Mark Wahlberg on parenting a teenage girl: There’s ‘a lot of attitude, aggression’

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While I’m pretty sure that Mark Wahlberg is mostly a douchebag and exactly the kind of man who would and did commit a violent hate crime, I do wonder: is he a good father? Wahlberg has a pack of kids with wife Rhea Durham: they are parents to Ella Rae, 14, Michael, 12, Grace Margaret, 8, and Brendan Joseph, almost 10. There are plenty of paparazzi photos of Mark out with the kids, but I honestly forget their names all the time, and it’s not like he’s ever pushed them into the spotlight or put them front and center as part of an Oscar campaign. They’ve grown up in LA, but they’re just being normal kids. I also know that he’s involved in his kids’ sports teams, like as an assistant coach and football dad and whatever. He tells stories about his kids on talk shows, but again… I actually think he might be a totally normal and even GOOD dad, with well-adjusted kids?

Still, Mark Wahlberg has to deal with the worst thing: teenage girl hormones and drama. Ella is 14 now and she is not here for her dad’s bulls–t.

Mark Wahlberg‘s got his work cut out for him. The 47-year-old actor dishes on his life as a father of four, and admits parenting 14-year-old daughter Ella Rae is “a challenge” in a lot of ways.

“It’s tough, but people say that they pass through it and they come back to you,” he says. “She wants to go be off and doing her thing. [There’s] a lot of attitude, a lot of aggression, a lot of, ‘You’re the worst, you ruin everything!’ ”

For the most part though, Wahlberg is enjoying watching his kids grow up. “We’re going to take a vacation back East before they go back to school, I’m excited about that,” says the Boston-born-and-bred star. “Football season’s about to start for my son.”

While Wahlberg’s oldest child may be testing her dad’s limits, her younger sister is still preoccupied with the innocence of childhood.

“My younger daughter is heavy into horses and all that stuff — lots of stuff that keeps her focused and away from boys hopefully until she’s 30, which is great,” he jokes of Grace.

[From People]

It’s true about it just being a phase. At the age of 14, I thought that once I was able to get out of that house, I would never speak to my mother again because REASONS. Teenage girl reasons. But then girls grow out of it. I did. This reminded me of another story Wahlberg told about his daughter during an episode of Graham Norton last year, which I actually found really charming:

Film Premiere Mile 22

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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53 Responses to “Mark Wahlberg on parenting a teenage girl: There’s ‘a lot of attitude, aggression’”

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  1. MI6 says:

    Maybe she gets that from her dad.

    • Lizzie says:

      That’s what I came here to say!!

      14 year old boys are no different – girls are just vilified for it.

      • Alissa says:

        I dunno, I can tell you my stepson was easy as a teenager and my stepdaughter gave us about fifty different heart attacks and a lot of issues. I think it depends on the kid.

      • JanetDR says:

        My son never gave me any grief at all as a teen. My daughter broke my heart daily for years. 12-14 was the worst and we were close again by 16. I just kept reminding myself of how irritating my mother seemed when I was that age, and even as a teen I knew I was being unreasonable and did my best to not snap.

      • geekychick says:

        THANK YOU!
        yeah, this kind of:”boys are easy to handle, girls are the problem during teenage years” is an outdated notion, stemming from pretty sexist/chauvinist stances in the past:
        teenage girls must be strictly controled-they might get pregnant and ruin the family. Boys can get someone pregnant, but they can always say that who knows who else she slept with and that he’s not resposnible for it. that’s all folks, this is the root of that stance: “Control the girl so she doesn’t embarras you, but boys will be boys.”

    • Jane says:


    • Nic919 says:

      I was going to say the same thing. Hopefully she doesn’t end up blinding anyone during her teen years like he did.

      • Shijel says:

        That’s a messed up thing to say of a 14-year-old, assuming what she’s like and what she might do based on who their father is.
        Talk shit about Marky Mark, he deserves every bit of it, but this snide treating of his kids as extensions of him doesn’t sit well with me.

      • Nic919 says:

        No one is saying that the kid will do this. He’s the one calling her aggressive though and it’s probably for talking back to him.

