Jennifer Connelly: Why My Kids Never Fight

05/15/2012 at 11:00 AM ET
Jemal Countess/Wireimage

Age may just be a number, but for Jennifer Connelly it’s been the secret to her family’s success.

“I’ve got a massive family now. It’s really unbelievable. They are all such extraordinary kids and they’re great together,” the actress, 41, tells Anderson in an interview airing Tuesday.

“They never fight, they look after each other. They are loving.”

Connelly, who is mom to sons Kai, 14, and Stellan, 8, and daughter Agnes Lark, 11 months, attributes the brood’s bliss to her and husband Paul Bettany‘s ability to spread the love.

“I am just blessed they are such great, really wonderful kids,” she raves. “Maybe it has something to do with the huge age gap between them, there is no competition and they all have so much attention and focus.”

However, despite the synchronization among the siblings, Connelly admits she won’t be expanding their family any further.

“I think we should call it quits,” she says. “It’s like trying to move an army getting out of the house and we go everywhere together, so it’s a lot of bodies to move.”

– Anya Leon

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Showing 85 comments

Halley on

I agree, my kids are 7.5 years apart, and its amazing. They are so good together and think the sun rises and sets on each other. I recommend big ages differences to anyone! It really, really helps.

boohoobytch on

love her

An army? on

I’m sorry, but your family is not massive… it’s average. There were ten children in my family. That was probably more like moving an army, but three… not so much!

Britt on

She’s awesome- been a fan of hers since the 80’s.

JessicaB on

more likely due to temperment. all children are different. i know people w/ kids 10 years apart who feel this way, and families where the kids don’t. you can’t really have 2 kids and tink you have all the answers to parenting. that’s just silly.

ad5683 on

I simply don’t believe that there are NEVER issues between siblings. My children are 2.5 years apart and adore one another, but there are times that they get frustrated with each other. That’s just life.

annie on

Love her but it’s a little strange that she thinks three kids is “massive” or “an army.” It’s really a very average size family.

BlueSkidoo on

When did three kids become a “massive” family? And personally, I want my kids to fight. They learn to work out differences and still love each other. Not that I want them to fight constantly, but arguing is good for everyone once in awhile. And no, the spacing of them isn’t the key, the children’s personality is. It can all work different ways – sometimes when there’s ten years apart you get kids who are resentful that their spot has been “replaced,” while kids who are a year apart get along great. And sometimes it works the opposite way. There is no absolute key to parenting.

elysummers on

My kids are just barely 4 years apart, and they never fought. I really mean never. I just feel so blessed.

Anonymous on

She’s not that bright.

bh on

My sister is 10 years older than me. We had nothing in common growing up. I would never recommend it.

Laurie on

Spacing their children 6 to 8 years apart also contributes to how well they get along. Good planning (or luck) there! I’m happy for her. It does make a difference, as opposed to having several very young children who need their mother and father in the same ways, trying to share their parents’ attention.

sally on

Wonder if she thinks that the 14 year old not fighting with the 11 month old will change?

Jennifer on

Big deal. I have a brother who is at least 10 years younger than I am, and we don’t get along. AT ALL!!! I think the reason is because of our age difference we don’t have anything in common. We just don’t have the same interests.

Jennifer on

I don’t think it’s true. I have a brother who is 10 years younger than I am, and we don’t get along. AT ALL!!! I think the reason for it is because we don’t have anything in common. We just don’t share the same interests.

Halley on

JessicaB, calm down! I never said I had all the answers, just that in my experience, having kids far apart is really nice. Dont get your panties in such a twist. If something else works better for your family, go for it!

KGP on

Re: her “moving an army” comment — it might be that they live in NYC and are normal NY-ers in terms of walking and taking the subway. It’s not like going into your driveway and putting the kinds into the car –you have to wrangle them and keep track of them. I had my first when we lived in the city and it was pretty easy, but I can’t imagine having to keep track of more than one on public transportation or walking down a sidewalk!

