Melissa McCarthy Admits Disciplining 'Very Funny' Daughters Is Hard: 'It's a Balancing Act'

"Ben and I try to write it down so we don't forget, and then laugh a lot without them seeing," she tells PEOPLE

When Mom and Dad have both built their careers on being funny like comic actress Melissa McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone, it’s a safe bet their kids are going to grow up with a strong sense of humor.

But the couple points out that doesn’t always make things easy for parents who love a good joke when it comes to disciplining their quick-witted children.

“We have very funny kids,” McCathy told PEOPLE at the premiere of her new film The Boss, which she stars in as well as co-wrote and produced with her husband.

Melissa McCarthy Ben Falcone Boss premiere

But she and Falcone admit that appreciating great one-liners from daughters Vivian, 8, and Georgette, 6, can make it tricky when they have to maintain parental authority.

“They get out of being disciplined because they are funny,” admits Falcone, who met McCarthy in 1998 when both were members of the improv comedy troupe The Groundlings. “They’ll do something [to get a laugh] and you’re like, ‘Alright, hold on, that’s not the point.’ ”

” ‘Good bit, strong bit. However, you still have to go clean up your room,’ ” says McCarthy with a laugh. “It’s a balancing act. Kids are really smart. They pick up on everything and then you still have to not laugh in front of them as you tell them that something’s not appropriate, or something might be too aggressive. Then, when they leave the room … ”

Quips Falcone, “You laugh really hard.”

“Ben and I try to write it down so we don’t forget, and then laugh a lot without them seeing,” agrees McCarthy. “It’s a system in a web of lies. That’s what it is.”

Melissa McCarthy Ben Falcone Boss premiere

Even with their efforts to get their offspring to toe the line at home, McCarthy — who in the film plays a successful business executive and money-making guru whose self-centered nature stems from the fact that she’s never been part of a real family — admits that away from work, their daughters are really running the show.

“Our kids are the boss,” she says. “When we get to be the boss, we’ll let you know. It hasn’t happened thus far … When they leave the house, we’ll feel real bossy.”

“When they go to college, we’ll be the boss,” says Falcone. “I’ll be like, ‘Now I can do what I want — but my hip! My hip – ouch!’ ”

— Scott Huver

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