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Angelina Jolie says having children 'saved' her: 'They taught me to be in this world differently'

The 'Maleficent' actress is mom to Maddox, 22, Pax, 19, Zahara, 18, Shiloh, 17, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 15.

Angelina Jolie says having children 'saved' her: 'They taught me to be in this world differently'
Cover Image Source: Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, Zahara Jolie-Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, Maddox Jolie-Pitt and Knox Jolie-Pitt on October 27, 2021 in London, England–Getty Images | Photo by Karwai Tang | WireImage

Angelina Jolie is praising motherhood for helping her live her life differently. The 48-year-old actress is mom to Maddox, 22, Pax, 19, Zahara, 18, Shiloh, 17, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 15. Now, Jolie is revealing how her kids helped her through some of her darkest days. In a recent interview for Vogue's digital cover, she shared: "I was 26 when I became a mother. My entire life changed. Having children saved me—and taught me to be in this world differently."

Image Source: Angelina Jolie with children Vivienne Marcheline Jolie-Pitt, Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt, Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt and Knox Leon Jolie-Pitt attend the European premiere of
Image Source: Angelina Jolie with children Vivienne Marcheline Jolie-Pitt, Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt, Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt and Knox Leon Jolie-Pitt attend the European premiere of "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" at Odeon IMAX Waterloo on October 09, 2019 in London, England–Getty Image | Dave J Hogan

"I think, recently, I would've gone under in a much darker way had I not wanted to live for them," she continued. "They're better than me because you want your children to be. Of course, I'm the mother and hopefully, that safe place for them and that stability. But I'm also the one that they laugh at—and I see them taking over so many different aspects of our family."

While raising so many kids, the humanitarian ensures that her children are allowed to be free "to be their own people." "I don't tell the kids how to dress. Even when they were little, I just put things in front of them," she said, adding that she doesn't force them to go to events they don't want to. "Nobody has to go anywhere if they don't want to and if they don't want to dress up, they don't have to."


 
 
 
 
 
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According to TODAY, Jolie adopted her eldest child, Maddox, in 2002 from Cambodia where he was born, while her son Pax (her second-oldest child) was born in Vietnam. She adopted Zahara from an Ethiopian orphanage in 2005 and gave birth to her first biological child, Shiloh, in 2006. The "Wanted" star later birthed twins Knox and Vivienne in 2008. Jolie shares her children with her ex-husband Brad Pitt. The pair was together for 12 years before they split in 2016 and finalized their divorce in 2019. 

Writer-director-producer-actress Angelina Jolie Pitt (L) and actor-producer Brad Pitt attend the after party for the opening night gala premiere of Universal Pictures'
Image Source: Writer-director-producer-actress Angelina Jolie Pitt (L) and actor-producer Brad Pitt attend the after party for the opening night gala premiere of Universal Pictures' "By the Sea" during AFI FEST 2015 presented by Audi at TCL Chinese 6 Theatres on November 5, 2015, in Hollywood, California–Getty Images | Photo by Michael Kovac for AFI

Back in 2021, the "Maleficient" actress called her kids "pretty great people." She told PEOPLE at the time that "because there's so many of them, I think they've had a very significant effect on each other. It's not like I'm the head of anything. I'm very honest with my kids. And I'm very human with my kids." She admitted that she's not a perfect parent and that every day, "I feel like I'm more aware of everything I don't do right. And I'm pretty tough on myself because I feel often, 'Am I doing the right thing? Did I say the right thing?'"


 
 
 
 
 
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The filmmaker also confessed how her children's "kindness" has "been very healing" to her. As a mom to six children, she also makes sure she remains "curious about all the different aspects of who they are" when raising them and her priority is to "be there to support and develop all the different aspects of who they are."

Image Source: Angelina Jolie with children Knox Leon Jolie-Pitt, Vivienne Marcheline Jolie-Pitt, Pax Thien Jolie-Pitt, Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt and Maddox Chivan Jolie-Pitt attend
Image Source: Angelina Jolie with children Knox Leon Jolie-Pitt, Vivienne Marcheline Jolie-Pitt, Pax Thien Jolie-Pitt, Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt and Maddox Chivan Jolie-Pitt attend "The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind" Special Screening at Crosby Street Hotel on February 25, 2019 in New York City–Getty Images | Photo by Monica Schipper for Netflix

"I have six very individual human beings in my home. I am so excited about all the different stages and feelings and curiosities that they go through. Why wouldn't you be?" Jolie added. "We're supposed to help them figure out who they are. And you can't figure out who they are if you don't enthusiastically develop with them."

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