Jennifer Garner shares sweet note her 5 yo left in a book: kids think like that?

Jennifer Garner really lets her Type-A supermom flag fly on Instagram and it’s been a great thing for her. I would be somewhat mortified to be so open on social media, but I’m a writer not a video blogger and she’s not doing anything different than other people. In case you think I’m exaggerating, watch this video of her making the dough for biscuits. See what I mean? She loves all that stuff, she likes to share it with people, and she’s changed from just leaking stories about her family (although she and/or Ben have PR people who still do that) to sharing anecdotes about her life. She doesn’t post photos or videos of her kids but she did recently post a note, Samuel, five, left in a library book. It reads “Hello, You are loved. I believe in you” and has a little heart after it. Here it is.

Do any of you talk to your kids like this? This sounds like Hallmark speak, I’ve never talked to anyone like this. I tell my loved ones and of course my kid that I love him, usually before I ask him to please stop doing that thing that’s bugging me. I do speak to him sweetly and try to get him to let me kiss the top of his head still, even though he has to bend down to do that now. I don’t encourage him in an abstract way like “I believe in you,” I say “You can do it, I know you can. Remember that project you did last fall? It’s not as bad.” It’s important to be positive and uplifting I’m just saying it in a practical way instead. It’s sweet though I think, and kids pass on what they know. The Garner-Affleck kids are going to be nurturers, not little bullies. You always tell your kids that bullies have horrible parents and it’s worse for them at home, but you rarely think about how awesome it must be for the good kids with caring parents. This is a little glimpse into that.

Garner is working on the action film Peppermint. She’s previously posted videos of her workout and she recently shared this reversed time lapse video of her makeup process. It’s a revenge movie described as “a young mother who finds herself with nothing to lose… is now going to take from her rivals the very life they stole from her.” It sounds kind of perfect for her.




Garner is shown out last week and before church on Sunday. Affleck rode his motorcycle to church. Credit: WENN and Backgrid.

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108 Responses to “Jennifer Garner shares sweet note her 5 yo left in a book: kids think like that?”

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  1. Ingrid Fletched says:

    Well mine don’t! Mine were more likely to leave a note saying ‘poo poo bum head’.

  2. Odetta says:

    My five year old gives me nice notes…she knows how to spell I love you, and hugs and kiss. If she wants to write anything bigger then that she asks me how to spell it first.

  3. tracking says:

    He was likely just parroting something he heard, but it’s still very sweet.

    • Millennial says:

      I think it’s sweet. If those kids turn out well it will be thanks to Jen and not Ben, that’s for sure.

    • Amy says:

      I think it is very likely that she said “we’re going to perform random acts of kindness today. Why don’t we write a note to put in the book for the librarian to find?” And then she told him what to write and how to spell each word. I don’t think a 5 year old would come up with this idea or these words on his own, but I also don’t think it’s in any way a bad thing that she’s the one who probably brought it up, had him do it, and helped him to do it. She’s trying to teach her kids to eventually do stuff like this in their life on their own, I bet, but in the meantime she’s helping.

      • LadyT says:

        This is a current activity around here. Kind anonymous notes left in random places- I’ve seen virtually the exact wording even. He was coached or copied it. In truth though I strongly doubt a 5 yr old is even capable of that level if handwriting. Maybe he just added the heart?

  4. minx says:

    Why does she have to share this with the world? It’s private.

  5. MostlyMegan says:

    Maybe these are like phrases she tells them when tucking them into bed at night? I’m am trying not to be cynical. But it’s pretty tastefully minimalistic and well-printed for a 5-year-old. Like my 5-year-old kid makes notes for me but there are a thousand colours, drawings of SpongeBob and Minecraft and everything is spelt incorrectly.

  6. Slowsnow says:

    Why is she embarrassing her kids publicly?

    • i don't know her says:

      she’s a mom. embarrassing your kids is part of the job.

      • T.Fanty says:

        Heck yes. It’s literally the only win you are allowed.

      • Slowsnow says:

        I’m 41 and I’d still be pissed at my mum of she had shown my personal notes to her friends, let alone the billion followers this actress has.

        Moreover, embarrassing your kids is really bad for their self-respect and well-being. We underestimate the effect it has on them. Really weird to find that to be an outlet for motherhood.

