Melissa Joan Hart Reveals the Hilarious Way Her Kids Get Her Attention: They 'Yell Out' My Name in Public

"They know I don't like to be recognized at airports or restaurants," Melissa Joan Hart tells PEOPLE in this week's issue of her three sons

Melissa Joan Hart‘s three sons with husband Mark Wilkerson buck the expectation of a tech-obsessed next generation growing up with screens constantly in their faces.

“There isn’t really one thing they value more than going outside to play with neighborhood kids,” the actress, 41, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “They don’t really like electronics, and they are just as happy reading as playing with toys.”

Though the Watcher in the Woods director says she wishes she could limit screen time even more for Tucker, 5, Braydon, 9½, and Mason, 11, she considers it a victory to have curbed her kids’ soda cravings.

“I’m proud to say the one thing that worked out well was keeping them away from soft drinks,” Hart declares. “It was never an option in our house, so they don’t really like it now.”

Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Babies newsletter.

F:PHOTOReady RoomActionsInsert Take47775A1#Paul Costello652702 copy.jpg

RELATED VIDEO: Melissa Joan Hart’s Son’s Promise to Stop Growing Will Give You All the Feels Today

What they do enjoy, however, is taking advantage of Mom’s pet peeve. “When they can’t get my attention [in public], they will yell out ‘Melissa Joan Hart’ because they know I don’t like to be recognized at airports or restaurants,” the Clarissa Explains It All alum reveals.

This time of year, Hart — who has partnered with peanut butter company JIF for its Imagine If with JIF campaign — is working on getting her trio of boys to coordinate a group ensemble for Halloween.

“I usually try to get my kids to be the same sort of costume,” she says. “Last year they were the Three Amigos. I was so proud of my kids for coming up with that idea. It was just so perfect! This year, I’m not so sure I’ll be able to get them all on the same page. I really hope I can.”

F:PHOTOReady RoomActionsInsert Request48124#paul costello663964.jpg
Paul Costello

FROM PEN: Former Bachelorette Emily Maynard Johnson Says She Wants 2 More Kids to Up Her Total to 5

In the meantime, the family has been embracing fall traditions like apple and pumpkin picking and watching scary movies, including the original Watcher in the Woods. “I tried to show it to my kids, but only my 10-year-old at the time was really into it,” the former teen star says. “And he was just fascinated by it! He was jumping out of his seat.”

All three kids have been enjoying the fruits of their apple-picking adventure, though. “I have to keep going to the grocery store,” Hart says. “All the peanut butter is out of the house because we’re dipping our apples in it so much!”

Hart’s Watcher in the Woods remake premieres Saturday on Lifetime at 8 p.m. ET.

For more about Melissa Joan Hart’s life at home with her three boys, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.

Related Articles