In her new cover story for Allure Magazine, Garner said it was a journey to mold her children into the people they are now because of how parenting has changed in 2023.
Every woman faces challenges and hurdles as a first-time mom. They have very little knowledge of what to do and what not to do as a parent. When Jennifer Garner became a new mom, she was no stranger to that feeling. In her new cover story for Allure Magazine, the 51-year-old opened up about her struggles of single motherhood, continuously being the "nice girl" and some parenting choices she made for her oldest child, Violet.
Garner shares three kids with ex-husband Ben Affleck: Samuel, 11, Seraphina, 14, and Violet, 17. According to the star, parenting has significantly gotten more challenging in 2023. She also admitted that it has been a journey to mold her children into the people they are now.
“We didn’t have the eyes on us that our kids have. I was such a first-time mom. My eldest daughter didn’t have a shot. She couldn’t have a free thought — I was all over her. I was a nightmare for everyone around me,” Garner said. The "13 Going on 30" actress also mused about watching her children grow up. “Your kids will figure out who they are and what they are when they’re older, and most likely they will hew toward lovely,” she said. “I have a lot of faith in my kids. I don’t love every behavior all the time, always. It’s gnarly growing up.”
While speaking to TODAY in April, Garner said that she did not let any of her children near social media, which now, in retrospect, was the best thing she did as a parent. "I just said to my kids, ‘Show me the articles that prove that social media is good for teenagers, and then we’ll have the conversation,'" Garner said. "Find scientific evidence that matches what I have that says that it’s not good for teenagers, then we will chat."
There is no fruitful benefit to having your child sit on Snapchat and Instagram all day. If anything, social media only has potential harms like hypersensitivity with increased social media usage.
In a recent report by The New York Times, a survey published by the nonprofit research organization Common Sense Media found that screen use among teens and tweens increased by 17 percent from 2019 to 2021. For tweens (ages 8 to 12), daily screen time increased to five hours and 33 minutes from four hours and 44 minutes, and for teens (ages 13 to 19), it climbed to eight hours and 39 minutes from seven hours and 22 minutes.
Moreover, in her interview, Garner admitted that while she knew her kids would be nice people, she struggled with her perceived “nice girl” image. “The problem with, ‘Oh, she's so nice'," she said, “is that when I have any kind of boundary, people think of it as much more than it is.”
Garner spoke of the pressure to put up a friendly face even on the worst days because of her public image and popularity. “The problem is being recognized on a day where I'm not so nice or when I have blackness in my soul,” she continued. “I've had days where I just can't do it. I scowl at people before they can walk up to me. I'm not perfect, and I don't think I'm rude, but I'm not good at being fake.”
The "Elektra" actress said that her kids prefer to see her in a “mom” role over her on-screen performances. “They don’t mind watching their dad, but they kind of want me to be their mom. They don’t want to see me upset and women cry more about what we do. And they don’t really want to see me in a romantic thing,” she shared.