Patrick Dempsey on how his twins, 13, are doing: ‘it’s hard, socialization is so important’

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Patrick Dempsey is back – in a couple ways. He’s doing promotional work for his new show, Devils, in which he plays a CEO who may be horrible, we have to watch to find out. Some genius Hollywood PR person lined up his return to Grey’s Anatomy to coincide with promotion so half the work’s been done already. Plus Patrick is always promoting his very admirable Dempsey Center which helps people deal with the impact of cancer. Patrick is father to three kids, daughter Talula, 18, who is a freshman in college, and twin sons Darby and Sullivan, 13. While calling in with Ellen DeGeneres, Patrick and Ellen talked about how the boys were handling being away from their friends. According to Patrick, like most kids, they are doing the best they can, but it’s hard on everyone.

Patrick Dempsey’s kids are still getting into the swing of how to navigate their educations amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Grey’s Anatomy star, 54, appeared virtually on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Wednesday, where he chatted about his recent surprise return to the ABC medical drama and how his kids — twin sons Darby Galen and Sullivan Patrick, 13, and daughter Talula, 18 — are faring with school as of late.

“It’s really hard because at this point, certainly at their age, the socialization’s so important,” Dempsey said of the twins. “And then being in a Zoom school all the time is very challenging. I think the mathematics and certainly the sciences are very hard to do.”

But despite the challenges, he went on to note that “the school’s been doing a great job of trying to keep everybody focused and organized and they’re making it through. But it’s hard for all kids, I think, right now.”

[From People]

This is how I feel. I’m not a huge fan of being cooped up for this extended period but I feel so much worse for kids and teenagers. None of this is ideal but there were so many times as a teenager I felt my parents didn’t understand me. I relished sitting with friends bitching about everything. You lose some of that freedom talking in text or over video. Maybe they don’t – I don’t know, I could be an old fart who doesn’t understand how people communicate now. But I do know the 75-minute classes on Zoom are brutal. All the teachers and students deserve medals. It will be interesting to see how quickly kids and teachers can reenter a classroom once this is over.

Patrick said his heart broke for Talula missing her senior year’s activities like prom, although they did have a mock prom at home. Again, it will be fascinating to read about 2020 in hindsight (yes, I get the irony of that statement). I keep saying it must be crushing seniors to miss all these things but I wouldn’t have cared if I missed my high school graduation. I might not have cared if I missed prom either, if I still got to dress up and do my hair. So maybe parents are putting more weight on this stuff than the kids are. We’ll see. However, I know kids are missing their friends and I know they miss hanging out. I’ve heard that from several kids and teens. They are being champs about it, but it is hard. I think everyone will be happy, though, when locking ourselves up once again becomes a choice.

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13 Responses to “Patrick Dempsey on how his twins, 13, are doing: ‘it’s hard, socialization is so important’”

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  1. FHMom says:

    Dereks return on Grey’s is giving me life. I don’t know how they got Patrick to do this, but thank you for melting my heart. It’s nice to feel something other than anxiety or rage.

  2. Kiera says:

    I live in Kennebunkport where he has a house and everyone only has nice things to say about him. He worked with our Chamber of commerce to do a whole campaign about wearing masks and encouraging social distancing. I’ve heard some not great things about him from when he was on Greys but he’s done a great job supporting our community.

  3. Astrid says:

    one positive aspect of the virus is that high school graduations are a whole lot more civilized for the parents LOL. My youngest of 4 graduated high school via Zoom in June. We got to sit in our comfy living room chairs with adult beverages and talk through the boring speeches.

  4. Katie says:

    like real world classes weren’t brutal (and boring and to long and sometimes we just chose the wrong major altogether or care about a crush more than any class). let’s stop acting like having to get ready and rush to places all the time and be sleep-deprived, water-deprived, food-deprived, and sometimes even bathroom-deprived was all that amazing. and that the safety of the beloved nights out was never an issue for anybody. sure, pandemic limitations suck, but it has its perks. nobody is talking about the perks. no commute, no having to deal with a student or coworker who insist they are not sick despite clearly they are and the next day you are walking with a sore throat, etc. pre-pandemic life was just was we got used to and what we adapted for, doesn’t mean we can’t adapt to this. it was never ALL THAT GREAT in the first place. right now it’s not *worse*, it’s *different* and the real problem is that we are stressed because we need to adapt. and oh don’t tell me about the lack of movement, like it was never a problem before with everybody sitting all day at work and at parties and in cars and in front of the TV, the amount of articles I’ve seen on this is crazy. so no, you are not limited now, you were just always lazy and now is another excuse.

    • Lady Baden-Baden says:

      Yikes. What did capital letters ever do to you?

    • Case says:

      You know, I do hope this time makes people evaluate what we truly WANT to go back to in their “normal life” and what we can do without. I hope more people are able to work remotely, because if you can do your job from home and want to…why not? It’s so much better for so many people with families, with disabilities and other medical needs, etc. I hope that option is available to kids with medical needs as well.

      I agree with you that it’s truly a matter of adjustment. There are many who are truly suffering during this pandemic due to money issues, unemployment, lack of space at home, mental illness, etc. But there are also a great many of us who are privileged enough to ride this out in comfortable homes with plenty of movies, books, shows, online exercises, etc to keep us occupied, and we should feel lucky for that.

      This time DOES suck for teenagers. Socialization is important. But I feel like something we miss in this conversation is that there are many kids with illnesses in their teens (I was one of them) who miss tons of school because of serious health concerns. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, but I did end up totally fine and not too weird, lol.

    • MissMarierose says:

      Like any change, it’s better for some than for others. I’m sure the switch to virtual schooling is a wonderful boon to those kids who were regularly bullied in school, for example.

  5. souperkay says:

    I can’t imagine being teenage boys and dating and bringing home your date to your dad, who does not stop getting more attractive as he ages, and more than likely the date’s parent(s) have drooled over McDreamy.

    I love that he is back as Meredith’s fever dream, full circle on his nickname now.

  6. Also Ali says:

    I’ve had a crush on him since Can’t Buy Me Love. He is sooooo attractive to me.

    I have a 13 year old son who hasn’t been to school or had a normal social life since last March. He’s coping really well considering. Pluses to online school – he can sleep in later and less personality conflicts with teachers. Downside – he misses goofing off between classes and at lunch with friends and playing sports. Some kids his age are really struggling with the isolation, though, and I feel so bad for them.

    • vertes says:

      My 8th grade granddaughter likes sleeping later & having a kitchen handy. She also says she’s not learning as much by Zoom. She’s goofing off now which she never did before. Caught her taking pictures of her puppy during school because “the teacher is boring.”

  7. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    My kid socializes online like he always has lol. He and his friends get loud and mouthy every single day. I miss him being in school because he was AT school lol. We’re closer now. We talk more. And if it was ever possible, we hug more and say, ‘I love you’ more. My husband hates it because while owners sit at home and dictate, he’s still expected to inspect all homes as they’re built and corral laborers. Real estate is up almost 30 percent. He’s working almost around the clock. Still. Nothing compared to healthcare workers.

  8. AmunetMaat says:

    I just wish that all-around more parents were teaching their students resilience during this time and perseverance instead of the idea that everything should pander to them. A lot of students appear to have given up until school is in-person again, they keep insisting that online school isn’t for them but they are also not putting in any effort to actually do the work. The pandemic has been rough on all of us, I truly hope we can move forward through this better and greater.