Jersey Shore‘s Jenni “JWoww” Farley has had more than 10 years to get used to being in the public eye — plenty of time to practice tuning out other people’s opinions about how she lives her life. But when it comes to her children, that public commentary still stings, especially with regard to 3-year-old son Greyson, who is on the autism spectrum. That’s actually why she continues to share updates about him on social media, she recently explained.
“I feel very confident as a parent to put out all the milestones, and I really just want to break the stigma, but at the same time, there are always those backseat driver parents,” Farley told People while promoting the winter premiere of Jersey Shore Family Vacation. “The people that want to tell you or insinuate that they know better, and they’re not in your lives 24/7.”
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For my birthday, I took my babies to @prucenter to see @jurassicworldlivetour 🦖 🦕 it was awesome 👏 @greysonmathews obsessed with dinosaurs and cried when it was over because he wanted to play with them… can’t wait to see it again because I promised Grey a play date with the baby raptors lol
That’s what happened last month, when she shared a cute video to Instagram of Greyson waking up big sister Meilani by hitting her back excitedly. When commenters criticized her for letting him hit, JWoww was not having it.
“I am encouraging my son to help wake his sister for school,” she replied. “He gets joy out of helping me and helping his sister. He also is learning what he can and can’t do. One being hitting. I can reassure you, almost every parent will deal with this issue, because it’s called life. I posted it because it’s a brother learning boundaries with his sister but also excited to wake her for school. You, on the other hand, want to encourage problems when there are none. … Teach those parents on the internet how to parent so u can feel good about yourself.”
To this we say, “Amen, sister,” on behalf of all parents, not just the parents of kids on the autism spectrum.
Still, Farley told People she hopes to “rise above” the negative comments, even as she faces the added struggle of trying to curb Greyson’s OCD tendencies.
“I really do want to help parents out there, and I really do want to make a difference,” she said. “So when my son is older, even if the OCD tendencies are still there, the stigma is gone.”
The mother of two is about to face quite the challenge in that respect, as she’s planning to take the kids to Disney soon.
“Some days, he just wants to walk in the room a certain way, and if you don’t do it, he wants you to start all over,” she said. “In two months, during Autism Month, I’m taking him to Disney, so that’s going to be my best week ever, or it’s going to be a disaster. I’ll get back to you on that.”
However that adventure turns out, we’re sure most moms will be grateful to her for telling us all about it.
Celebrities help fight other stigmas, too, like these moms who publicly shared their miscarriage stories.