In case you needed another reason to love Reese Witherspoon, check out her view on being the “perfect” mother. Reese has managed to find the perfect balance between being a busy Hollywood star and a fully involved mother of three who uses encouragement and tough love to achieve parenting success.
Reese, mom to Tennessee, aged 6, Deacon, aged 15 and Ava, age 19, told Fast Company: “I feel like I’m constantly counteracting pressure from the parents who want to make the lives of their kids golden and magical at all moments! Guess what, kids? You’re going to be disappointed and uncomfortable once in a while.”
Reese recalls a night when Ava was crying in bed because she hadn’t scored a point in basketball, the only kid on the JV team who didn’t. Reese told Ava that she may not be very good at basketball, but that it was OK because she wasn’t any good at it, either.
Parents aren’t supposed to coddle their children, they are supposed to teach them about life as it really is. Kids won’t always get that point, they aren’t always going to win, and sometimes they will fail miserably.
There is no way to protect children from life and parents fail their children more by trying to keep them from experiencing the pain in life. Encourage kids and love them, but prepare them for rejection and disappointment.
If a child lacks talent in some form or another, the parent’s job is to tell them and teach them ways to improve or to show them other alternatives and encourage the child to try something new.
Teaching your children to be honest about their own shortcomings teaches them to cope with them, and also shows them that it’s ok not to be great at everything, whether its grades in school or not being athletic. This is a valuable tool for a child’s personal development. When you balance tough love with understanding and compassion, like Reese believes, it encourages children to grow.
Reese reminds her fans that while she may be a superstar, she is still a mother. Being a celebrity kid or a celebrity mom may seem like its easy, but the truth is that they all face the same issues as “regular” parents and kids.
Reese is no stranger to hard work. She has worked for all of her accomplishments and is committed to teaching her kids to work hard, too. On Instagram, Reese acknowledged her children and the all of the work they have achieved:
“So proud of my kids for working so hard and always bringing their best selves to each challenge. All those early morning wake ups and late-night study sessions paid off! Congrats to my super stars!”
Reese reminds parents everywhere that tough love combined with encouragement and compassion is the perfect balance for raising healthy, well adjusted children.