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Zach Anner on parenting

by Mary Mazzoni on December 16, 2011

The New York Times describes him as “witty, charming, mildy zany…the most engaging personality on a network that needs them badly.”

The “Rollin With Zach” star does Oprah proud.

But should we seriously consider Zach Anner’s advice on life and parenting?


His insightful interview with popular mom-bogger Ellen Seidman over at Love that Max gives me plenty to think about. 

Embrace the moment

Zach says he’s “learned to embrace the moments” when he’d “otherwise be embarrassed…to embrace the humor in messing up.”  That present-in-the-moment spontaneity appeals to viewers. And his boss.

Competing for his OWN show meant clearing lots of on-camera hurdles. Including a surprise interview by Oprah. How’d that go? Watch for yourself here.

I don’t have Zach’s quick wit or camera presence. But he got me thinking. How might “embracing the moment” enrich my parenting, and my life?

Let the boy see the world as he wants to

These lyrics from his show’s theme song strike a chord with Zach. He’s “learned that in order for kids to develop interests and a personality, parents need to …encourage this sense of adventure for kids they’d normally overprotect.”  He challenges us to give kids all sorts of opportunities to discover their passions and learn who they are.

Sure, there’ll be disappointments and failures. Zach’s had his share. And closed minded people, too. His advice here is to “learn to connect with those people and help them see who you are. Or, not to care” what those people think.

His top tip for youth with disabilities? “Discover your passion and follow it. As long as you know who you are at your core, disability or not, you’ll be a kick-ass person.”

Have faith in yourself

That’s Zach’s advice to parents.

He goes on to say “have faith in your child’s abilities to make choices and take risks.”

Risks, huh? We know life is full of ‘em. But “risk” is a scary word when it comes to our kids.

Zach challenges us to wrestle with our fears. To learn to trust ourselves as parents. And to “find a way to be supportive that lets kids explore”.

A lot to think about.

Want to hear more from Zach?

Check out the full interview with Ellen Seidman here. You can get your dose of Zach’s zany charm at his YouTube channel here.


Our family doesn’t invest in cable television. Crazy, right? (Our daughter thinks so, too.) Point is, I haven’t watched the Rollin with Zach premier that aired last week. And I’m probably the least celebrity-oriented person you’ll ever meet.

But Zach’s more than just a smart, funny guy with a bigger-than-life personality and his own t.v. show. He’s got a message worth listening to.

Your turn

Do you have a deep sense of trust in yourself as a parent? How do you feel about your child taking risks and exploring passions? Do you take time to follow your own passions? How do Zach’s comments about embracing the moment resonate with you?

We’d love to hear from you. And if you think these are ideas worth sharing, please post this on Facebook. Thanks!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan Anner December 17, 2011 at 10:09 am

As a slightly biased person, I totally agree with Zach’s parenting advice, which he’s been giving me his entire life. I also wanted to let you non-cable investors know that the first two episode are available online in their entirety, along with deleted scenes. He did a few things that would’ve made me nervous if I’d been there during the filming, but fortunately, I wasn’t! Have fun and watch with with your kids!


Mary Mazzoni December 18, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Susan, your comment makes my day!

You’re a celebrity in your own right – as Zach’s mom, a teaching artist, writer and university lecturer.

Hope readers check out YOUR interview with Ellen Seidman here:

Time for me to get rollin’ and watch Zach’s first two episodes online!

Thanks again for stopping by!


Mary Mazzoni December 18, 2011 at 5:36 pm

We’re hooked! After watching the first two episodes online, we’re Rollin with Zach fans for life at our house!


Ellen December 19, 2011 at 7:52 am

I’m hooked, too, Mary. I never DVR anything, but this is getting DVR’d! Oh, and I hope for Zach’s quick wit in my next life. :)


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