Jennifer on

I don’t think what she is saying about her kids is true. I have a brother who is 10 years younger than I am, and we don’t get along…AT ALL!!! I think the reason for it is because we don’t have anything in common. We just don’t share the same interests.

Dara on

It’s the age difference. My 3 kids are 12, 8, and 3. I wish I could say they never fight but it does happen. My 12 year old son will fight with my 8 year old daughter. The 8 year old girl will fight with the 3 year old but the 12 year old and the 3 year old never get into it. Of course, I think it’s because the 12 year old and 3 year old are both boys and the age difference makes it more of a baby bro looks up to big bro and big bro feels he has to protect the little one kind of situation.

kasia on

well, my parents were not happy with me, so they had my sister whent i was almost two and later expected me to take care of her, play with her and let her take my stuff. damn, i so wished that they would have waited at least few years more so they wouldn’t force her on me just because ‘almost the same age’. so i totally can get her point and promised myself to have only one kid or at least five years between two

HC on

Anytime any celebrity or anyone really says something about parenting there’s always a rush of people waiting to say that the person doesn’t know what they’re talking about just because she isn’t doing exactly what that person did or thinking what that person thinks. It’s so annoying. So she doesn’t have 10 children so she’s not allowed to think that 3 is a big family? Ridiculous.

BlueSkidoo on

Sally brings up a great point. You can’t really say they never fight when one is only 11 months old and hasn’t hit the real arguing stage yet. For all she knows, within a year the baby will pick fights with everyone and anyone.

sunshine on

Her kids have a very large age gap which would explain why they do not fight.

Her children are into very different things due to their age gap.

When children are closer together in age then they like the same things and have the same needs which can create more conflict amongst the children.

A family of 5 is not massive.

Sopie on

I can’t decide between having children close together in age who squabble all the time OR having children years apart that don’t fight but I’m still on diaper duty and sleep deprived fourteen years after the first born.

My sister and I were fours apart. We fought constantly but have been close our entire lives. We never, ever fight now — in fact we are so considerate of eachother that people think its odd. ;-)

Katie on

Didn’t read the article this time. Just reading responses and just like I thought! HAHA

Just My Opinion on

She lying if she say her kids don’t fight. It’s a part of growing up with siblings. GET REAL LADY!!!

Shawna on

What a ridiculous article! Her kids don’t fight because their family is so loving and blissful? Whatever! And I agree, how is 3 kids a massive family? I have 3 kids and it doesn’t feel like a large family at all. I truly do not believe that her kids never fight. If that is true then they are the only siblings in the world who don’t. My kids love each other like crazy and all 3 are very close (ages 11, 9, and 6) but they sure do fight sometimes! That’s normal.

TeamMom on

Sorry JustMyOpinion, but my kids are 4.5 years apart, older boy, younger girl, and they do not fight. Ever. Never have. They even shared a room growing up, and not one issue. They are best friends now at 20 and 15 (almost 16). I know I am blessed, but siblings not fighting does happen.

AllisonJ on

too funny! My kids (boy and girl) are three years apart and get along very well, although they still fight. My brother and I are 3 year apart, also, and we fought like cats and dogs growing up, but we get along great now.

bob on

5 isn’t even a squad, let alone an army, lol.

Barbara on

“they all have so much attention and focus” because they are rich and have nannies and cleaning ladies and can spend one on one time. their kids don’t have to fight for attention. most people don’t have that luxury and have to juggle work, kids, homework, cleaning, cooking. must be nice…

canadasue on

I agree with the person who said it is most likely due to temperament. I have a girl and a boy who are just barely 2 years apart and they never fight. I guess it helps that there is no competition for toys. :)

mytwoboys on

My boys are five years apart and fight like cats and dogs! They are 11 and 6 and can NEVER agree on anything.

Erica on

My brother and I were 8 1/2 years apart and while he did look out for me, we still got in trouble for fighting. I wish I had a sibling closer in my age because now my brother and I aren’t close at all. I look at my friends who are actually friends with their siblings and I envy their relationships. To each their own, but coming from my family background, when I have kids they will be closer in age than my brother and I were.

