Bright Side

“Your Kids Don’t Want You to Be Perfect.” A Message From Angelina Jolie That All Parents Need to Hear

As a mother of 6, Angelina Jolie has learned many parenting lessons throughout the years. She’s had to navigate 3 adoptions, introduce a new husband to already existing kids, and support her kids during her eventual divorce. Parenthood might’ve shaken up Angie a few times, but she managed to keep her ship afloat, and she willingly shares her wisdom with others.

We at Bright Side appreciate Angelina’s insights and hope that they can help other parents take some of the pressure off.

Angelina works hard to set the right example for her kids.

Jolie takes her role as a mother very seriously. She realizes that it’s up to her to raise 6 people that will make this world a little bit better and one of the ways to do that is to start with herself: “[Being a parent] is the greatest gift and responsibility. It means doing everything you can to live by your values and try to be an example for your children. I try to lead by example, being conscious of others and being responsible. And to help them have a broader view of the world.”

On top of being a role model for her children, the Hollywood star has to do it all while the entire world is watching. One mistake, and everyone will be talking about it. Luckily, she knows better than to expect herself to be a super-mom.

But she also knows there's no virtue in perfection.

One of the biggest realizations that Angelina has shared with everyone is that parents do no favors to their kids by trying to appear perfect. This behavior sets unrealistic expectations for the kids in their future, and nobody benefits from that. She said: "It is a lovely thing to discover that your children don’t want you to be perfect. They just want you to be honest. And doing your best. In fact, the more room they have to be great where you are weak, the stronger they may become. They love you. They want to help you."

Jolie believes that it's okay to show vulnerability from time to time and allow your kids to be there for you. This will only make your family stronger: "So in the end, it’s the team you build. And in a way, they are raising you up too. You grow together."

Previously, Angie had already shared her thoughts on trying to be a perfect parent, and it's something everyone needs to hear: "We probably all have this idea – I know I did before I had kids – that to be a perfect mother, you have to be a perfect person and that's just not true. You have to do your best and be willing to put your child before you."

Other parenting insights Jolie has shared over the years

On wanting to shield your kids from bad things: "Knowing our true self is a very important question for all of us. Especially a child. I think kids need to be able to say, “Here’s who I am, and what I believe.” We can’t prevent them from experiencing pain, heartache, physical pain, and loss. But we can teach them to live better through it."

On teaching kids to be grounded: "Kindness – to others and themselves. It's important to be humble – know the freedoms you have and what you've been blessed with and make sure you help others. And always remember your place – we’re all human and very flawed. We're tiny pieces in a much bigger world."

On staying strong for your kids' sake: "I was very worried about my mother, growing up—a lot. I do not want my children to be worried about me. I think it’s very important to cry in the shower and not in front of them. They need to know that everything’s going to be all right, even when you’re not sure it is.”

On rediscovering the world along with them: "When your children are little, you feel more 'mommy.' When they are teenagers you start to remember yourself as a teenager. You see them going to punk clubs and you wonder why you can't go. I'm in this fun moment where I’m rediscovering myself."

On giving them the freedom to be who they want: “Children should be allowed to express themselves in whatever way they wish, without anybody judging them, because it is an important part of their growth. Society always has something to learn when it comes to the way we judge each other and label each other. We have a long way to go.”

What advice made a difference in your life as a parent?