Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones and her movie-star husband Michael Douglas really do appear to have a dream life. Hollywood acting careers, amazing houses, a jet-setting lifestyle and two lovely children Carys, 16, and Dylan, 19. Michael is also dad to 41-year-old son Cameron from his first marriage. But, just as every parent knows, the whole happy family thing doesn't come easy and those mum and dad roles are hard work. Carys and Dylan seem to be such great teenagers sharing a close friendship and appreciative of their parents. Carys is already working as a top model while Dylan is studying at Brown University in Rhode Island.
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What we want to know is, how did Catherine and Michael raise two such wonderful kids? Living a life of luxury in the spotlight, they could so easily have turned out spoilt and full of attitude. Here, Catherine explains her top six parenting techniques…
Manners are SO important
We've all heard the Kingsman phrase 'manners maketh man' and Catherine completely agrees. Speaking to Town & Country magazine in the past, she revealed: "What I instilled in my kids, and I'm very, very proud of it, is manners. There's nothing worse than a privileged kid without manners. I drilled it into them like boot camp." The star said she never huffed and puffed at her own mother and of Carys: 'she's not doing it to me.'
Catherine and daughter Carys
Take a reality check
A key way of staying grounded and grateful is by keeping perspective. In the Town & Country interview, Carys explained that her parents did a good job of reality-checking her, suggesting she observes her life and realises how lucky she is.
Catherine enjoys the teenage years
While most of us dread the difficult teenage phase, Entrapment star Catherine is loving it. In a previous interview on the Today show, she confessed: "I kind of pre-empted the roll-your-eyes teenager years. I love it. I just love the freshness," she said. "It's all so exciting to me… I was working when I was my son's age. I was in the theatre, and I look at him, and I go, 'Wow, I was working when I was your age.' So I'm just enjoying this time, learning a whole bunch of stuff that I didn't know."
Catherine and son Dylan
She encourages them to follow their dreams
We often hear actors say they'd prefer their children to choose a different career to theirs, but not so for Catherine, who told chat show host Jimmy Kimmel that Carys and Dylan are considering acting careers: "They are, they are. I know it's going to be hard for them because they've got their grandfather Kirk, they've got me, they have Michael, but they so inherently love it."
She continued: "I'm all for it. A lot of people ask me, 'What do you think about that?' Well, yeah, I could give them statistics of who becomes successful and who doesn't… I could say, 'You know, you'll never get work' - but I'm not that kind of person. I've had a fabulous life as an actress. I'm excited for them to start on this journey, too."
Always work hard
Catherine and Michael have clearly instilled the value of hard work and dedication in their children, as instead of things coming easy due to the family's fame, Carys told Town & Country she works even harder to prove herself as a talent in her own right and doesn't want to be known simply in connection with her parents' success.
On a recent family holiday
Spend time as a family
Despite the foursome's busy careers and studies, the family still find time to get together for new shared experiences. They love to holiday together and Catherine often shares photos of her brood on Instagram. In December, she posted this stunning photo above, writing: "Sunday lunch in Zanzibar. Happy Sunday everyone!" She also takes her children back to her home country of Wales so they can get to know their Welsh heritage.