        Also, it’s always a narcissistic thing: it reflects well on the mum. The writer did ask if our kids wrote as well and as compassionate as this. So here we go, another strike for the mummy who surpasses all the other mums who cannot instill this greatness of heart on their kids…

      • Who ARE These People? says:

        Hate to admit it but…yeah.

      • minx says:

        I’ve certainly embarrassed my kids by sharing things, but the difference is that she’s sharing it with millions, not just grandma, co workers and neighbors.

      • Slowsnow says:

        @minx, exactly. Stars use their instas for their “brands” and private stuff should not be part of it. We share our kids’ stuff with our/their friends.

        Many kids write this kind of note, or get this kind of note, it’s nothing surprising or extraordinary.

        Except for those parents who do not have that kind of kid or don’t have time to go to the library and feel guilty about it.

        I have a perhaps abnormally consciousness of the fact that sometimes our blessings can hurt others and discourage them. So most of it should remain private. It’s YOUR happiness, not someone else’s.

    • vivian says:

      Seems to just be the son who is 5 and too young to know what is going on to tell her to stop. This is the second note that she’s posted from him. Has she ever posted anything like this about the two older kids specifically? They probably think of her the way that we all thought of our moms at some point: that she was too much and embarrassing.

  7. Erinn says:

    I love this. I don’t care if it’s sappy af – I love it. More kids need to hear things like that and I’m not going to shit on this at all. So many little kids grow up in a household where they don’t HAVE loving words or people who look out for their best interests.

    And it wasn’t meant to be private. He left it in a book purposely for others to see. He was doing a one-boy motivational spree. He wanted other people to feel happy and loved – his intention clearly was for others to find this. And any kid who thinks like that is a kid I like.

    • Anners says:

      I’m with you, Erinn. If he’s parroting, then it means he’s heard it often enough himself. But it also means that it’s touched some core part of him and he wants to spread that love out. I’m firmly on the side of the world needs more kindness right now, and I can’t sh!t on a kid who is doing his part.

    • Nicole says:

      I used to leave notes like this as a kid because my mom left post-it notes like this for me. I would leave them everywhere too. It was fun and my mom indulged it. Mine were mostly “hugs” on post-its

      • magnoliarose says:

        I tuck notes in my children’s pockets and in their lunches for school to let them know I love them and hope they are having a great day. Sometimes it is just a heart or something goofy, but they look forward to seeing what I put. My mother did it, and my husband and I do it. I find them in my suitcase when I travel.
        The ones who can write and draw do it too.
        I wouldn’t share them on social media though. I keep them for me.

  8. Iknowwhatboyslike says:

    I am very Hallmarkish with my daughter. She’s the only black girl in her grade. In a sea of blond hair and blue eyes, I want to affirm her existence and her beauty. In the morning, I have to leave the house before she is dressed for school. When I’m on the train, I send her a text telling her how kind she is, how loving she is, how much of a wonderful daughter and sister she is. I did it for the first year in her new school and I truly believed it helped her. She is a kind and compassionate girl, who is sure of herself. And what’s amazing, is she is so in tuned with other people’s feelings. When I’m having a bad day, she can always sense it. It’s a good thing to do when you temper the praises with a bit of humbleness. Despite how messy been is, I think those kids will be great with Jennifer’s care.

  9. Esmom says:

    It sounds like something they cold have easily learned/talked about in school. My kids have often had exercises — from preschool through high school — where the teacher asks them to write something short and sweet to someone else. Trying to teach empathy and kindness. My kids’ old school has one of the “You are beautiful” signs running along their fence.

  10. JoJo says:

    A “young” mother, at almost 46? Sure.

    The note’s cute but doesn’t seem like natural language at all for a five year old boy, and the writing looks a bit strange. Almost too perfectly childlike, if that makes sense. A little pretentious for me, but better than the alternative I guess.

  11. Ninks says:

    I absolutely believe this is the kind of note a child of Jennifer Garner would write. It’s very sweet and earnest.

    I’m a librarian and I often find notes and messages left by kids in books, some of them are very funny. One left a message on the first page saying the book was ‘fucking sith’. It always makes me laugh whenever I think of it.

