Mila Kunis Refuses to Raise Entitled Children: ‘Mommy and Daddy May Have a Dollar, But You’re Poor’

08/10/2016 at 11:15 AM ET

Mila Kunis pregnant Bad Moms premiere
Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Where parenting is concerned, Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher didn’t just wing it.

“The one topic of conversation we had even prior to ever having kids was always, ‘How do you raise a child to not be an a——?’ ” the Bad Moms actress, 32, said on the Sydney, Australia-based radio podcast The Kyle and Jackie O Show.

“It’s so important because we both came from pretty solid poverty backgrounds and grew up very poor and are very much self-made and are very aware of what a dollar is worth,” she adds. “Nothing’s been handed to us.”

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Kunis admits it will be difficult to show 22-month-old daughter Wyatt Isabelle and her new baby on the way just how much to appreciate what they have since they will never “have ketchup soup for dinner,” but they’re going to do their very best.

“It’s a matter of teaching them from a very early age that, you know, ‘Mommy and Daddy may have a dollar, but you’re poor,’ ” she jokes. ” ‘You are very poor, you have nothing. Mommy and Daddy have a bank account.’ ”

As far as Bad Moms goes, Kunis says the movie is less about making fun of the mom world and more about embracing all types of parenting.

“If you can’t find a character to relate to, then chances are you are one of them and are in denial,” she says. “I think the writers did a beautiful job of creating very specific characters that people can hopefully pinpoint and be like, ‘That’s me!’ It’s very honest.”

Jen Juneau

FILED UNDER: Mila Kunis , News , Parenting

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guest on

I remember watching The Cosby Show as a teen and Vanessa was saying if we weren’t so rich. Cliff said your mother and I are rich. You have nothing. I was lucky my parents made a great living so I didn’t see them struggle but that really hit home to me and made me realize I wasn’t entitled to money just because my parents had it. They expected me to work hard and while they occasionally bought me a weeks worth of groceries as a surprise once in a while they never really helped me out and I am forever grateful for that. She has a great attitude.

sval on

We need more parents in the world like this

kitty62862 on

I sincerely wish her the best with that. That’s the right way.

Ketchup soup. My mother did that.

ellen on

Great, funny movie! Loved it and she’s awesome

Dawn on

Great job, Mila! More should be like that instead of spoiling the crap out their kids like the trash family we’ll never hear the end of. You never know if you are really rich and can just lose it all! You should know how to deal with money.

gracie on

Raising empathetic, responsible, kind and humble children is not easy, especially if those children are surrounded by friends who are privileged.
I give credit to Mila and Ashton for discussing prior to having kids how they want to raise their children. It will be a constant balance and there will be many hard choices but in the end, the benefit is healthy, emotionally sound genuinely good human beings.No amount of money can buy that.

Joy on

A great way to look at raising your children. There are so many entitled children that it’s nauseating. The smartest thing things you can teach your children are morals and the values of money.

theanajourneyblog on

I somewhat agree but I also think that accepting that mommy and daddy did well and reaping those benefits is OK. Money and success isn’t a bad thing. You can have best of both worlds. But honestly, secluding your child in my opinion if they are on a good path in life isn’t something I would go along with. Greed is never ok, and I take her words as pure greed.

nikki on

i am all 4 and then some mixed in to my crazy mom self. i love it. i will not change a thing, but hopefully raise a good educated and kind child

sunny on

And they call themselves democrats? Coming out of poverty by working hard, knowing what a dollar is worth but yet they support liberals who expect the government to hand out money to people?

Court on

Wow they’re my heroes — NOT!

citygirl on

My sister has a friend who got into an argument with her 16 year old daughter over the $200 Jeans Mom wouldn’t buy her. DAUGHTER: why not? we can afford it; MOM: I can afford it because have 2 jobs. You’re unemployed

guest1 on

What is ketchup soup?

Nicole on

This is why I love Ashton and Mila you can see they are down to earth and are raising their child right! No one is perfect but at least their children will grow up appreciating things and humble!