Tee on

I won’t comment on the not fighting thing because I’m not in this woman’s house to see what goes on there. I do, however, find it amusing that she thinks three children make for a massive family!

Anonymous on

Yeah right her kids NEVER fight? NEVER? I mean maybe it’s not often but honestly – I don’t believe it when someone says “never” about anything. Quotes like that come back to bite people in the behind. Never. Ha!

iantoad on

Hate to say it, but don’t all stars say they have the perfect family, until a divorce, or a child is arrested, or something? According to them, they all live fairy tale lives, until the jolt.

LizzyM on

It absolutely has to do with the age gap. My son and daughter are 1.5 years apart, and they tease each other constantly, and we are a very loving, close family. I am also the oldest of 4 with less than 6 years between me and the youngest, and the four of us fought like cats and dogs when we were younger. However, became very close as we got older.

Shannon on

I don’t think it has anything to do with ages, some people get along and some don’t. I am 6 years older than my sister and we fought like crazy and never have anything in common. I have 4 kids (6,5,3 and 8 months). I chose to have my kids closer in age so they could experience all the same things together in our family. My aunt was 14 years younger than my mom out of 6 kids and she didn’t get to do most of the things the older ones did especially since by the time she was 5 both my mom and one of the boys were already out of the house. I like the idea that all of my kids are closer in age and can all be on the same trips and in the same family photos. But that is my choice and I have friends that spread their kids apart by at least 3 years and they love that. There are pros and cons to both.

Cat on

Jennifer, ease up on the post button.

Jesse on

My sister and I are 6 years apart and never got along, we have nothing in common and there was such a gap that we fought constantly. So her theory is totally wrong.

meghan on

every time i hear a mother say “never” i immediately roll my eyes. never is something a mother shouldn’t say!

Bonnie on

“Massive” means something different to everyone. It depends on how many kids you can handle. My husband is the oldest of 4 children and to me, 4 children IS massive because I know I couldn’t handle that many. 3 is probably massive to Jennifer Connelly, especially if she didn’t have more than one sibling, or was an only child.

Lindsay on

To all of you doubting that her kids get along, get over yourselves! I am one of three kids, and we were fairly close in age and never fought! We all had very different personalities and did our own thing, and as adults we continue to get along great! On the other hand, my own two children argue from time to time, however at the end of the day they are the best of friends and have a great love and admiration for each other. Just because your own family is different than hers, doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with her family! Why be so hateful towards someone simply because they said their kids get along well?! Who cares if she refers to her 3 children as an army? Maybe for you personally 3 isn’t a lot, but for others, especially those with busy careers, 3 may be a lot. Don’t judge someone simply because they are different.

Lila on

@HC- 3 kids isn’t a big family. I’m the oldest of 4, and I hesitate to call my family big. She can think 3 kids is a huge family, just like you can think that the sun revolves around the earth. That doesn’t make it true.

Just My Opinion on

Must be nice to have PERFECT KIDS.

Zoe on

Forever love reading the comments to celebs talking about parenting. Who knew there were so many “Mothers of the Year” walking around. If I were famous I’d never say anything bc there are a lot of people here that wanting to critique others who should probably be looking at themselves first.

Grace on

I notice that now that I have 3 kids (4 , 2, and 10 months ) people comment to me on how I have a Lot of kids. It really irks me. It’s like once you cross tha line from 2 – 3 all of sudden it’s a lot. I wonder if other people get this too or if im just lucky

Shannon on

Not buying it but whatever.

Her hair is really dark. I wonder if it’s a rinse or something.

cynlee on

Don’t buy it….every family has their disagreements from time to time; it’s normal.

Guest on

My kids are perfect too! I only have two but maybe one day we will decided to add another so our family can be massive too! I love celebrities because they are so smart and better that the rest of us who have to work for a living and actually do things ourselves!