  12. Scarlet Vixen says:

    Yes, some kids do. My middle child just turned 7, and she is constantly writing loving and positive notes to her siblings, parents, grandparents, classmates, everyone. 2 weeks ago I had a cold, and she made me a painting of spring flowers and a home-made card that said, “Dear Mama, you are so sweet and loving and take care of us. You make us laugh so hard. We feel sorry that you are sick. Love, N” This week her older brother competed in a spelling bee & she tucked a note in his backpack saying, “Good luck K! You are SO smart and you will do SO awesome!” Altho a few months ago she was mad about getting a timeout, so she left a note on my pillow saying, “I don’t love you because you don’t love me.” with a crying face :-D :-D

  13. JenB says:

    This is so sweet. My hat’s off to Jen-I think she’s a fantastic mom for real. I wish I had her enthusiasm for all things motherhood. (I get a little every now and again, lol.)

  14. T.Fanty says:

    I believe it. I took my kids to work one day and I’m still finding little love notes tucked in files and in between my books.

  15. Spikey says:

    You know what I love? Batfleck is dropped from the DCU like a hot potatoe because he cannot get in shape and then his ex parades these enviable arms in front of the paps. OT but still. She’s a badass.

    • knotslaning says:

      OMG, her arms are making me swoon!

    • girl with a horse says:

      That’s actually not true. WB just offered him the job directing the new Flash movie but he turned it down. They wouldn’t do that if they were done with him. No one knows if he will be in another movie as Batman but the ball actually seems to be in his court.

      • LearningtheSystem says:

        I dunno. There were a lot of reports earlier this week that WB had soured on him. Then, there was a line in the Variety announcement of the new directors that WB had initially offered the job to Affleck, but he didn’t take it. No timeline was given. Then, all the other comicbook newsies started running with it. Tons of stories out there about Jake G being the replacement, and no denial at all coming from the studio or the new director. Ben has obviously not done anything to get into shape for the role. We’ll see, but I think he’s been out for a while and they are just trying to frame his departure to fulfill the contract and to transition for the fans.

  16. knotslaning says:

    My 9 year old leaves me notes of thanks and encouragement all the time. She has been doing this since she was 5, she is just that kid. She likes the people around her to feel valued because it makes her feel good to care for people. She often sounds like a hallmark card in these notes but she is just very sincere. I think it takes a lot of courage to tell people how much you care, and I think it is sweet. Her 7 yo sister leaves me notes telling me how pissed at me she is! These notes are very funny!

  17. equalitygadfly says:

    Skeptical side-eye, followed by a rush of sweet relief that my life is 100% social media (a.k.a., the Thunderdome of back-door-bragging) free.

  18. CommentingBunny says:

    Kids parrot what they hear. I remember walking the perimeter of the sandbox, up on the 1 foot high wood, pretending it was a balance beam. My son was 4 and I was bored while he was playing in the sand. When I jumped off he said, “That was a very good job, Mommy.”

    If he hears “You are loved” that’s what he’ll say. And she seems like the mom for whom “love you!” isn’t quite good enough – like it must be a declaration instead of just something you say. Which sounds a lot more critical than I mean it to be, I just can’t think of another way of putting it. She just strikes me as a loving and super over the top mom. I think he wrote it.

  19. Sarah says:

    Wow!! A 5 year old who spelled “believe” correctly is pretty amazing…😜

  20. Hannah says:

    Just going to throw this out there – could it have been a ‘love’ note that she’s written to her son and left in his book?

  21. JA says:

    Very cute and almost sickly sweet but I’ll allow it! ;-) Also I’ve seen sooo many embarrassing posts from moms on social media posting some stupid stuff about their kids, including literal poop pics… this is harmless. I unfollowed that lady btw and felt sorry for her that she was so bored with life that she thought posting a pic of her kids sh*t was cute.

  22. homeslice says:

    LOL. My note would say something about poop or the toilet or can I play with the ipad…

  23. Chef Grace says:

    When my kids were little we had a neighbor with two kids the same age. Every damned day they came out to play, we would be treated to some new age wisdom that normal 10 and 8 year old kids would not say, let alone understand. After looking at the above note, I call it staged and mommy printed. But I am an old cynic. :)

  24. Caroline says:

    My guess is the class was learning about MLK.
    That is where he probably heard that! Sometimes teacher will incorporate a history lesson into a writing lesson and even include something in art for that day! I was a substitute teacher for a few years.
    I have a degree in education but could not get a job so i ended up as an employment supervisor for macy’s & taught register training & orientation, instead.