    • Esmom says:

      Ha. “Attitude” I can see, and have experienced from my teens and have heard many tales from fellow parents. But “aggression” is a pretty strong word. And she’s only 14. Being Mark Wahlberg’s kid, though, poor thing.

      • Nic919 says:

        I think Marky Mark has issues with women who talk back to him and so she is probably just being a kid who sasses back and to him that’s aggression.

      • Esmom says:

        Yeah, that makes sense. Ugh.

      • LadyT says:

        Or maybe she’s aggressively defiant and it has nothing to do with Mr. Macho Mark’s perception. I loved every age and stage of my children EXCEPT age 12-14 female. There’s a difference between making mistakes and needing correction that occurred with all my children and the level of open hostility and war-like disruption that defined those years. Then from 15 to today, she’s everything and more than I ever even dreamed she could be.

      • Birdix says:

        Hey thanks to the commenters here who have btdt —my 14-yr-old was awful this morning, Mr Birdix yelled at her and I’m the only one in tears because I hate yelling. Hopefully they’ll both come around soon—good reminder that this passes..,

  2. My3cents says:

    Nope, sorry. Still not likeable.
    Breeding does not make you any less of a violent racist.

    • WingKingdom says:


    • Lilly says:

      Yes and he can stop perpetrating myths about girls, versus each teenage stage is individual to the person, no matter their gender. Promote questioning authority and less submission, especially for girls. LOL. I must be on one today, each story really has me “Down with the patriarchy!” whether done through fathers, the tabloids and regular press.

    • Anika says:

      No, there is nothing “charming” about a hostile, violent racist (or any kind of racist) and Wahlberg does not endear himself to me on any level, certainly not by just by being a father. I imagine he’s as sexist as he’s always been, which is why he gives his daughter a harder time than he will give his sons, in attempting to control her life, calling her out for being “aggressive” when she probably merely is trying to do a few things her own way, and not his. *Keep the little women in line*—-Ugh, every time I think if him I recall how l he never even apologized to the man who he so ferociously physically attacked, simply for being Asian! I can’t stand Wahlberg, his stupid comments on being a father do nothing whatsoever to redeem him.

  3. Melania says:

    I can’t stand him. He’s a jerk.

  4. Snowflake says:

    Personally i hate it when men act like their daughter has to be protected from horny boys. But if they have a son, they think its awesome when their son gets some. But us girls, we have to protect our vagina…

    • Deering says:

      Agreed—have always hated that attitude. And they _still_ make movies about it/use it as a comic trope.

    • bettyrose says:

      Nothing creepier than a dad who thinks all boys are out to ravage their daughters. Says a lot about the dad’s history.

  5. Alice says:

    I just remember him and his wife leaving the Super Bowl early a couple of years ago, when the Pats were down. Then Brady mounted the comeback of all time and best buddy Wahlberg missed it. He’s a chump.

  6. geekychick says:

    eh, IDK. I was one of 3 daughters, each with a ten year diffrence-and each one thought that dad was her biggest ally at home during. puberty. Mom was the one who got the brunt of our anger during teenage years, but dad was the one we confided in, asked to stay out longer, the one we always went to when we realized that maybe we still aren’t grownup enough to deal with some situations. I think it depends on what kind of parent you are and your role in the family. Our mom was strict and honestly, a difficult parent-no compromises, no understanding although she loved us, of course. Dad was the one who tried to see our side of things and allowed us to make our own mistakes sometimes, and that kind of approach paid off.
    secondly-why just girls? teenage sons aren’t tough to deal with? they aren’t totally irrational and reckless and think they know everything? Bc I’ve never heard anyone say:”oh my teenage daughter is so hard to manage, but my son is just so perfect!” during teenage year.

    • Shijel says:

      Dad could afford it, because mom did all the ugly parts of parenting. My parents were the same. Mom disciplined me, she was rigid, she was strict while father was listening, father was fun and gentle.

      Mother took so much of my teen wrath for doing what my father wouldn’t do, but what needed to be done. I’m pushing 30 now. I still feel awful, even though I know that one shouldn’t blame a 12-16-year old for being a teen.