Guest on

Grace,

Since I have become a mom I have encountered a lot of people with stupid things to say. I see you have too. Three is normal, not big. People with small minds should keep their mouths closed.

Maria on

I think people will believe an age gap between kids will make a difference when it comes to their kids fighting until they see otherwise. I’ve seen otherwise. Kids who are 10 years apart, and the older one is extremely jealous of the younger one and says horrible things to the younger one, about wishing she’d never been born, that she’d go away, etc. It’s horrifying. And the little one used to be sweet tempered, but she’s learned from older sib to yell and scream if she doesn’t get what she wants.

Believe me, sibling relationships are unpredictable. It’s unwise to automatically expect kids who have a big age difference to get along and never fight. Depends on the kids, not the age gap.

Maria on

I know kids where the age difference is 10 years, and the kids do NOT get along, older one has major jealousy about younger one, and now once sweet younger one has same sort of outbursts that older one has. No guarantees based on an age gap between kids. ALWAYS depends on the KIDS.

Guest on

I never believe anyone who says their kids never fight.

Casey on

She probably isn’t just referring to her immediate family, but also th entourage that goes with being a celebrity. Personal Assistants etc. Love her but doubt they “never” fight. Probably just get along great most of the time. She is just exagerrating a little, I’d guess.

Joanne on

3 kids are a massive family? I don’t think so.

itznia on

Your kids never fight? Dream on.

kirsty on

I can believe it. I have two older brothers and my oldest brother is 9 years older than me and we never fought and I mean never. Now my brother that is only three years older, we fought not a lot, but we did get into fights with each other

TeamMom on

JustMyOpinion…like I said, I know I am blessed. Fighting just doesn’t happen between my kids. We have friends, both with two girls each, one family the girls are 2 years apart, and in the other the girls are 4.5 years apart, and both sets of them fight like cats and dogs. It’s probably more common for sibs to fight…but that doesn’t mean there aren’t families where sibs don’t fight!

Meg on

I have to totally agree with “An army”…..3 kids does not an army make. I have 3 and it is quite do-able. Talk to my mom Jennifer, she had 7….she’ll straighten you out about an army!

nottrue on

I have two daughters, there is a 6 year age difference between them and all they did growing up was fight! They complained all the time about how it sucked to be so far apart in age because they had nothing in common. It was very hard.

I also have a sister who just so happens to be 6 years older than me. And, again, she fought with me constantly when we were kids because I always seemed to bug her. I constantly wanted her to play with me when she was already too old to play the games I wanted to. It caused many fights and turmoil between us when my mom made her play with me. To this day we still don’t get along :(

I do NOT recommend spacing kids too far apart in age. I like Jennifer Connelly, but she is way off on this one. Maybe her kids are so happy because they’re rich and she buys them everything they want…?

nancy on

Her kids never fight…that’s because she has nannies and housekeepers raising them and she’s probably eating bon bons in bed all day.

slickteig on

Love is what makes a family work , not things –but parents attention and LOVE, forget all the crappy “stuff”, kids want your attention, your time and LOVE!!! Don’t forget you brought them into the world, they didn’t ask to be born, love them and give, give , give– lots of your time and attention, then they’ll not care much about stuff or seek negative attention. YOU BROUGHT THEM HERE!!!!!
Thank God for them every day, they are a gift and blessing !!!! Spoil them with your love and attention, not the junk material stuff….. really this works :)

slickteig on

I was not rich, worked full time and raised happy well balanced children, because when I was home, they had my attention, I didn’t get on my phone, go out,get on FB, but paid attention to the children, when they wanted / needed attention after work and school. We did things together at night, helped tell them to study, turn off electronics ( after school and my job,full time work during their whole lives, not a maid or nanny ever!) I watched tv until they wanted help practicing for a play, going over vocabulary words, going to their practices, games etc. They were spoiled with love and attention not stuff…… we actually are pretty poor, but happy. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, all kids need love and attention, I also work for / with behavioral problem children and that is what many of them need/crave, stable, loving homes, and attention, doesn’t matter about income….. but don’t do drugs, abuse your children, this gets them very much into negative attention and behavior issues…… be good parents, you can be, should be, that is all you owe your children.If you do that they really won’t care about money/junk so much, really :)Be good parents, that’s the most important job you have. From a FT working/loving mom . Always– and Dad too, thank God.