  25. frankly says:

    My 12-yo leaves little notes everywhere we go – except they say, “YA LIKE JAZZ?”
    I’m just glad the “Bee Movie” quotes have an outlet other than going into my ears.

  26. Patty says:

    How does someone who looks so amazing in workout clothes, look so frumpy in everything else? I think her kids do stuff like this and I find it cute.

  27. blonde555 says:

    Lol. Is she sure it wasn’t a drunken Ben leaving that note?

  28. hannah says:

    Wow, she’s totally put her private up for sale. But she’s so private and her kids need privacy?! Isn’t that what she told Congress? Riiiiiight. She happily posts stuff about her kids, her house, her pets, etc on her IG now. The shamelessness of it all is cringeworthy. Unfortunately for her, her IG followers don’t support her projects where it really counts — the box office. Her last movie did less than $5k at the box office, the one before that less than $300k.

  29. girl with a horse says:

    Her IG gives me the creeps and so do a lot of the comments that she gets. She really has a lot of weirdo fans.

  30. Beth says:

    I’ve been rolling my eyes at everything Jen Garner a lot lately. I’ve decided that I can only take her in tiny, infrequent doses. If she’s like this on social media I can’t even imagine what she’s like at home. If I had to guess I’d say that she’s relentlessly making every single thing precious and perfect, and being all passive aggressive and sulky when she thinks it goes unnoticed or underappreciated. TBH I can see why Ben couldn’t hang with that and spent a lot of time away from the house. All the arts and crafts, elaborate setups and needing things to be just so. She doesn’t seem chill at all. She’d get on my nerves big time. Her kids are either going to turn out just like her or resent her, rebel and deliberately self-destruct in her presence (like Ben).

    • Jini says:

      Why does she need to be chill though? If that’s her personality, than that’s her personality. It’s not like Ben didn’t know her before he married her. He would have been amply aware of what she’s like. Arguing that because she’s not chill it somehow justifies Ben’s emotional stuntedness is no different than saying all girls have to be “Cool Girls” or guys won’t really want them

      • jubilee says:

        Emotional stuntedness? lol What I got from that poster’s comment was that Ben and Jen were so incompatible that he couldn’t stand to live with her 24/7 anymore.

        How well did they really know each other? It’s not like they dated for some huge amount of time. He was engaged to someone else for years, that ended, they started dating, she got pregnant, then he married her. Plus she was clearly so obsessed with him and she seems exactly like the type who would stifle her true self to keep him interested. That only lasts so long.

  31. Carmike says:

    I dont know….i think it is refreshing to see & hear something nice in the world rather than hearing about that couple who basically tortured all their children in their own home im California! Hopefully you can’t argue with that!

    • Jeannie says:

      Yea, nobody can argue w that. Thanks for being the breath of fresh air in this conversation. Nice person does nice thing at 11! Everybody riot. Let’s calm down, people, she’s not nuking the chinese. Let’s save our vitriol for actual war criminals n influencers. She’s a nice woman who cares abt her kids.

      • ORIGINAL T.C. says:

        I wouldn’t have a problem with it if she was not being hypocritical about asking media to leave her children alone. Same with Halle Berry. Also what if when her daughter reaches teenagehood and starts pushing back in public that her Mom is not as perfect as her created Instagram world? Or she decides to go live with her Dad?

        There would be outcries to stay out of her relationship with her children. Or “leave Jen alone”. Like you can share these great moments with personal friends. Don’t make your child into a celebrity, it always becomes sticky.

      • jubilee says:

        @Original You can already see the “leave this family alone” comments in the Daily Mail when they are being photographed going to church or whatever pap stroll Jen drags them on that day. But Jen has instigated all of this attention by speaking to the media about her marriage, separation, divorce, co-parenting, etc. She is now fueling the fire of interest in regards to her home life through her instagram. Very hypocritical and fake. And FTR, no I don’t think Ben is much better. When he has a movie to promote he is always telling anecdotes about the kids’ birthday parties or what they got for xmas — no one’s business! But at least he’s not on instagram exploiting them every other day. Plus he’s desperate and lousy and Jen isn’t, so she should know better.