      • geekychick says:

        Eh, not really. I didn’t go into details, but maybe I should have: my mom and dad had the same stance about major rules and the outcome-but my mom always demanded total obedience and for her to control everything, while my dad wanted me to be respectful, kind and careful with all the things teenagers want to try. my mom’s way: although I was a straight A, honorary student who never got in trouble my whole life, I had to be home by 11pm on the weekends (although we live in a super safe city, even by european standards and although all my friends could stay until at least 2-3 am) bc she says so. my dad otoh wanted to know where I was and to always have my cell with me and to never let anyone drive me anywhere. guess who rebelled as soon as she left their home? yeah, sometimes parent doesn’t know how to handle it’s child and doesn’t try to understand them. a great deal of my adulthood problems came from that fact. so it’s not always: he could be like that, because she was the bad cop. no, she should be grateful for my dad, bc we wouldn’t have a normal relationship today if he wasn’t who he was.

  7. Aud says:

    Boys are a mess of testosterone and impulsivity. There’s a reason they’re more expensive to insure as drivers.

    I think girls can seem more difficult because girls are masters at verbal warfare and clandestine manipulation. LOL

  8. Jess says:

    14 is just tough period. My 14 yo son constantly think his parents ruin things. And he’s gets these flares of anger that I can tell are completely hormone based. It’s not just girls. And Mark is still a d-bag.

  9. Bettyrose says:

    He shouldn’t be discussing his kid publicly at all, but at least he’s not like “having a daughter has taught me that women are humans.”

    • Electric Tuba says:

      Yeah this girl will most likely read the comments her dad made or someone she knows will. And she might think she’s bad or less than or that she’s doing something wrong by existing instead of just being a girl with a noted sexist and stupid father who was probably better suited to live in the 1940s. These are the behaviors that cement internalized misogyny, self loathing, lack of confidence, and also more “rebellion”. That’s just science.

      I’m tired of parents complaining about what they know full well children do at certain ages. Kids grow and change and it’s hard. I’m not over here handing out cookies and achievement awards for living in the reality of your choices lol. The mom blogs have been around for over 15 years talking about how crappy babies are to live with. I don’t want to hear one parent of a child under the age of 10 to complain about how hard everything is. There were warning blogs and parent joke twitter. The kids literally came with warning labels! Lmaooooooo 🤓😂✌️I kid I kid

  10. Tiffany says:

    Honestly, I think Rhea does most of the heavy lifting in the family. Marky Mark doesn’t strike me as someone who will give her credit for that. Doesn’t seem in his nature.

  11. adastraperaspera says:


  12. Miss Grace Jones says:

    Maybe she gets her aggression from her violent racist father.

  13. Whynot says:

    I’m terrified of the teen years, lol! My 4 year old is pretty good but gets very lippy and already back talks me sometimes. What will happen when she’s 13?!

    • Lady D says:

      She’ll be telling you to shut up?

      • Whynot says:

        No just stuff like, “well you’re not the boss of me so I’m not cleaning up my toys” kind of stuff. We get her to do it without TOO much fuss in the end. She’s also very bossy herself and loves bossing around the grandparents (we don’t fall for that), who fall for it because it’s cute now but certainly won’t be in a few years. We’re working on it and honestly, it’s really not bad I’m just more worried about how her personality will play out as a teen 😬.

  14. Nicegirl says:

    Misogyny strikes again!! Yay 👎🏾 Not

  15. Heather says:

    I honestly don’t think its misogyny. Yet. Ella is the oldest, his oldest son isn’t a teenager yet so he can’t be a compliant teenager or a defiant teenager because he’s not a teenager. Ella, again, is the oldest and the only experience he has raising teenagers so far.

