The 53-year-old actor shares sons Levi, 15, Livingston, 10, and daughter Vida, 13, with his wife of 11 years, Camila Alves. And while parenting three kids, including two teenagers, is no easy task, McConaughey and Alves are making out just fine with their unique methods.
In an exclusive interview with E! News, the Interstellar star opened up about how his parenting philosophy of “just because” came from spending time during the Covid lockdown and then embarking on journeys with his children afterwards.
“You start to see and make sense of the world through the lens of having children,” he said. “And evidently I have some dreams through that lens as well.”
As their children get older, McConaughey and Alves said they are also gearing up to have the “sex talk.”
“We’re starting those discussions, and I think they come with the teen years,” the Dallas Buyers Club star said.
“I’m heady on that one. I’ve got that, because I’ve talked to a lot of my other friends, mothers and fathers that are at that same time with their children.”
“They’re like, ‘What do you say? What do you? Where do you go?’” he continued. “And there’s not, that I know of, many safe, cool places to go to have those essential talks about one’s body, about one’s attraction to another, about what a first kiss is like.”
But McConaughey and Alves said they also prioritize their children’s need for space, forgoing the “helicopter parent” style.
“We’re trying to maintain access to them and their life,” McConaughey said. “Every child needs that. Every child needs a journal or a diary that they can trust. ‘Mom and Dad aren’t going through that, that’s mine, and [they’re] not sharing everything with us.’”
By allowing their kids to have “secrets” and private moments, the couple thinks it will encourage them to approach their parents with issues they want to talk through.
‘Well, cool, I’ve got my own private stuff, so that allows me to share more with you when I want to,” McConaughey explained.
The couple also said that their children are role models to them, and teaches them lessons.
“Levi continues to teach me consideration,” McConaughey said. “He’s an extremely considerate young man and I appreciate that about him.”
Meanwhile, the “peacemaker,” Vida, allows him to learn the importance of “forgiveness.”
According to the proud father, Livingston reminds him “of the power of absolute singular focus. When he’s got a project, whether it’s a sport or homework or drawing, he zeroes in and the rest of the world is gone”.
The actor’s new picture book, Just Because, is available now online and in stores.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies