By peoplestaff225
Updated November 10, 2009 02:00 PM

Call it tough love! Thandie Newton has a message for her two girls as they grow up: Pain is all part of life.

The British actress was giving the advice after she bought her daughters, Ripley, 9, and Nico, 4 ½, bikes. Rip — as her mom calls her — cannot yet ride and was in tears because she had been teased by a young friend who said she would fall off.

“I said, ‘Yes baby, but you’ll get back on again and it’ll be sweeter for having fallen off,'” Thandie notes.

Thandie — the cover star for December’s U.K edition of InStyle — says that she has explained to her girls that the answers to problems are often found within themselves. “Don’t be afraid of pain because it’s part of life and it’s a great teacher,” says the actress. “Just get back on that bike.”

She adds, “One of the best things about being a mum is that you can cradle your kids metaphorically when they’re sad, but not eradicate discomfort because it’s valuable to them.”

The actress, who celebrated her 37th birthday last week, was speaking to the magazine to promote her upcoming apocalypse movie 2012. Posing for a series of shots that show off her lean frame, Thandie reveals her secret is Jivamukti yoga.

“It’s my food for the soul,” she tells the magazine. “When I’m not working, I’ll drop Rip off at school and Nico at nursery, then I go to yoga. I also have an amazing personal trainer who I see whenever I can. His name is Liston Wingate-Denys.”

Ripley and Nico are Thandie’s children with husband Ol Parker, whom she wed in 1998. 2012 hits theaters Friday.

Source: InStyle UK; December issue

— Simon Perry