In the film Your Place or Mine, Reese Witherspoon has a son that she leaves with Ashton Kutcher’s character to babysit when they swaps houses. Side-note: the kid is Jimmy Kimmel’s nephew Wesley whom apparently Meredith Salenger used to babysit. Anyway, to try to deflect from their lack of chemistry, Reese and Ashton have pivoted to talking about parenting skills in interviews now. When they sat down with People, they gave some tips, like making their kids go to school and how to find happiness in a skinned knee. Reese said she’s also trying to get her kids to call her instead of text. But she admitted she wasn’t having much success.
In the years (and decades!) since they’ve become parents, Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher have learned a few things.
“We’re just going to share all our parenting tips,” jokes Witherspoon, 46, who is mom to Ava, 23 and Deacon, 19, with ex Ryan Phillippe and Tennessee, 10, with husband Jim Toth. “Like when the kid doesn’t want to go to school…’I know you wish that. But we’re going to school.'”
Adds Kutcher, 44, who shares Wyatt, 8 and Dimitri, 6 with wife Mila Kunis: “We’re both big family people. And I’m a huge fan of Dr. Becky Kennedy and her approach to parenting. It’s not your job to raise happy kids. It’s your job to raise resilient kids who can find happiness. It’s the blessing of a skinned knee!”
“You remember that thing where you would fall asleep on the phone?” he says. “I imagine my kids are going to have full-score relationships with people that are mostly text. I’m like, just call me!”
Says Witherspoon: “There’s a point at which you need to get off texts. I talk to my older kids about the power of picking up the phone. Direct communication can sometimes get right to the point. But kids that age don’t like you to call them. They’re like, ‘Ugh, it’s my mom!'”
I have the same issues as Reese. The only time I ever receive a call is if my children need something. They answer their phones now that threats have been made, but the, ‘Ugh, it’s my mom!’ tone comes through loud and clear. I like texting, though, so I’m not as bothered. I wonder, though, if this is a semantics thing. Because my kids rarely use their phones for calls. However, they call on their various online servers. So they still speak with their friends, it’s just not the way we did.
As for the other tips, they seem fine. Parents need to do what works for them. I agree with kids going to school (as do most school districts). My kids are allowed one Ditch Day a semester if they don’t have too many absences (or any tests or projects due that day). It’s kept them from faking illnesses (I think) so far. I agree with Ashton’s point about raising resilient kids, but I don’t know why I wouldn’t shoot for happy kids too. Granted we all want our offspring to find their own happiness, but it’s such a weird thing to say I’m not here to raise a happy kid.
Photo credit: Cover Images and via Instagram
So Ashton has admitted that he doesn’t believe in bathing his kids on the regular, but also he can find a balance between happy and resilent, either.
Yeah, when you have a parent ( or parents in this case bc I got smoke for Mila too) that narcissistic, that bound to happen.
He should have just stayed in tech investment.
Dr. Becky Kennedy is AMAZING. (I follow her on IG) I wish she had been around when my older kids were little. He’s not really phrasing it exactly how she is-she’s more about actively listening to your kids, acknowledging their feelings, and then still enforcing age appropriate boundaries (and yes, teaching resilience is part of all of this.)
Dr. Becky fan here too! Yeah he kind of stated it as an either/or but it’s really about helping your kids become full-fledged adults who can handle disappointments and have confidence and security and loving relationships because their parents helped them get through hard times and feel their feelings as kids. If your default goal as a parent is to make your kids happy (which is natural) you’re going to try to shut down their unhappy feelings one way or another and they grow up continuing to deny and shut down those feelings that used to cause them to get yelled at or ignored or sent to their room. The hard part is learning how to tolerate your kids’ unhappiness (and we’re talking about not getting the dinner they wanted or having to turn off the tv it’s not about punishing or torturing your kids!) so that you can help them learn to tolerate it.
You explained it much more eloquently than I did! Exactly!!
I cannot stand talking in the phone. I email or text. There are maybe 5 people that I will talk on the phone with.
The problem with texting is you never know if they got it. You have to speak to someone to set up appointments and verify things. You can text to say I’m running late or something like that. But you run into to many problems with just texting. What if your kid texts you saying their going off with one of their friends and it doesn’t come through for awhile and you don’t know where they are?