    And while I think he’s been an involved father, I agree his wife has done most of the heavy lifting

  16. Dee Kay says:

    Screw Marky Mark but I am here for the discussion of teenage girlhood. I honestly think I made rational demands when I was a teenager, but my parents were very strict Catholic immigrant parents and I began to act out (stay out late, sneak away to spend time with my boyfriend, etc.) when I thought their rules weren’t fair. My immigrant parents and my American brain were just not a good fit. We just fundamentally disagreed on what was okay for a teenage girl to do. They thought I should *never* date and I thought I should be able to date within certain boundaries (a curfew, you can go to the movies but not to some stranger’s house party, or whatever). They thought I should never be allowed out after sunset and I just disagreed. Later in life, I decided I would be conciliatory with my parents, and behave like they expected a “good” daughter should, because it wasn’t fair to expect them to adopt an “American” mindset in their late middle age. So we made peace, and I’m glad b/c my mom passed away in her mid-60s. But I still think their rules and expectations when I was a teenager were wrong!!

    • geekychick says:

      oh, I can totally understand you. My mom was the same as your parents-the difference was that we live in a very safe country, that all of my generation had much more normal rules and boundaries and that my mom, who was so strict and actually conservative in her parenting was a staunch atheist and daughter of a socialist, while my dad was Catholic, but he had mich healthier stance about all of this and wanted to compromise. I was a straight A student, a good kid, but she just demanded respect and obedience, without ever respecting (acknowlodging IDK how to say it in English) me, my personality or my accomplishments. I felt so….stifled and unloved my whole puberty, being constantly reprimanded and put down because I didn’t want to back down in my demand to have greater freedom. But I never actually disobeyed her.
      I love my mom and I can even understand her today (she had a very complicated rs with her own mom), but even today I feel like I’m not ready to embrace grown-up, responsible life bc I’ve never had those wild years for adventures. Which is kinda sad, actually.
      also sad? the fact that, until I met my husband, I was convinced that I’m unlovable and unlivable with-bc my mom instilled that belief in me. everytime she didn’t have any other argument, she’d finish with: “You think only about herself, I don’t know who would ever want to live with you.
      Sorry for such a long comment and all my rambling-this topic hit me in the feels.;) but truly, not every teenager you hear their parents complaining about is at fault. Sometimes, the problem can be parents.

      • geekychick says:

        And I wanted to add: I’d never tell my mom all of this. she really loves me
        and I love her and I would never want to hurt her with this (and I know she would be). I never told her that my very serious depression stems from all this, even when I was on the verge know. I hope she never realizes that.
        But that is the truth. Parents can make so
        much damage while being convinced they are doing the right thing. It’s not evil, it’s just sad.

      • Lady D says:

        Hugs, geekychick. I’m sorry your relationship with your mother is so fraught. I hope you find some peace.

  17. Shasha says:

    Isn’t this coming from the man who brutally beat an innocent Vietnamese man to the point of hospitalization and permanent injury, and wrote it off as a youthful mistake?

  18. j says:

    This is sexist BS. The only difference between teenage girls and boys is how they’re treated. Boys have almost unlimited freedom to do as they please while a girl’s every move is controlled and inhibited under the guise of “her own good”. Parents create RESISTANCE (not “aggression” or “attitude”) in girls by policing their lives, minds, and bodies and interfering with their autonomy!

  19. Ange says:

    My mum often reads stuff like this and says to me ‘where does all this stuff about terrible teens come from? You kids were never like that.’

    It’s true, the reason teenagers are snotty little shits is because they’re allowed to be. My mum said if we weren’t allowed to say it to our teachers we weren’t allowed to say it to her. No slamming doors, no yelling, no rudeness BUT we were also given more freedom according to our ages and as we got older because we’d proven ourselves. None of us acted out, we all more or less behaved and nobody came home in handcuffs or pregnant lol.

  20. TuxCat5 says:

    Dear Mark Wahlberg,


    Teacher, grades 6-12

  21. Kyra WEGMAN says:

    Mark Wahlberg and the culture of casual violence aside, don’t let your sons play football.

  22. RspbryChelly says:

    I haven’t seen my nieces in a year & my brother is all “aren’t you excited?? We’ll be there next week!” And I’m all “not really…they’re 15,16,&17 yrs old”. He’s upset I’m not thrilled about the TWO WEEK visit🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️

  23. me says:

    Teenage boys aren’t any better !