Jennifer Garner unsure of how to discipline Violet

09/30/2007 at 08:52 PM ET

Actress Jennifer Garner, who can currently be seen in The Kingdom, is having a hard time figuring out how to discipline daughter Violet Anne as the 22-month-old is growing older.

I’m confused what my role is with disciplining [Violet]. She’s toolittle, but at the same time she’s starting to be smart enough tomanipulate occasionally. I’m not going to just let that go. Day to day,I don’t know what I’m doing. But you do get to grow up with them.

The 35-year-old actress, who starred in the television series Alias, is trying to balance being a mom and her career. She admits that it isn’t the easiest thing she has done.

I’ve loved every job I’ve ever had. I get a lot of my identity frombeing a woman who gets up and goes to work. I’d alwaysassumed work would continue to be as important to me as it had been,but I don’t feel that way at all.

Even coming to do this interview thismorning, leaving Violet in the high chair going, ‘Mama, up, up!’ I hadto tear myself away.

Dad is Jennifer’s husband, Ben Affleck.

Source: Globe and Mail


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Mary on

I have four kids 3 through 14 years and when it comes to discipline you must stand your moral grounds. (children should not hit steal,and use manners ect) however I have learned what works for one child does not work for the other. Knowing that our fourth is our last I have been more lenient but now I see that she has at times become more of a button pusher-whiner-tantrum thrower. something I can honestly say the others did not do. So I am back to doing time-outs and taking toys away. It so breaks my heart. but in the long run I know that I am right. Especially since the older kids say she gets away with more.

Candace on

“I’ve loved every job I’ve ever had. I get a lot of my identity from being a woman who gets up and goes to work. I’d always assumed work would continue to be as important to me as it had been, but I don’t feel that way at all.

Even coming to do this interview this morning, leaving Violet in the high chair going, ‘Mama, up, up!’ I had to tear myself away.”

I am a very strong believer that children need their mothers to raise them FULLTIME, where ever possible. (Single moms, mothers with disabled/ill/temporarily unemployed husbands, etc. of course need to provide for their family.)

I think Jennifer is feeling that natural urge a mother SHOULD feel. IMO, if you are feeling guilty about something (in this case, being a working mom) it means there’s something you need to change to erase that guilt.

Follow your instincts, Jen!

Loralee on

As a mom of three I agree with Mary. You really need to tailor it for the kid. Ignoring tantrums worked for my daughter. She literally followed me from room to room at home pitching a fit. I ignored her and she quit and never did it again. It didn’t get her anywhere. We’ve also learned not to buy something at a store for them each time at a store or reward a tantrum with a purchase. There are things that are non-negotiable – manners, safety, being respectful,etc. I also try to pick my battles and hopefully they understand certain actions have certain consequences. Trial and error.

sarawara on

As a mom of 2 and one on the way, I personally don’t want to miss one thing from my kids. Period. I stay home, and I’m with them 24/7. No mother’s morning out, no babysitters. Husband gives me time to myself in the evening when he takes the boys outside to play. That’s all I need, and it works very well for our family. I’d rather move into my parents’ house and sell everything I own than be away from them.

My friend D works full time, and she has since her son was 6 weeks old. She is an awesome mom, married to a great husband for 15 years, and he’s a great kid (age 13 now). If she had to stay home she’d go insane. Every family is different.

I think consistency is key. If something warrants a time out today, it should also tomorrow, and with daddy, and with Grandma. Children learn which rules to follow where, and with whom. Hold a high standard, they will reach it, and they’ll be so proud of themselves.

I think that some kids just “get it” and are naturally more compliant. This was the case with my older son. Other kids need you to be extra firm, explain more, and “be there” for them to understand. This was the case with my second son. You are their parent. Hopefully you spend enough time with them that you know what gets through to them.

We also try to say 10 praising/encouraging things for every 1 “no”. We encourage our kids to be heroes. We say, “What would Spiderman do?” and this appeals to them. Most importantly, I want my kids to learn how to cope, adjust, have self control, help those who are in need, be generous and learn as much as they can while they’re young so they don’t have to learn the hard way (like TOO many celebrity repeat offenders…) when they’re older.

