The hilarious actor sat down with PEOPLE to talk about parenting his 8-year-old twin daughters Dolly Rebecca Rose and Charlie Tamara Tulip, sharing that they might just be channeling the Force.
“I love it when they pick up on adult things that I’m trying to do that I don’t explain to them,” says O’Connell, 43. “For example, if I’m washing dishes and I accidentally break something, one of my daughters will go, ‘You gonna tell Mom about that?! You gonna tell Mom?!’ ”
“And they know I’m never gonna tell their mother. [I’ll] just let my wife find out,” he continues. “It’s funny when they pick up on adult mind games. My kids are Jedis.”
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O’Connell says he and his wife are strict about certain things, like looking people in the eye when speaking to them and saying “Please” and “Thank you.” But Romijn, 44, is a stickler for one rule that the Finding Dory voice actor is a little more laid-back about — maybe even to a fault.
“My wife is super strict about bedtimes. It’s like a prison in that house. Lights out, 8, boom, warden’s set it. I mean, that’s it. Alcatraz. Bang,” he jokes. “I’m like, ‘Girls, we’ll go to bed when you wanna go to bed. I’m gonna watch TV all night. If you wanna sit here and watch TV with me, let’s have at it.’ ”
But Dolly and Charlie’s dad is into a show that might be a little above their age range — maybe that’s O’Connell’s strategy, though.
” ‘You guys wanna learn about history and watch Game of Thrones with me? Let’s go. This is what the world used to be like, dragons and stuff,’ ” he continues. “There used to be a wall, [White Walkers]. Life used to be crazy. You should be thankful you live in today’s world.’ ”
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Even though his girls aren’t taking in too much real history by watching Game of Thrones with their dad, they are learning the importance of a dollar with their chores routine.
“My wife keeps a list, and they get a dollar for washing dishes or they get 50 cents for making their bed,” O’Connell explains.
“And they keep a list. They are hardcore, they’re like accountants, it’s like H&R Block,” he says of his girls. “They’re like [mimicking], ‘Dad, you owe me $47.95!’ ”
“The big one is dog poop in the backyard. I think that’s the big-money one,” the Love Locks star continues. “We’re getting into $2 to $3 fees there.”
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The funny dad is super proud of his girls and just wants the best for them, but he can’t help keeping the laughs going when he thinks about his biggest hope for them.
“My greatest wish for my children? At times, [that] they’d just zip it,” he says. “I’m kidding. (Mouthing: I’m not).”
“I hope they don’t talk about this interview in therapy someday,” he laughs, adding seriously, “I guess that they do well, you know? I mean, do well in school, have a good life. I hope they have fun.”