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Mae Whitman says her dad' helped her navigate child stardom: 'I grew up with a gentle dad'

'They ruled. They were so cautious and they were so meticulous about prioritizing and walking me through what was important in life,' Whitman said about her parents.

Mae Whitman says her dad' helped her navigate child stardom: 'I grew up with a gentle dad'
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Jason Merritt

We have heard plenty of stories about child actors having bad childhoods but this is not one of them. In Mae Whitman's life story, her father comes out shining, reports Scary Mommy. She found fame at the tender age of six when she acted in the film "When A Man Loves A Woman." Over the years, she has landed some more roles in memorable shows of the likes of "Arrested Development", "Parenthood" and "Good Girls". 

Mae Whitman attends the 2018 NBCUniversal Winter Press Tour at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on January 9, 2018 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
Mae Whitman attends the 2018 NBCUniversal Winter Press Tour at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on January 9, 2018 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

This week, during an appearance on the podcast network "Dear Media," Whitman discussed her life and how she navigated child stardom without falling into the traps that come the way for most child actors. “I hate to give them all the credit, but it’s my parents,” she shared. “They ruled. They were so cautious and they were so meticulous about prioritizing and walking me through what was important in life. What not to take personally. Our family was so communication-based.”



 

“I grew up with a gentle dad — it’s a term I’ve coined with people,” she said. “A gentle dad is like a sensitive dad. There was no teasing in my house. There was no meanness. There was no ‘you need to make us proud.’ It was an open source of communication and sensitivity and consideration.”

Whitman elaborated on this and said that she hated sleepovers in her teenage years and could never make it through the night. Despite her efforts, she always wanted to be back home — and her gentle father was more than happy to pick up her and even developed a code word with her so that she could ask to be taken home without feeling any anxiety. 



 

“I would call my dad completely casual,” she explained, “and be like, ‘It’s awesome I’m having the best time I’ve ever had. But quick question: did you feed the turtle?’” This was his queue to pick her up. 



 

In the comments section of the video, viewers appreciated the idea of gentle parenting from her dad. “If everyone had a gentle dad, the world would be a better place,” one wrote. “My dad was a gentle dad and I miss him every day,” said another. “I grew up with a gentle dad and married a man who is a gentle dad. It’s the biggest flex a man can have,” one shared. 

“Gentle dad is the opposite of ‘when you grow up with an angry man in your house, there will always be an angry man in your house,’” one person wrote. “So... do we get those on Amazon, or...?” another wanted to know. “Where was the signup sheet? Cuz I missed it,” one added. 



 

This is just more evidence for the fact that gentle parenting leads to happy and contended kids! 

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