Jennifer Garner on What She Wants to Teach Her Kids About Farm Life: 'You Don't Need Things'
"I want them to know that my mother was happy and free on the farm," Jennifer Garner tells Southern Living of her three children with ex Ben Affleck
Jennifer Garner is working to instill a love of the great outdoors in her children.
The actress and mother to son Samuel Garner, 6, plus daughters Seraphina Rose Elizabeth, 9½, and Violet Anne, 12, opened up to Southern Living recently about her West Virginia roots and the values she hopes to pass on to her kids.
“I want them to know that my mother was happy and free on the farm,” says Garner, 46, who was interviewed alongside her mom Pat at the Oklahoma farm where Pat and her siblings grew up. “I want them to know that you don’t need things to keep you occupied.”
Adds the Peppermint star, “I think that the only real way to understand a concept like that is to live it, so I guess we’d better head to the farm more often!”
Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Babies newsletter.
Jennifer Garner for Southern Living
Garner shares that, for her, it’s a challenge to show her three children with ex Ben Affleck the value of time on the farm when they live such a different lifestyle back home in California.
“You feel like, how can I infuse my kids’ city lives? They couldn’t have a more different life than what these guys have here,” she says. “How can I give them that feeling — the freedom and the joy and the silliness?”
“And the hard work, and the work ethic that you guys grew up with,” the Love, Simon star tells her mom.
RELATED VIDEO: Ben Affleck Spends Father’s Day with Kids as Jennifer Garner Says They’re “Lucky to Have” Him
When it comes to what her kids eat, Garner says she tries “not to battle with them about food” since they aren’t “nearly as finicky as” she was as a child — though she admits, “Their pickiness still drives me nuts.”
“I do my very best to take my cues from my mom and put good food in front of them and let it be from there,” says the actress. “I am not always successful. Oh — and I also try to have a plate of fresh cut-up veggies on the counter for them to munch on while I am finishing dinner. Mom did that too.”
And full-time farm life could possibly be in her immediate family’s future. “I hope to own a home in West Virginia someday, but right now, the kids and I are so happy to go home to Grandmom and Granddad’s house that I am not in any rush,” Garner says.