her sibling and also what she hoped for in return. Our discussion segued into a family meeting, and she said something to me, which was NOT a manipulation to get her phone back.  Honestly.  She said, “No matter what you take away from us, it won’t change the way we feel or what we do.  In fact, we will probably just act better to get back whatever you take away.  What we really need to do is try to figure out why we're doing what we do and how we can feel differently about each other.  Then every day we should try to work a little at making our relationship better."What a concept!  I could have paid my therapist $200 for that 12-year-old lesson ;)I’m not embarrassed to say that I gave both of my girls' phones back by night's end.  SUCKER! Truthfully, I agreed with her point and desperately needed to find more effective way to stop the sibling war.What I asked them to do was be accountable for their own behavior and take a look inside to see what’s triggering it.  I asked them to try to work every day to be kinder and closer.  I asked that they be open to forgiving and changing.It was a powerful evening and one I will remember.  I've always said that my children educate me every day but the lessons my 12-year-old taught me that night were ones she had once learned from me.I do not believe that parenting is ever perfect.  I often ask my kids to change and I am equally open to finding better ways to problem solve.Corky Ballas once told his son Mark, “The mind is like a parachute, it works much better when it is open.”Mark shared his dad’s words of wisdom with me and I shared them over the years with my own kids.  Last night, my daughter reminded me of that very important lesson.              

Brooke Burke-Charvet: Dancing Out Of The Ballroom - DWTS

"One reason people resist change is that they focus on what they have to give up, rather than what they have to gain."A recent article on the Huffington Post titled You’re Doing It Right, Brooke Burke-Charvet, written by the lovely David Kessler, really hit home for me.  I’m certain many people across our country faced with job security fears will appreciate his words. Unexpected change is challenging, but the way in which we choose to deal with it is most important and character-defining.My not-returning-to Dancing with the Stars has made quite a splash in the press over the past week.  The only shocking thing about it, for me, was the way in which it all went down.  Finding out that I would not be returning to the ballroom just weeks before the premiere was quite a shake up.  I would have appreciated a heads-up and the courtesy of communication, but we are not always privileged to get that in the work place. My kids were in the car when I got the call and my son shouted, “You got fired Mommy?!”  I tried to explain the difference between being fired and being let go. Then he yelled, “You quit!”  I laughed at the fine line in it all.  Then I did my very best to describe to my children the reality of change and the need to maneuver through it with grace. In the bigger picture, this is a positive change for me and I honestly believe this is the optimum time for me to dance out of the ballroom.I had eight (NOT seven, as written everywhere) fabulous seasons co-hosting the show.  It was a blast! I made many friends, which I will keep and support in every way.  I had the honor to work beside Tom Bergeron, whom I adore and have great respect for. I learned many valuable life lessons and TV skills in the chaos of live television.  I am very grateful for my time at DWTS and I’m never greedy - eight seasons was the perfect run.  I will always celebrate my coveted Mirrorball trophy and all that it parlayed me into.  I’ll never forget dancing in the arms of the brilliant Derek Hough and how he helped me to find the rhythm in my own world. Today I’m buried in new possibilities.  I have no hard feeling and no regrets. I sincerely have to thank all my faithful, funny and crazy fans.  You made me laugh and warmed me during a transitional time and I adore you guys! Thank you, thank you.I can't exactly say I know  “how to handle change like a champ” as David Kessler wrote, but what I do know is this…. The way in which you walk out is equally as important as the way you stroll in.  That goes for life, love, and everything in between.

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