Why Kerry Washington Is 'Really, Really Vigilant' About Keeping Her Kids Out of the Spotlight

"I think any parent would want to keep kids from a situation that causes them to feel scared," Kerry Washington says in her March InStyle cover story

Kerry Washington for InStyle
Photo: Sebastian Faena for InStyle

Kerry Washington is keeping her kids’ best interests in mind.

In a candid new interview for her InStyle March cover story, the Little Fires Everywhere actress and proud mother of three (she and husband Nnamdi Asomugha share son Caleb Kelechi, 3, and daughter Isabelle Amarachi, 5½, while she’s also stepmom to Asomugha’s teenage daughter from a previous relationship) opens up about the challenges of parenting considering her position in the public eye.

“These are their lives. But it’s not about pulling a Rapunzel and hiding them away in a castle from the world — we don’t want to do that,” says Washington, 43, telling the publication that she has been “really, really vigilant” about keeping her young children’s lives private.

“I think any parent would want to keep kids from a situation that causes them to feel scared. I don’t want them to be exploited, particularly in this social media world,” she adds.

As far as what the family loves to do together, “My husband teased me that if I did the [DNA test] 23andMe, it would come back 11 percent mermaid. My kids are the same way. They’re just fish,” Washington says.

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Kerry Washington for InStyle
Kerry Washington for InStyle. Sebastian Faena for InStyle
Kerry Washington for InStyle
Kerry Washington covers InStyle‘s March issue. Sebastian Faena for InStyle

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Washington sat down with Sunday Today’s Willie Geist for an interview released in November, where she discussed the temptation she feels to post images of her children publicly — and how she combats it.

“I have moments where I take pictures or videos of one of my three amazing kids and I wanna post it online, and I tend to just send it to my parents or my shrink instead,” said the Scandal alum. “I’m like, ‘My kids are so cute and I don’t wanna post about them, so look at how cute they are!’ ”

“I have a private Instagram for my shrink and he loves it!” Washington added, joking, “It’s not great when I get parenting feedback, incidentally, based on something he heard me [say] in the background of the video.”

Kerry Washington
Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic

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Despite her dedication to privacy when it comes to her children, the Django Unchained star is surprisingly open with her fans when it comes to herself — so much so that she gave out her phone number to her millions of social media followers last summer.

“Hey you guys. So you know how private I am, but I am going to do something crazy,” the actress began in an August video, which she tweeted alongside her number. “I am going to give you my phone number, which I know sounds insane, but you know I posted about this last week. I’ve been missing that TGIT love.”

“We used to come together every Thursday night at the same time and the same place, and I would know where you were, you would know where I was, and we would talk about stuff that really mattered to us and kind of be in a community together,” Washington continued, referencing her former Scandal time slot.

“I want to bring some of that back because I miss you guys, and social media is amazing but sometimes it’s hard to sift through and really connect with the people who matter to you most,” she added.

Also starring Reese Witherspoon, Rosemarie DeWitt and Joshua Jackson, Little Fires Everywhere premieres March 18 on Hulu.

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