“The greatest gift that I can give my children is the freedom to be who they are.”
Parenting can be a tough job, especially when you’re doing it for the first time. Even famous moms and dads are often filled with questions and concerns before welcoming their own bundle of joy. That’s why parents-to-be often turn to others for advice on everything from late nights with newborns to talking with toddlers.
And once they’ve got the hang of the whole raising a child thing, most parents are more than happy to offer up their best tips and tricks — because, after all, a few words of advice can go a long way. In honor of Father’s Day, some celebrity dads are weighing in with their best words of wisdom for all the new parents out there looking for some help.
Read on to find out what these famous dads had to say…
Why Anderson Cooper Got ‘Pissed’ at His Ex While on Work Trip
After John Legend became a dad to his daughter Luna and son Miles, he learned a thing or two about life with a newborn. For John, he wants other parents to know the importance of not just taking care of the baby, but your partner as well.
“As a husband, I feel like one, it’s very difficult right after delivery for a woman. A lot of women deal with postpartum depression. There’s a lot going on with your body and your hormones. As a husband, we’ve got to be reliable. We’ve got to be a rock. We’ve got to be there for our wives. We’ve got to be as present and available as possible to help with whatever needs to be done,” John told E! News.
Travis Scott’s daughter Stormi, whom he shares with Kylie Jenner, may only be three-years-old but he’s all about keeping her informed about what’s going on in the world. He’s stressed the importance of always instilling knowledge in your children, no matter what their age.
“It’s amazing just to watch my daughter grow. I’m keeping her aware of what’s going on in the world. As a parent, I’m always instilling knowledge, even at this age,” Travis told GQ.
Ryan Reynolds Credits Daughters with Inspiring Him to Open Up About Struggles with Anxiety
Luke Bryan and his wife Caroline have two young sons and while he admits that the first years of a child’s life can be tough for dads, he knows it’s important to cherish all the moments you have together. And when possible, he recommends taking over parenting duties in order to get in some extra bonding time!
“Just enjoy every moment. It certainly does fly, and as a dad, your role is to kinda be there and not make your wife even more mad at you. But when they start becoming three and four, that’s when it’s like…for the dad, he can hop in the car with you and y’all go knock around. It goes from good to stratosphere good. It did for me. The early years are tough, because they’re so bonded to their mother,” Luke told Taste of Country.
Before Chris Pratt welcomed his first child with ex Anna Faris, he picked up some very practical advice from his older siblings who already had teenagers. The most important tip they shared? Don’t be a “line order cook” for your kids.
“Make your kid eat what you’re eating for dinner. Don’t be like, ‘We’re having dinner but you get to have your chicken fingers or your corn dogs because that’s all you’ll eat.’ Be like, ‘You don’t like curry? Tough s**t,’” Chris joked.
When it comes to raising his four children, David Beckham is all about setting an example for them to follow. He says that he and his wife Victoria try to give them a similar upbringing to what they experienced, particularly when it comes to the importance of instilling good manners.
“We have always led by example, in terms of the way we treat our children, with the way we look after our children, the way we love our children…But we are very strict parents. We want to bring them up as closely as possible to how we were brought, because you have to give them manners, you have to give them boundaries and our children definitely have that,” David told the Telegraph.
Before Ryan Hurd and his wife Marren Morris welcomed their first child last year, he got some sage advice from his friends in Lady A about all those late nights with a newborn baby.
“When I became a dad, the guys from Lady A shared some great advice with me: get the onesies with the zippers, not the buttons. Those are a lifesaver at 3 AM. But, in all seriousness, I would say to enjoy every moment. With all the craziness and challenges that will come with being a dad, soak it all in, and try to find inspiration within it,” Ryan told TooFab.
Marlon Wayans Challenges Taye Diggs to Will Smith #DadBodChallenge (Exclusive)
Idris Elba is all about having an open line of communication with his children, especially when it comes to important conversations and teaching them life lessons, including those he personally wishes he could have learned sooner. With his daughter, he’s focused on teaching her self confidence and to believe in herself.
“My daughter and I speak about having the confidence to believe in your own journey and not to follow others. We speak about that a lot — confidence and belief, and not following anyone else’s shine, but rather following your own shine…It’s really important to have that self-belief and that self-heartbeat,” Idris told Essence.
Dwayne Johnson is the proud dad of three daughters but knows that between work and other obligations, sometimes life with children can get overwhelming. After one particularly short night of sleep, Dwayne says one of his young daughters jumped on him and asked to play. Even though he was exhausted, he obviously obliged and wants to make sure other parents take advantage of every moment with their children while they’re young.
“Tired as all hell, but thought ehh there’s gonna come a time, years from now when jumping in my arms is the last thing she wants to do and ain’t gonna be cool anymore — so I’ll always take these moments while I can,” Dwayne wrote on Instagram.
Ricky Martin has no shortage of parenting tips and once even penned an entire article dishing advice for other moms and dads. In addition to the suggestion to always be learning from your children, he stresses the importance of truly listening to what they have to say.
“The keyword is ‘actively’ and this is a challenge for all of us. The truth is with our phones, tablets, and all other electronics that ‘make our lives easier’ it isn’t difficult to be constantly distracted. We often forget that when our children come to us, it is because they want to communicate something that is important to them. So, put down your phone, listen, and react with love,” Ricky wrote.
When it comes to parenting advice, Ryan Reynolds is all about doing the gritty work that’s not the most fun, like changing the dirty diapers in the middle of the night.
“Just do the dirty work, man. You gotta do the diapers. You gotta do the middle of the night thing…A human being will exit your wife, so she’s done enough. Just change the diapers and do all that stuff,” Ryan said on “Late Night With Seth Meyers.”
As a parent, Will Smith emphasizes the importance of allowing his children to express themselves in whatever way they desire and encouraging them to follow their passions.
“What I do with my children, that I feel that the greatest gift that I can give my children is the freedom to be who they are. Jada and I are very serious about finding what they are, and encouraging them to be what they are because you can never be happy being what you’re not. I feel like a lot of times, when I was growing up, I would see parents force a child to be what you want them to be. As a parent, if it’s an oak tree, I want it to grow as an oak tree. I’m not going to try to force it to be an apple tree,” Will told BET.