‘I Love Lucy’: Lucille Ball Explained How She Kept Her Kids Disciplined During Career

by Keeli Parkey

In addition to being one of the biggest stars on one of the most famous shows in the history of television, Lucille Ball was also a mother of two. That famous show, of course, was “I Love Lucy.”

While she appeared on the show, Ball also gave birth to her two children with her husband, Desi Arnaz. Their first child, Lucie Arnaz, was born in 1951 when Ball was 39 years old. Their second child, Desi Arnaz, Jr., was born in 1953, according to IMDb.com. “I Love Lucy” originally aired from 1951 until 1957.

Before her death at the age of 77 in 1989, Ball talked about raising – and disciplining – her children during an interview with Gene Shallit on “The Today Show.” That interview took place in 1979. And, her daughter was there by her side.

“Were you a strict disciplinarian?” Shallit asked Ball.

“Yes. I wasn’t home all the time, but they had a lot of rules with the nurse that they had all those years,” Ball responded. “And, she kept them pretty close to the wire.”

She went on to say that her children were not required to do many chores around the house. This, she added, was something still is “not proud of.”

“They didn’t have a lot of duties that they needed to perform around the house,” Ball told Shallit. “That was a little going too far with so many and help. I’m not proud of that fact, but when you work you have to have (help).”

Star of ‘I Love Lucy’ Said Her Children ‘Knew Right from Wrong’

One of the most important things Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr. learned growing up was simple.

“They knew right from wrong at a very early age,” the star of “I Love Lucy” said. “As they grew older, of course, it became much harder to keep a line on them. They didn’t like it. They were very normal that way. But, I think we were as normal as we could be.”

Lucille Ball as addressed the use of corporal punishment in her home.

“But, we weren’t the slapping, hitting, yelling type until they got a little older,” she said. “I must say, as they got older I was up in arms quite a bit.”

When Gene Shallit asked Lucie Arnaz if she had a curfew growing up, she said she recalled it being 9 p.m., and sometimes earlier.

“That was during the summer,” she added. “During the school days, it was immediately after Red Skelton. When was he on? As soon as Red said, ‘Good night and may God bless.’ We had to be right into bed.”

This humorous anecdote drew a big laugh from her famous comedian mother.

You can watch Lucille Ball appear on “The Today Show” with daughter, Lucie Arnaz, below. In addition to talking about discipline, Ball talks about the name she planned to give her daughter, and her hopes for her daughter’s future.