Drew Barrymore on Setting Boundaries with Her 2 Daughters: I'll 'Never Be Their Friend'

The actress shares daughters Frankie, 7, and Olive, 8½, with ex-husband Will Kopelman

Drew Barrymore
Photo: Mike Pont/Getty

Drew Barrymore is opening up about the importance of setting boundaries with her two daughters, Frankie and Olive.

During Tuesday's episode of Demi Lovato's podcast, 4D With Demi Lovato, the actress, 46, spoke to the singer about how her relationship with her own mother influenced her parenting style today.

The 50 First Dates star explained that she and her mother, Jaid, were friends, not "parent and child" growing up, which forced her to "completely relearn what parent-child dynamic is."

"I'm having amazing real realizations about my own kids and how little I understood what boundaries were," the mom of two said. "I didn't have them growing up and when you're a parent, you try to compensate with so much love and you're almost afraid to get into the argument sometimes, you're just trying to survive the day, so you let things slide and you're like, 'Oh, there should have been a boundary in that place probably a while ago but I guess I'm only realizing that now.'"

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The star expressed the importance of boundaries, sharing that she has previously told daughters Frankie, 7, and Olive, 8½, that she will "never be their friend."

"Like, I'm your parent, I'm not your friend," she explained, adding, "You can be friendly and do activities, it's not that it has to be this strict relationship."

Still, the trio has a special relationship — Barrymore recently shared that her daughters were the first people she told when The Drew Barrymore Show earned three Daytime Emmy nominations.

"I was sitting alone with my two daughters in the kitchen and we were playing with stickers," she told Entertainment Tonight, "and I looked up and I said, 'Girls, I'm so embarrassed to say this, but you know how there's, like, awards shows and stuff?' And they were like, 'Yeah.' [I said], 'I just found out I got nominated!' They were so happy for me, and they gave me a hug. ... Then we just went back to playing stickers."

Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore. Michael Loccisano/Getty

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The movie star, who co-parents her two girls with ex-husband Will Kopelman, added, "I told them they were the people that it mattered most that I got to tell, so it felt like a very whole moment."

In September, Barrymore explained to PEOPLE why she chooses to keep her children out of the spotlight while also being open and honest about her personal life.

"My life with my children, my feelings, that's all on the table — but [Olive and Frankie themselves] are not," she said at the time.

"Because of my life experiences, I'm not selling my brand on my kids. I won't do it. But to ignore that part of my life would make me an automaton. So it's really inventive to figure out how to bring them into the omelet and fold it in, in a way that feels appropriate for me."

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