Anonymous on

She is so grounded. I love her. The trash family could learn a thing or two from her.

angela on

Ketchup soup goes great with Jam sandwiches (take two pieces of bread and jam them together) 🙂

thadia on

Yeah right. Their kids are gonna have the best of everything.

thadia on

Yeah, right. Their kids are gonna have the best of everything without having to do anything to earn it.

Mistie on

@ theanajourneyblog you took that and just went negative. She isn’t saying she will not allow her child to have benefits of their wealth she is saying she is not going to allow them to be spoiled and depend on it. There are many wealthy families that make their child work for their own wealth and do not just want them a trust fund and this tends to be more so with those of parent who themselves had to go from nothing to something. Just because mommy and daddy can afford just about anything a kid wants, and get I said want not needs, doesn’t mean a kid is entitled.

Amy on

Love this! Too bad more Hollywood parents don’t use this approach on their children. A lot of these kids are spoiled rotten and don’t have to work. They have never been taught the value of a dollar. Kudos to the Kutcher’s 🙂

Ladybug on

I really like her solid values. Best of luck to her and her growing family!

Margarita on

I love her and agree with her. My kids will have shoes on their feet, clothing on their backs, a roof over their head, and food on the table. You are blessed! No, they will not be $100 shoes! No, there will not be a cell phone at age 10. My parents were not able to give us all these things at once, if I didn’t have new clothes, there was food on the table. I didn’t have new shoes but my parents kept a roof over our heads. I worked with my parents during my high school summers and I thank them for that opportunity. I got to see how much they struggled to feed us. My greatest memories with my parents don’t include any material things. It was Sunday afternoons at the park or last minute trips to the beach with only a towel and a cooler full of boloney sandwiches. The simplicity of my childhood is what I want for my kids.

Ann on

Will and Jada Smith have you read this????

ccmikeroberts2016 on

Haha I like this. My mom was a struggling single mom and she would say this to us.” I have money, you don’t! If you want money get a job”. I have seen lower/middle class people spoil their kids, meanwhile going into debt to do it. Crying over $5000 christmas bills. Work 2 jobs so they can buy their kids $150 Jordans instead of spending time with their kids. So you don’t have to be rich to raise a spoiled brat. Kids need to know where money comes from, how you get it and how to save it. I am grateful my mom made me pay $20 rent when I got my first job. She didn’t need the money but I learned how it felt to pay a bill.

Ann Shipton on

Look at Donald Trumps kids. They all went to school and they all work. yes it is in the family business but they WORK. IT was expected of them.

guest on

It won’t be easy because they will still be surrounded by wealth, the opulent home, the swiming pool, the great vacations. Making them work for their spending money might be an idea.

Anonymous on

I totally agree with her message…however I just read another article that said her father was a mechanical engineer and her mother was a university physics teacher…I hardly consider that “poverty” or growing up “very poor”…just be real and people will still like what you have to say…

Katie on

I just love Mila… And I NEVER feel that way about Celebrities. I’ve always admired her since hearing her life story, and the fact she taught herself English as a child by watching Bob Barker on the Price is Right. She’s a very smart woman, and Ashton is a very smart man… Nothing like Jackie and Kelso 😉

Anonymous on

I love these two and shouldn’t doubt what they say… but….it’s easy to say this as a new parent with toddlers, and babies…let’s see how that pans out when they have older kids, preteens and teens. You can’t tell me that living the lifestyle they live their kids won’t have designer clothes instead of Walmart clothes, the best technology, cool rooms, and nice cars….lets see then…just saying…

LadyRed on

Since she is reportedly difficult to work with, I am surprised at this. Hopefully, she means it and isn’t just saying so for publicity.

Theresa on

Raising your children to value money is one thing, but how hard does any actress have to work to earn a ridiculous amount of money? Aside from when she lost all that weight for Black Swan. And that was just so she wouldn’t be Jackie or Meg her entire life.

J on

Maybe her parents worked in those professions BEFORE they moved to the US?

Jen DC on

@Anonymous: Her parents emigrated to the U.S. from Ukraine and those were their qualifications in Ukraine. Here, her father was a cab driver and her mother ran a pharmacy.