Guest on

Give my parents a call if you’d like to know what it’s like to raise an army — they have 8. And my in-laws have 7. I would actually say that 3 is average to below average. It feels like most of my young mommy friends are pregnant with their 4th (myself included). I certainly don’t feel like I’m raising an army.

molly on

Like somebody else said, raising a family in NY is different as far as moving bodies around. You don’t throw them in a car and go. You take their things, and carry them every where and you make sure you don’t leave one straggling behind. So if she exaggerated a little, big deal. Also, i think she meant that they don’t have those intense fights that siblings have. I am sure they argue and bicker but that isn’t really fighting. I have an older sister by 9 years and we NEVER fought but my brother is 2 years older and i fought with that bastard every day.

Jocelyn on

My kids are 7 years and 1 day apart, May 23/24.Daughter turning 32 and son turning 25 next week. Used to be the best of friends, within last year they can’t stomach each other. Go figure. The only common ground they have right now is they were both molested by the same fella when they were younger, this I just found out within last month. Life is great!! Daughter didn’t even phone for mother’s day. Gotta love my life!!

Bex on

I have five older brothers and sisters, 3 of them are 18+ years older than me so we never really fought- but I did resent them trying to parent me a few times. Another sister was 8 years older- I don’t remember fighting with her very much, but she died when I was 12 so mostly I just miss her like hell. My other sister is just under 2 years older than me and growing up we fought like wildcats. But now we are best friends and even live together. We figure that as long as we don’t have to share a bedroom like we did for our entire childhoods then we will be okay. I see sibling groups that don’t fight at all, and I think that alot of it does have to do with age differences, but not all. Good for her, she is lucky! I hope I get that lucky when I have my own kids, but for now I am just happy watching my nephews interact.

Chris on

Ha! That’s a crock. My nieces are almost eight years apart, and they have NEVER gotten along. My son’s best friend is also six years older than his sister and has never gotten over being replaced as the baby. The age gap means nothing – JC just got lucky. And, uh, the idea that having three children makes her family “huge” is utterly ludicrous.

Elivia on

Wow, you guys…you all really take this stuff to heart!! So what if 3 kids feels like an army? I have two kids, and sometimes THAT feels like an army! Maybe she was sort of speaking tonge in cheek when she said it was massive – don’t people do that??? And so what if her kids don’t fight? Good for her family if they are happy and blissed out. You folks are so negative and judgemental, it’s hilarious, really!! My hubby and his sibs never fought and they were very close in age – temperment. Me and my sibs fought like cats and dogs, 12 yrs between me and youngest, and 8 years between youngest and middle – they fought too. Again, temperment… Lighten up folks!! It’s just a movie star talking about her 3 kids… An awesome movie star, at that! Love her!

Misty on

“you can’t really have 2 kids and tink you have all the answers to parenting. that’s just silly.” @JessicaB, I disagree. You CAN have 2 kids and have all the answers to parenting *your* kids. You are only really an expert with your kids and their temperament (and yours for that matter) because you presumably know them better than anybody else.

As far as her calling her family “massive”, I have no idea how many siblings she has. (Or how many her husband has for that matter). If she is an only child or has one sibling, it is conceivable that 3 could feel massive to her. It is all relative to each individual’s experience. It is not the “norm” to have huge families these days because it is not as economically feasible as it was in the days when people worked on farms; and the life expectancy for the average human has grown exponentially. To some people, 2 kids is a lot.

Sarah K. on

HC and Zoe, perfectly said. Just because Jennifer’s experience is different from others’ does mean she’s lying. Also, she was merely guessing that it was the age difference.

Some kids do not fight. Sorry.