  32. Katie says:

    I read her post as it being a note that was given TO her son and he left it in the book.

  33. Menlisa says:

    A lot of these comments are pretty miserable.
    This is a breath of fresh air.. She seems like a loving & thankful mom.

  34. bikki says:

    children talk like that IF they are talked to in this way, which from what little I know about this actress it’s very likely she does talk to them in this manner.
    so imo, it’s highly probable the note is real <3
    we should be saying this kind of stuff to each other all the time tbh.

  35. Tina says:

    I remember watching an interview with her years ago when she was promoting a movie. She was asked about parenting while working. She mentioned that she prewrote her children notes for their lunchboxes while she was away. Seriously, I think this is how she lives. I really enjoy her Instagram. I think she is kind of goofy and fun. It is like she is finally able to be herself.

  36. HeyThere! says:

    LOL to all the negative comments! I don’t even see how this would an embarrassment?? I tell my Little’s everyday, all day, “you are so loved!”, because I was told like once a year that my parent loved me. I don’t throw around the “L” word much. Just my husband and kids.

  37. Chloe says:

    My son is almost 4 and while he couldn’t write this level yet, he does dictate to me, the hubs, his grandparents, teachers, etc. what he wants to say for cards or notes (we leave my husband notes in his suitcase when he travels, which is often or at school, they do weekly “promises” of a chore or nice deed they’ll do) and it’s very sweet like this note. Kids repeat what they hear from grown-ups. :)

    P.S. I’ve totally IG’d notes from my kid before, even if they weren’t written in his handwriting. The words came from him.

  38. Lindy says:

    My son at 5 (he’s 8 now) was incredibly articulate and reading well at about the 3rd or 4th grade level. He was the (at the time) only child of two professor parents. And in spite of those things, he wouldn’t have phrased a note this way, and wouldn’t have spelled believe correctly. I mean… I’m not saying no way. I’m just saying it feels a little unlikely. As for the mom stuff, though… I get it. I still write my kiddo lunchbox “love notes” most days, and we have a passage of his favorite book as a toddler (~I Love You, Little One by Nancy Tafuri–it’s the best!) that we still recite together as I’m tucking him in. So maybe she says those kinds of things to him and he says them back. That note just doesn’t seem written by a 5yo.

  39. Nilber says:

    I completely believe it could it. My son did stuff like that at 4 & 5 all the time.
    Heck at 6 when I took him to work he picked wildflowers and handed them out to all the ladies there. He was a lil flirt back then.

  40. Caroline says:

    I had a girl in kindergarten who could read at the 5th grade level but could not zip her coat.
    Motor skills are sometimes hard to master…i am betting that Samuel cannot zip his coat!

  41. Ash says:

    The note is cute! She does look sort of run-down in that top photo though! Her online persona is so cheesy, but her kids seem happy.

  42. Truth hurts says:

    Ok if the librarian found it and it was supposed to be for the next reader why/ how didn’t she leave it in the book? If the librarian found it.

  43. justwastingtime says:

    Used to live in the same town. Her oldest daughter won the town spelling bee beating out kids from a lot of other private schools. (it was in the local paper, sue me) So, I actually think it’s a possibility.

  44. Snowpea says:

    I was a literary prodigy and taught myself how to read and write aged two. By kindergarten I was precociously reading Robinson Crusoe, Alice in Wonderland, The Enchanted Forest and even some Judy Blume, Rumer Godden and Edith Nesbit.

    However recently I was going through some boxes of old school reports and while I was looking over various little stories and poems I wrote, it became glaringly obvious that while I may have been outrageously literate at the tender age of four, my spelling was utterly atrocious. Generally speaking, little kids spell words phonetically.

    So yeah. I don’t believe Garner’s kid wrote this.

  45. Jusssayin says:

    I’m kinda surprised by the comments. My two year old can spell and read most of the dolch site words and thats mostly just from watching youtube videos. Repition. He can write those words better than his 9 year old brother can. It does sound like a Dr. Suess quote or something but I do believe her 5 yo could’ve wrote this. Its all in how you raise them because like i said, even at 2, theyre capable of writing and spelling words legibly and correctly, so by 5 simple sentences like in the picture shouldn’t be too difficult.