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Julianne Moore’s Parenting Tip: Teach By Example

10/23/2010 at 05:00 PM ET
Gregorio T. Binuya/Everett

Breaking down stereotypes is familiar territory for actress and author Julianne Moore.

In this summer’s hit The Kids Are Alright she portrayed a lesbian mom, but Moore says tolerance isn’t something her real life children Caleb, 12, and Liv Helen, 8½, need any instruction on.

“I think really, what you need to do, is live your life with that kind of reality,” she explains to CNN. “I think what everybody always says about raising children is you have to teach by example.”

To that end, Moore says she allows Caleb and Liv a realistic glimpse at “what’s going on in the world” while keeping in mind that “you have to work really hard to give a child a prejudice.”

“Children are naturally born without one,” she continues. “So, if the reality of gay families is kind of out there, if they see families living this way, then it’s completely natural and normal for them.”

Being at ease with themselves, however, is not so easy. In the Freckleface Strawberry series of children’s books Moore, 49, tackles the often difficult path to adolescent self-acceptance.

“Kids get to be about 7-years-old and suddenly, they’re like, ‘Hey, I’m taller than this kid,’ ‘My teeth are kind of big’ or ‘I don’t like my ears’ or this or that or the other thing, and it just breaks your heart,” she muses.  “Because you’re like, ‘No, oh my gosh, you’re perfect, how could you not think that?’”

With time, Moore says she adopted a “well, whatever” approach to her perceived imperfections. “I have other things to worry about and other things that are more important, like my family and my work and my friends,” she notes.

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