And I want to be their hero, so I model for them. I graduated from college, I help people, I say please and thank you, I speak kindly, we volunteer as a family, and I apologize when I am wrong. I’m SOOOO not perfect, but I want my kids to see me practicing my own expectations for them.

Just my $.02 worth anyway.

Kate2 on

“IMO, if you are feeling guilty about something (in this case, being a working mom) it means there’s something you need to change to erase that guilt”

Candace: Life is not always that black-and-white. Mothers often feel guilt even when they’re not doing anything wrong. It just goes with the territory. And just because a person is upset about being away from their child does not mean they don’t have a need, or a right, to be fulfilled in other areas of their life. And I find it odd that you talk about parenthood as if it is solely the mothers responsiblity. Ben is responsible for that child as well. And Jennifer has made it quite clear in interviews that she and Ben alternate doing movies so that Violet does have a parent with her FULLTIME. I fail to see what is wrong with that situation, I think they are lucky to be able to have the best of both worlds.

It constantly amazes me that in the year 2007 a mother still can’t take a little time away from her child without being criticized for it, or told that she is approaching motherhood the wrong way.

Nausicaa on

At 18, I’m not a parent yet but I babysit from time to time and I’ve found that I’m a total pushover. When I see a kid doing something wrong, I try to reason with them. I tell them “Please don’t do that,” then explain why they shouldn’t do that; of course, whether or not it works depends on the child and their age. I’ve found that some kids are quite reasonable once you explain things to them (I think many parents tend to underestimate their children in that sense). But they just have to throw a tantrum or give me Bambi eyes and I bend to their every whim. They know how to take advantage of me.

2 little boys I babysat once were bouncing my exercise ball all around and knocking things over. I told them “Please be careful,” and “Why won’t you listen?” One of them said, “I can’t listen because I have little ears and a little head!” That made me laugh. I was impressed by his wit.

I think the reason I’m so soft is because my parents were so strict and my early teachers were dictators who wanted to put me on drugs because I had so much energy. I felt so oppressed as a kid. I just want to let kids be kids, but of course I need to find balance between letting them have fun and setting limits.

Loralee on

Mother’s guilt comes whether you stay home or work outside the home. I’ve done both and neither is easy. Whatever works for your family with much thought is what you need to do.

Nikki on

Jen and Violet are tooooo cute!

Amy on

Guilt just comes with the territory of being a mom. I think it is safe to say that we all have the best interests of our children at heart, and we are doing the best jobs that we can. With that said I would say that we all experience a certain level of guilt and concern since this is the hardest job out there and we all don’t want to screw up our kids. So, I don’t think that you can just say that if you are feeling guilt you need to change…a lot of the guilt we feel is unwarranted. Also, we shouldn’t sacrifice our complete identities, and happiness just to raise our children. That is not setting a good example for them at all. (I am a stay-at-home mom by the way).

Renee on

Candace, I would have to disagree.Not every mom can afford to stay at home and also, there is nothing wrong with being a working mother.My mom was and I’m glad for that.She taught me that a woman can have a good career and be a great mom at the same time.In fact, I think you are adding to the guilt that working moms have by your statement.Sure Jen could probably afford to not work but she wants to and there is nothing wrong with that.I wish women would spend more time supporting each others choices.

Crystal on

I totally agree with Kate2, Amy, and Renee.

Renee your last statement: “I wish women would spend more time supporting each others choices.” is so very true.
What works for one mom may not work for any other mom on the planet. We should support each other when making those hard decisions, such as staying home or working.

Camile on

Word, kate2. The idea that all kids are better off with their mothers at home is ridiculous imo. I was raised by a SAHM, and it wasn’t a good situation. I don’t get the assumption that all women are cut out for full time child-care–they’re not, anymore than we would expect all men to be. It takes a certain kind of temperament, and nobody should feel guilty about not having it and being jugded by others. I would have been a lot better off in terms of socialization etc. being in daycare. Everyone is different, parents and children alike.