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Robin Wright Penn on Raising Children in the Digital World

05/10/2009 at 09:00 PM ET
Jeff Vespa/WireImage

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.”

Source: Gotham

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Amanda on

She is so pretty!

Jessica on

I love the name Hopper Jack.

Megan on

No offense to them, but 15 year olds don’t belong on Facebook. I miss the days when Facebook was college students only.

Sam on

Some fifteen year olds are mature enough for facebook and some aren’t. It should be up to the parents to make thay decision.

Jane on

Megan, lots of teens are on facebook, myspace and all of these networking sites now. While they may have once been something only uni students used, now everyone is on them! And as Sam said, it is up to the parents to decide whether or not their child is mature enough for facebook ect.

Natasha on

Hopper’s in high school, I’d say that’s old enough for facebook. There are grade 6 kids on there (trust me, I’ve seen a few!) and that is definitely too young.

kai on

I have no clue what her children look like. Gotta love her for that.

Mariasha on

I find it a bit elitist to mourn the times when only colleage students were able to use facebook. Especially, since I find facebook much safer to use than my space or blogs.

I mean you don’t have to add/contact kids or anyone who is not a college student so where is the big deal for you.

And for the kids…as far as the parents keep an eye on it, I don’t really see a big threat here.

k.m.b on

im 13 and on myspace facebook bebo.i signed up when i was 12

Sarah on

I’m 19 and never got into the whole Facebook/Myspace thing, (way too private for my own good) but the age limit for Myspace is 14, and kids get them way before then and lie about their birth year, so it’s not strange to me to hear that a kid has a Myspace/Facebook at 15, that’s usually the age that wants to have one. Most of my friends who got one at 15 outgrew it around high school graduation.

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