Ann on

I am not a mother yet but I have always wondered. In a world full of entitled spoiled children , how can a down to a earth-well behaved child survive? Parenting is very difficult. Finding the fine line between self expression+confidence and arrogance seems pretty intringuing to me

KAY on

I disagree. The kid will grow up…saying, “I’m poor” and will sound like a total douche because they’ll never know what it is to be poor. They can hear stories of their parents struggles as children but they, themselves, won’t ever know hunger or struggle. They may be raised with ethic and be humble and that’s a wonderful thing, but…..
My children are very well off. I grew up homeless, hungry, moved to wherever we could find a roof over our head (or to the home of a new ‘uncle’). Happy when we got new toys (from the thrift shop) and appreciated them…like, truly appreciated them. My children will never know any of that and i’m glad. What they will know is that they are fortunate and have inherited the responsibility to pay it forward. And I explain it like this: if people or organizations didn’t help me as a child, they would never be here.
Anyway, I’ve been in a situation when I met some new kids at school. They had complained of being poor so having that in common brought us together…and then they came over to our one bedroom apartment to hang out (an apartment that 5 of us lived in – us kids lived in the bedroom and my mother and her boyfriend in the living). I’ll never forget the look on their faces when they found out I shared a room with my sister and brother (who were older than me). And when it was time for them to go and they asked to use the phone to call their parents, I had to say they needed to use the payphone at the Winchells donut because we didn’t have one. We didn’t hang out after that. This was 1988 – pre cell phones.

MomCat on

I just read that her parents did have high paying jobs in the Soviet Union, but moved to the US to create a better life for their children. In the US, her family was living in poverty with her dad driving cab to make ends meet. Her story does reflect her childhood experience. So even though her parents are highly educated, they were not able to use this education in the US.

Allie on

The obnoxious, trashy Kardashians should read this. I have not see Mila or Aston flaunt their money like them and they certainly are better role models for their children.

Teresa on

Mila Kuniz sounds like she is the one with the problem… not her children. I feel sorry for them. You can raise lovely children wealthy or not. It stems from your character, not your bank book.

Rhonda on

Love her! She is very grounded and humble! Their children are fortunate to have she and Ashton as parents.

Guest on

Clint Eastwoods son, Scott, asked his dad (when he was in college) for a 6k car loan for a older truck. His dad said ,”nope” so he ended up buying an old 91 crown vic that he had to use a bungi to keep the trunk closed.

Charlotte on

Kids are poor until they get their trust fund. Right?

jmquinnn on

Jerry Seinfeld said his son asked him if they were rich. His answer was “I am. You’re not.” People always want to do better for their children. I was a single mom and I went without so my sons could have more. I’m all for teaching your children what it means to have money. Showing them that your are also helping the less fortunate is a really good lesson for them to see. Get them to volunteer at an early age. Nothing like seeing people at a soup kitchen to bring the lesson home!

em on

I call B.S. ..she was not poor..look it up…maybe she won’t spoil her kids but they will still get much more than the average child..don’t care for her

WeAreStars on

Teach them to enjoy books and reading. I grew up fairly poor and I treasured those few children’s books I had so much, always longed for more. So even if you don’t spoil them with other material things, give them lots of books. Keep them away from soul killing electronics as long as possible too so they can actually experience life instead of living it through a display screen.

guest on

Pretty hard to do. They’re still going to have all the opulent stuff around them, house, car, expensive vacations. If you restrict them too much, they will resent you and think you’re cheap because they’ll know darn well you’re loaded. But good luck with that.

Aeol on

Good for her. It won’t be easy, nor even really expected, but you can have wealth and still give your children a firm foundation to work hard and achieve their own success. Warren Buffett is a great example of that. There are a lot of privileged kids in the world still working hard for their own achievements. Katie Ledecky is a great example of that!

Kiki on

If that is true, I think she just has to be like she is – Tell the kids about your experiences – always and honestly. …Of course, I can’t say a lot about the theme since my parents were poor and I was poor – But, I believe your kids stay solid as long as your “soul” stays solid…