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Drew Barrymore reveals life-changing parenting hack as she opens up about daughter’s personality

The Wedding Singer star got real about being a mom

Drew Barrymore reveals life-changing parenting hack as she opens up about daughter’s personality
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Moms and dads know that parenting is a relentless journey and your relationship with your kids will have ups and downs. No parent can relate to that sentiment better than Drew Barrymore, who opened up about a particularly difficult 'phase' in her relationship with daughter Olive.

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 13: Drew Barrymore, Olive Barrymore Kopelman and Frankie Barrymore Kopelman attend Baby2Baby Holiday Party Presented By The Honest Company  on December 13, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Baby2Baby)© Stefanie Keenan
Drew with daughters Olive and Frankie in 2014

The actress, 48, revealed on Tuesday's episode of The Drew Barrymore Show the tips that helped her become a better parent, as she welcomed parenting expert Dr. Aliza Pressman on the show.

"You specifically changed my life. I had my daughter Olive, who Aliza knows, she was going through a phase, this was years ago, where when she would get upset, I would try to go to her and I would try to make it better," the mom of two explained.

She continued: "That was the last thing she needed or wanted. I didn't understand it, she would either run away or come back at me. But either way was like the two extremes of no goodness."

WATCH: Drew Barrymore reveals the parenting hack that changed her life

"Aliza taught me to regulate myself, which again was like, okay. You said walk in the room and just say, 'I understand we're having a moment. I'm here on the other side of this door for you, waiting. When you are ready, I am here.'" 

This tip, to respond to her daughter's hostility with patience and understanding, got Drew "the best results I've ever gotten in my parenting", she revealed.

Dr. Aliza explained that parents "get so scared of big feelings", that the instant response is to "fix them" or chase them, to which Drew confessed she'd chased her daughter.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 16: Drew Barrymore attends the 26th Annual Webby Awards on May 16, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for The Webby Awards)© Mike Coppola
Drew at the Webby awards

But according to the parenting expert, the resulting message of this approach to parenting is that parents are afraid of feelings. "Feelings aren't dangerous", Dr Aliza added. "Being able to regulate ourselves as the adults and say, 'Okay, I'm not being chased by a bear. My daughter's not being chased by a bear.' Meaning, it's not an emergency. It's a feeling."

Drew observed that this reaction is perhaps evolutionary, which Dr Aliza affirmed. "It makes sense that you want to make sure that your child is happy. But we need our kids to know how to dress for the weather and not try to control the weather." 

"We can't. So, better they understand how to have the feelings and that they are survivable and that we are not shaken."

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 10:  Actress Drew Barrymore and Will Kopelman are seen on December 10, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by SBN/Star Max/GC Images)© SBN/Star Max
Drew with ex-husband Will

Drew shares daughters Olive, 11, and Frankie, nine, with ex-husband Will Kopelman. The couple split in 2016 after four years together. 

The actress is no stranger to how difficult it can be for mothers and daughters to get along, as she's had a tumultuous relationship with her own mother. She once said on her talk show that "daughters to mothers, I think we have a predisposed expectation where we don't want you to be selfish."

She revealed that her own "mom was selfish too and it screwed me up, but you know what, I carried that with me and I acted from a place of a wounded child who also felt like they had to be an adult too quickly, and I didn't understand the parent-child dynamic."

Despite her mom's own failings, she admitted she was not "easy" herself. "She did not know how to control me anymore." 

But despite these difficulties, Drew seems to have gained perspective on their relationship as she confirmed "we've made peace. We now text and talk and I've reached out to her."

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