PARENTS

Jo Whiley: I'm An Extremely Laid-Back Parent

14/08/2014 16:52 | Updated 22 May 2015

Mum-of-four Jo Whiley has revealed that her eldest daughter is far more of a mum than she is – and how her own upbringing and sister's health problems have shaped her parenting style.

Speaking to the Express, the 48-year-old Radio 2 DJ who is mum to 21-year-old India, Jude, 14, Cassius, 12, and Coco, four, outlined her parenting style.

"I am an extremely laid-back parent," she said. "When my elder daughter comes home from uni, it's like she's the mum of the house. She gives the others the hard time that I never do. I just say to her, 'Well, you turned out all right' - why worry?'"

But, she does concede that her celeb-interviewing prowess pays dividends at home when one of her kids throws a diva strop!

"If there's any bad behaviour, I just tell them straight - people won't like you if you act like that, and why would you not want people to like you?" she says, admitting that youngest daughter Coco in particular can be a handful!

"She is really feisty with a lot of attitude," Jo says. "I had the first three and thought, 'I love kids. I'll have another one.' Then Coco came out, and she was like, 'OK, I'm ready to take on the world.'"

Jo also admits that her own upbringing has perhaps shaped her parenting style, and that she learned a lot from her mum and dad.

"Mine wasn't a normal upbringing at all because of Frances," says Jo, referring to her younger sister who was born with the rare condition cri du chat which causes hyperactivity and outbursts of temper.

"It was pretty stressful for my parents, and still is because she lives at home. I really don't know how they cope. Frances has had some dark times recently and her behaviour has been very extreme."

Jo adds that she was sometimes afraid that Frances might lash out at her children, but says that the youngsters 'understand' their aunt's condition.

"I'm always worried that she'll hit one of the kids but then she'll say, 'Take Coco away!' so she doesn't want to have an outburst," she told the paper. "It's just that she knows she can't stop herself."

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