April 20, 2008 01:29 PM

Actor Antonio Banderas — who sadly lost his father to a long-suffering illness in February — says it’s his influence that inspires him to take on the pragmatic approach to easing his children, Alexander Bauer, 22, Dakota Mayi Johnson, 18, and Stella del Carmen Banderas, 11, into adolescence.

I’m not big on discipline and neither was he. I’m much more focused on talking and showing affection. I think that way you can understand your children a lot better. In Stella’s case, we’ve had an easy ride, but now she’s entering a new stage. I’ve had experience with my other children, Alexander and Dakota. Alexander’s 22, and lives his own life in New York where he’s studying music. But they both suffered. It’s the hormones!

[Stella] wants independence and thinks she’s right for it. It’s a balancing act. I think discipline which kids don’t understand properly leads them to distance themselves even faster and more radically. Having said that, I don’t believe in being their friend. You’ve got to go gently, but you’ve got to go carefully.

While many may know that Alexander and Dakota are his wife Melanie Griffith‘s children from her previous marriages to actors Steven Bauer, 51, and Don Johnson, 58, Antonio insists that they’re classed as his own.

I consider them my own children, naturally, and when I talk about them, I say ‘my children,’ not ‘my stepchildren.’

Click below for his worries as a father, and what he plans to do when Stella starts bringing boys home!

As a dad, he admits the things that worry him most about them are "the dangers of life,’ adding,

Particularlyat this age when they can’t tell good from bad — the type of peoplethey’re mixing with, drugs, that kind of thing. In the case of mychildren, there’s the added risks that come with this fame that theydidn’t choose.

Alexander hates it. He studied six months in Malaga andnobody knew he was our son. He never told anyone. Dakota is different.She’s got her mind on so many things at once. She’s 18 and everythingis going at breakneck speed for her. Stella is more like Alexander. Ithink she’s going to deal with the whole business very discreetly,unless she chooses acting as a career. She reminds me a lot of myfather and of Alexander.

When the time comes that Stella starts bringing boys back home, the 47-year-old hopes she chooses wisely.

Ihope she doesn’t end up with the kind of scalliwag I was at 20! I’malways teasing, ‘I’ll put my Zorro suit on and that will teach him.’

Source: Hello! Magazine, Issue: 1017, April 22nd 2008

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