The father-of-four, who shares children Ella, 17, Michael, 15, Brendan, 12, and Grace, 11, with his wife Rhea Durham, discussed the subtle balance of supporting his children and allowing them to have their own identities while speaking with Entertainment Tonight.
Acknowledging that there are a lot of pros and a lot of cons that come with him being in the public eye, the Daddy’s Home actor said: “My kids wanna have their own identity, you know? I’m not allowed to get out of the car at a football practice or a game. I gotta sit in the car and watch.”
According to the 50-year-old, at first, he took the ban to his car “personally,” before realising that he can support them by helping them feel comfortable.
“At first I took it personally, because I wanna be there to support them, but supporting them is by making them feel comfortable in what they’re doing and them having their own identity too,” he explained, adding: “It’s very difficult.”
This is not the first time that Wahlberg has opened up about wanting to support his children, and wanting their affection, while simultaneously embarrassing them, as he previously told Entertainment Tonight in 2017: “I just want affection. I want to kiss them and hug them and I usually do it at the most inopportune times, school functions, ball games, things of that nature.”
However, according to the Oscar-nominated actor, his “intentions are good”.
Wahlberg also spoke candidly about parenting his teenage daughter in an interview with People in 2018, where he acknowledged that it is “tough” and that she often wants to “go be off and doing her own thing”.
“It’s tough, but people say that they pass through it and they come back to you. She wants to go be off and doing her thing,” he said, adding: “[There’s] a lot of attitude, a lot of aggression, a lot of: ‘You’re the worst, you ruin everything!’”
While he struggles to come to terms with his children’s rules, Wahlberg also stressed the importance of having open communication, love and unconditional support within a family while speaking with ET, as he believes acceptance of others “starts in the home”.
“There’s nothing more heartbreaking than somebody who’s being bullied or picked on, or not accepted for who they are,” said Wahlberg, who plays a father of a bullied son in his new movie Joe Bell. “And that’s gotta start in the home, I think. Making sure that you are talking to your kids, communicating with them, and first and foremost they understand that you love them unconditionally.
“You cheer for them and support them for being who they are, but they have to be able to communicate.”
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