John Leguizamo Says Times Have Changed Since His Childhood

07/12/2009 at 06:00 PM ET
Michael Loccisano/Getty

Times have changed since actor John Leguizamo was a child. Once able to walk to school without a care in the world or hitch a ride on the subway when he was a young boy, the doting dad admits that the same doesn’t ring true for his own children. “I used to go every place by myself. You’d play on the street until the street lamps went on,” he tells PARADE.

“My kids are never allowed to go anywhere alone…There’s always somebody watching them. It’s a very different time.”

That said, while Allegra Sky, 10, and Ryder Lee, 9, may not have the same privileges once granted to their father, the two are happily reaping the benefits in other areas! A self-proclaimed “strict” dad — albeit “for the right reasons” — John’s household rules are not unlike many other parents in that swearing is unacceptable. However, in addition to prohibiting his kids from using foul language, the actor has taken it a bit further — swearing is off-limits for him as well! “If I say a bad word, I have to give them a quarter,” he explains. From the sound of things, both Allegra and Ryder have started quite the collection.

“With those quarters they’ve bought themselves a car. And now they’re working on a condo.”

In John’s new movie Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, his character Sid longs to be a father but yet does not fully understand the responsibilities that come along with the job. For John, his onscreen role mirrored his own journey into fatherhood. Never realizing “how difficult parenting was going to be,” he admits the task can at times become a bit overwhelming. “You’ve got to help your kids figure out their own purpose in life while you’re trying to figure out your purpose in life,” he says. “Where’s the manual? If I could find the right parenting manual, I would be reading it.”

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is now in theaters. Allegra and Ryder are his children with wife Justine Maurer.

Source: PARADE

— Anya

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Anna on

Times have changed. It is safer now than it was back then! I wish people realized this and let their children play outside without hovering every second of the day.

Robyn on

I know this is irrelevant to the article but I just adore his children’s names! 🙂

bubbles on

I’m a teenager and my parents do the same thing with swearing!! If either of them swear, me and my sister get a quarter. If I swear, I owe them a quarter.

LisaR on

I wish I could agree with you, Anna, but I definitely don’t think it’s safer now. Kids get snatched and terrible things happen under our noses every day. I’m not saying parents need to smother their kids, but I agree with John about being extra cautious. You’re right about the hovering, but I don’t blame parents for worrying. My mom reminisces about being able to sleep with doors unlocked back in her day. She wouldn’t dream of doing that now. Times really have changed, unfortunately.

Emily on

I love his kids names too except allegra leguizamo is quite the mouthful!

annie on

Statistically things are significantlly safer for kids today than they were in the 1970’s. There are fewer children missing and fewer attacks on children. And, we now have sex offender laws that enable parents to know where offenders lived. You can’t directly compare the number of sex offenders or those charged with crimes against children because those numbers weren’t even collected until the late 80’s!

The only difference is that we hear about these things more often because of the way news covers them. While it has made parents more vigilant it has also contributed to a sense of greater threat which flies in the face of the facts.

sean p on

hes right, but parents were always allowed to curse but the children were never. Parents now treat their kids like equals or even friends instead of authority figures. It was always do as I say and not as I do, to get kids to learn their place and to see that their parents are perfect to to strive to be better.