Holiday on

Personally I would hate having my kids spaced so far apart! They would have different interests and basically different lives. Of course a 14 year old doesnt fight with a 11 month old~ But they wont grow up as close friends either.

Angela on

Meghan~ My kids *never* let me sleep. LoL. I work the night shift.

Mine are 2 years apart from oldest to middle, then 8 years from middle to youngest. They fought all the time.

Good luck.

ClaireSamsmom on

My kids are 3 years apart in age, a girl and a boy and they get along really well. Of course, they do have their moments….all siblings do, when they can get on each others nerves. But, we have never had any horrible fights or situations occur between the two of them. My daughter has always been really protective over her little brother, even at a young age…wanting to help him and help me with him. I am sure Jennifer’s kids have their moments…..we all do. No one is perfect.

Kimberly on

@meghan I totally agree with you about when a mother says never too, I immediately roll my eyes too…what a joke! Oh my kids are so perfect, not! Well I have two boys and they fight alot! It’s pretty damn normal if you ask me!!! I like my mommies who keep it real!! They are still good kids but come on kids fight sometimes it’s a part of life you can’t always get along!!

Shannon on

She probably doesn’t see them too often. I bet the nannies have a different observation. :)

jessica on

Wasn’t she the one who said in an interview that she allows her kids curse?

kazumi on

my son is 3 years older than her baby sister and they never fight too, he adores his baby sister and i do agree with jennifer connelly that it might have something to do with the age gap, cause there really is no competition, they have different interests, no toys to squabble about, etc, but of course she didn’t mean that there are no issues or struggles within each child, she only mentioned about no fighting, so i don’t think she’s saying that her family is perfect…

carla on

I don’t get why people are in such disbelief over this story. My oldest sister is 12 years older than me. The next is 8 years older. I have never in my life fought with either of them. They doted on me all throughout my childhood and I did my best to emulate everything they did because in my eyes, they were “cool.” We are as close today, as we’ve ever been. Not all kids fight. Not every family has the same dynamics or experiences as your own. Good Grief… different strokes for different folks people.

tlc on

My kids are 8 and a half years apart. I have an 11 year old son and two three year olds (boy and a girl) They are not twins (we adopted the two three year olds separately)

To say they never fight would be a lie. My 11 year old doesn’t fight with the younger ones, but BOY, they do ruffle his feathers a LOT! The three year olds fight like cats and dogs! LOL..however, my 11 year old will play with them until he gets frustrated and then he will go away for some alone time. They DO fight. He does Yell sometimes, but for Jennifer Connelly to say her kids NEVER argue or fight is a LIE…a big FAT lie. Kids yell…kids cry and kids definitely fight. Not fist fights, but get in your face and scream kind of fights!!! It’s natural and normal.

I grew up with two brothers myself. One five years older and one three years younger. They teamed up and picked on me my entire life. They also fought like animals too. One time my older brother was babysitting us and he knocked out my younger brother’s tooth!!! None of us are the best of friends today either. My brothers get along, but I am not close to either of them. Maybe because they both treated me like crap my entire childhood?

Siblings will fight…maybe not a lot in some families, but it will happen!

sillyme on

She thinks having 3 kids is “massive”? I’d say the Jolie-Pitts have a massive family, but 3 doesn’t seem like too many and is pretty average these days. I think her kids are gorgeous, though, especially baby Agnes. They seem like a nice family.

As for the fighting and arguing, I think all the fights and arguments I had with my brother made me stronger. Taught me how to deal with negative comments and difficult personalities. Of course, my brother and I are very close now that we’re older, but the conflicts we had when we were younger helped prepare me for how to deal with the real world.

Jas on

Jennifer is talking about her experience with her family.

Anin on

some times huge difference make sibling grow apart because by the time the eldest becomes teenager with his/her friends the younger one is still a kid with his/her age group friends nothing develops in to similar bonding,both youngest siblings of my parents are 12 and 10 years difference, when my parents got married the sibling was alone they bonded with kids of similar age instead but now my auntie has bonded at later age….

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