Reese Witherspoon’s Advice For Parents Of Young Adult Children Is Straightforward Yet Profound

Witherspoon is mom to a 23-year-old, a 19-year-old, and a 10-year-old.


From making movies to producing shows to writing books to being a superstar mom, it seems like Reese Witherspoon can do it all! The actress recently shared some of her parenting tips when asked about her three kids. 

How Witherspoon Parents Her Older Kids: ‘It Is More Emotional Support’

Witherspoon is mom to Ava, 23; Deacon, 19; and Tennessee, 10. While appearing on the Today show to talk about her new children’s book Busy Betty, the actress was asked what it’s like to parent a 23-year-old and a 10-year-old at the same time. 

“That’s a wide range,” co-host Hoda Kotb started. “Are you still parenting your 23 year-old?” Jenna Bush Hager jumped in, saying, “What does adult parenting look like? We just want to be prepared.” Both she and Kotb are moms to elementary school-age children. 

“Okay, this is what I say to people,” Witherspoon explained. “You have to have a different relationship with your children…establish a different relationship. It is about honesty. First of all, you know, you’re managing them a lot when they’re little. It is very physical.”

She continued, “And then, it is more emotional support and suggestions—not telling them what to do when they get a little bit older. But you have to really nurture your adult relationship with your children, too, and give them respect and space to become who they are and not who you want them to be.”

Her Suggestions For Creative Kids

Witherspoon also talked about what she was like as a child, telling Kotb and Hager that she was “a creative,” who was always putting on shows and selling arts and crafts to other children. She used her childhood self as inspiration when it came time to write “Busy Betty,” and the actress shared the lessons she wants kids to take away from the story. 

“I think we [should] teach young children these concepts of understanding creativity…because I was a creative kid,” Witherspoon said. “But I had to learn how to focus to make it successful.” She shared that the main character, Betty, has a friend named Mae who helps her figure out a business plan. 

Witherspoon continued, “Sometimes you have to partner with people who have a different skill set. It is a lot about female partnership.” The actress’ advice on parenting older kids, as well as her tips for creative children, were much appreciated by Kotb and Hager’s audience. 

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