Andrea McLean regularly discusses her home life and children on Loose Women, earning praise from her fans who enjoy hearing her relatable stories.
SEE: Inside Loose Women panellist Andrea McLean's beautiful Surrey home
As well as being a doting mum to Finlay, 18, and Amy, 13, both from previous marriages, she also now spends lots of time with her husband Nick Feeney's two children Tia-Lily, 17, and Sienna, 14. So what can we learn from Andrea's parenting style? Here are six techniques she swears by…
WATCH: Andrea McLean's family all dye their hair!
Don't worry too much
The mother-of-two recently opened up about her fears for her eldest child Finlay. Chatting on The Scrummy Mummies podcast, Andrea said: "Because Fin's a boy, and this sounds really strange but I almost worry about him more. Because he is really tall, and is really, really lovely and kind. And I worry that people will look at him and think he is easy to pick on as he clearly won't fight back. But you can't teach them to be a bruiser if they aren’t and you don’t want them to be in case they start something. I text a lot to ask if he is okay."
However, she has admitted that she almost worries about him too much, to the point where she has to be reined in by her husband. She said: "Nick told me the other day to leave him alone. He said 'you can't be the mum who keeps on texting.'" Andrea then confessed that she sometimes makes up excuses to message him. "I had to pretend and say 'just to let you know we are out now, but we forgot our key, but nan and grandad have one.' Fin then replied 'Mum I am fine.'"
Andrea enjoys spending quality time with her kids Finlay and Amy
Protect them online
It's not just about protecting your kids while they're physically out; the doting mum revealed online safety is also a concern of hers. During a Loose Women discussion on whether or not parents should look at their children's phones, she gave viewers an insight into her parenting style, revealing that she had told a little white lie to help protect her children online.
"I told Finlay that I had a company that checks every website that has looked at on any phone or computer in the house, and that each month I print it out to keep an eye on everyone," she said. "He nearly died," she laughed. Andrea then added: "It doesn’t really exist, and I have since told him that I trust him and have taken the website down."
Family time is important
The coronavirus lockdown gave Andrea the opportunity to spend more time than ever at home with her kids, but her busy work schedule means that quality family time has always been a top priority for the star. Speaking of her routine back in 2015, she told The Express: “After a lie-in on Sunday morning, my parents, kids and I normally head to a pub that my brother-in-law runs to meet him, my sister and their daughter. We will enjoy a nice roast lunch then walk it all off in the park.
“It’s then back home for the last-minute homework panic, me rushing around the house looking for their school stuff. To round the evening off, we’ll watch TV. It’s just lovely family time and I do cherish that at the weekend. It’s so precious.”
Her children encouraged Andrea and Nick to get married
Be kind to others
Although her children are all grown up now, Andrea revealed she had a clever technique to encourage her kids to be kind to others when they were little. Parents can relate to the dreaded biting stage, and the TV star revealed she stopped Finlay's bad habit by showing him that it hurts.
Back in 2018, the Loose Women were discussing the issue with guest star Rebekah Vardy when she revealed her mother had bitten her to teach her a lesson. When Andrea was asked: "Would you do it?" she laughed and explained she already had with her son: "I was like, 'this hurts, see' and gave them a little nibble."
Listen to their opinion
Although the 50-year-old was content with her relationship with Nick before they tied the knot, she said it was ultimately her kids who encouraged them to get married in order to solidify their blended family. How sweet!
She told her Loose Women co-stars: “I've said never again but I changed my mind! The thing is, I genuinely didn't want to get married again. I never realised Nick felt that it was me saying I didn’t want to marry him. I hadn't considered that point of view. But it was the kids that made us change our minds." Andrea added: “For them it was all about security – they’re all going to be stepsisters. They want us all to be tied in together.”
The Loose Women star revealed her new family traditions
Make traditions together
Every family has their own traditions, especially around Christmas time! And Andrea, Nick and their children have already begun to create new ones as a family of six, and they even involve matching outfits! She told HELLO!: "Going to panto in our Christmas jumpers! I get really excited. I love it when you look around the room and it's full with kids. There are grandparents and grandchildren, and everyone's got their jumpers on shouting: 'He's behind you!' I love it."