Reality television star Mama June comes under fire on a regular basis. She has been criticized mercilessly about her weight despite losing over 100 pounds since the first episode of "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" which features her entire family.
Whatever you may think of TLC's "Toddlers and Tiaras" spinoff, Mama June is a better mother than many have given her credit for. Instead of living large, she has started trust funds for each of her five daughters. Not all show business mothers follow this kind of example. California's Coogan Act came into being to protect child actors from being exploited by their parents. The Coogan Act is named after Jackie Coogan, the most famous child actor of the 1920s who appeared with Charlie Chaplin in "The Kid." He did not see any of the millions of dollars that he earned. The Coogan Act reserves 15% of a child actor's earning in a trust.
Forget 15%; Mama June puts 100% of the earnings from each episode into trusts for each of the children which they cannot access until their respective 21st birthdays. The $15,000-$20,000 the family earns for each episode is split evenly between Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson, 7; Lauryn, 12; Jessica, 15; Anna, 18, and baby Kaitlyn, she told TMZ. The family live off of Honey Boo Boo's father's earnings from his work as a contractor.
“I want my kids to look back and say, ‘Mama played it smart. Not like those other reality TV people.’ TLC puts the money into the girls’ trust accounts for me and then I get an e-mail telling me how much everyone gets. You’re never gonna see me drive a Range Rover or a Mercedes. I’ll drive one if someone else pays for it. Never gonna live above my means.”
She has additional advice for moms. "My advice to mothers is be foremost a parent. Second of all, make sure you are a friend also. I don't want my kids doing what other kids' parents don't know about. You got to open that line of communication. Its what I call an open-door policy.” Considering her smart savings tactics for her girls, frugality, and recent 100 pound weight loss, perhaps she's weighing in as a better mother than anyone expected.