Ryan Reynolds Says He Learns From His 'Brutal' Parenting Mistakes
"It’s not so much what you do in the moment that’s interesting, it’s what you do afterwards.”
It’s comforting to know that even movie stars, who have won the genetic lottery in the looks department and enjoy having most every resource at their disposal, still completely lose it from time to time with their kids.
Reynolds, 45, is raising daughters James, 7, Ines, 5, and Betty, 2, with wife Blake Lively.
“I’m a parent of three girls. They’re wild. I think they have rabies sometimes,” Reynolds joked with his audience.
Echoing the advice of many psychologists, Reynolds emphasizes the value of repair work after losing your temper with your children.
“It’s not so much what you do in the moment that’s interesting, it’s what you do afterwards,” said the actor.
Noting that in parenting, as in life, our biggest mistakes can provide the greatest lessons, Reynolds says he tells his children, “Don’t waste your mistakes.”
“When you’re making mistakes it’s easy to sort of be absorbed by shame and sort of this idea that you’ve done something wrong, but you also have to look at it critically and use it as a stepping stone to learning something profound.”
His own “brutal mistakes” have proven more instructive than his successes, Reynolds explained. And as a parent himself now, he is also able to appreciate his own father’s mistakes, and learn from those, too.
“He made a lot of mistakes,” Reynolds said, adding diplomatically, “some I’m grateful for.”
It’s fair to guess that, just like the rest of us, the actor had a harder time keeping it together during what he described as the “tenth circle of hell” of Zoom schooling during the pandemic.
Advertisements mentioning “these unprecedented times” were enough to set him off, Reynolds admitted. “My kids haven’t been in school for five months. I’m losing my f—king mind! Of course they’re unprecedented times.”
The relentless brutality of the pandemic may have taught all parents few lessons, but hopefully everyone can get a break from learning from our mistakes for a while.