Jennifer Garner shares her best parenting advice

By peoplestaff225
Updated December 03, 2020 10:35 AM
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Jennifer Garner is trying her best to lead by example for her three kids.

Garner, 44, shares daughters Violet, 10, and Seraphina, 7, and son Samuel, 4, with Ben Affleck, and told TODAY Parents about her latest challenge: raising a preteen.

“We just had back to school night, and I said afterwards, ‘Do they need a computer?’ ” she says. “Our daughter doesn’t have any of those things, and she’s the only kid in the class who doesn’t, apparently, so I found an old laptop this weekend for her.”

She continues, “I am kind of panicked about it. She’s not on social media yet — her school has a no social media policy until 6th grade — but I know it’s coming soon.”

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For Garner, parenting involves being constantly aware of how her actions affect her children.

“I try to be the best version of myself and to have faith that they’re watching me as carefully when I do something right as they do when I roll through a stop sign,” she says.

For Garner, parenting goes beyond verbal communication.

“I don’t think empathy is something you can drill in someone’s head,” Garner explains. “You have to have faith that while your kids can seem to be selfish and concerned only about the word ‘mine’ sometimes, overall, they are watching you really carefully, and if you care about other people, they will too.”

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And this introspection started from the moment she welcomed Violet into the world.

“Once I had kids, I began asking myself, how do I want to spend my time?” she says. “How do I want to make what little impact I can on the world? And over and over again, I was wondering who was helping the kids like the kids I grew up with in West Virginia and rural America.”

From West Virginia to Hollywood, Garner tries her best to maintain a proper work-life balance.

“I try to make bedtime sacred, to have some alone time with each kid every night, when it is possible,” she says. “Except for the nights when it’s not possible. I work, and I have a job that means that sometimes I have to go out at night, and sometimes I need to go out at night just for me.”

— Blake Bakkila