Robin Wright Penn on Raising Children in the Digital World
Teenagers are naturally curious beings, and nothing piques their interest like the unknown. That’s why Robin Wright Penn says that, conversely, her own two teenagers — Dylan Frances, 18, and Hopper Jack, 15 — aren’t overly interested in fame or celebrity. “I mean, they buy their trash mags and watch Entertainment Tonight and all that stuff,” she tells the May issue of Gotham magazine. “But I think it’s so boring because they’ve lived it for so long, that it’s not of interest.”
Both kids “are Facebook-oriented” with their friends, which Robin and her estranged husband Sean Penn support — with an abundance of caution.
“We’re always telling them, ‘Be cautious, just watch out, because you never know….’ It can get so out of hand, I think. But it’s the new world — texting and e-mailing versus conversation.”
In her new movie The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, the 43-year-old actress depicts a character struggling to connect with her teenage daughter. Noting that “girls are hard,” as the mother of both a son and a daughter Robin shares her insight. “Girls are more complicated in a different way,” she explains. “I feel like boys kind of wear their heart on their sleeve, and because it’s on their sleeve it’s immediate what they feel: ‘I hate you. OK, I don’t hate you anymore, I’m sorry. This is why I hated you.’ And it’s over.”
“It’s the gender thing — trying to communicate, being understood. Mothers with daughters, there’s such a push-pull.”