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Everything Jennifer Garner has said about parenting kids Violet, Fin and Samuel

The 13 Going On 30 star has got candid about parenting over the years

Jennifer Garner and Violet (Left) Jennifer Garner and Samuel (Right)
Bryony Gooch
US Writer
10 April 2024
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Jennifer Garner is a devoted mom to her three kids, Violet, Fin and Samuel. She shares them with ex-husband Ben Affleck, now married to Jennifer Lopez and step father to twins Emme and Max.

As her oldest daughter has now entered adulthood, turning 18 in December 2023, and her middle child has debuted a new name in public for the first time, here is everything the 13 Going On 30 actress has said about motherhood.


THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 4184 -- Pictured: Actress Jennifer Garner during an interview on January 18, 2012 -- Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank© NBC
Jennifer Garner while pregnant in 2012

Jennifer has been open about how pregnancy changed her body, as she said back in 2018: "One of the things for me being pregnant is … I carried a baby in the back as much as I did in the front. So I’d catch myself in the mirror and be like, 'Ah! What is that? So big, oh my God — there’s another thing growing back there!'"

She went on to reassure moms that they "will get your bodies back; you will get your lives back". 

She insisted: "you can still travel; you can still have fun; you can still go back to work or not; you can breastfeed or not; you will be best friends with your kid and then someday you’re going to realize you’re actually angry with them and that’s okay; and you’re going to be great, because it’s your experience and your baby and your body and it’s going to happen the way you want it to because you’re starting your families."

Being a first-time mom

HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 20:  Jennifer Garner and her daughter, Violet Affleck attend the ceremony honoring Jennifer Garner with a Star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame held on August 20, 2018 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)© Michael Tran
Jennifer and her daughter Violet in 2018

The actress reflected on being a mom for the first time with her daughter Violet, calling herself a "nightmare" in an interview with Allure.

"I was such a first-time mom," she admitted. "She couldn't have a free thought — I was all over her. I was a nightmare for everyone around me."

Her parenting style

TODAY -- Pictured: Jennifer Garner on Tuesday, November 28, 2023 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC via Getty Images)© NBC
Jennifer Garner on TODAY

Many parents take a particular style when it comes to parenting, but Jennifer has made it clear that she doesn't have "some overarching philosophy".

She said on TODAY about her kids: "I just think they’re such cool people and I want to hear everything, and I want to be around. But I also think it’s OK if they suffer from a little bit of benign neglect."

She added: "Their lives are their own, I'm not trying to live their life, and I don't mind that they see that I love mine."

Managing conflict with her teenagers

Jennifer Garner alongside her lookalike daughter Violet Affleck© Getty
Jennifer Garner alongside her lookalike daughter Violet Affleck

Many moms know the struggle of fighting with teenagers, but Jennifer revealed in an Actors on Actors interview with Sheryl Lee Ralph that she's quite pragmatic about conflict with her kids.

"I love my teenagers. I know that there's usually an easy way for me to turn them around if they're getting too crunchy, and it doesn't really happen that much", she said. "If it does, I know when to give them space. I know when to lean in a little bit. I don't always get it right. But they're my kids, we're raising each other."

Letting her kids have privacy

Jennifer Garner with son Samuel © Allen Berezovsky
Jennifer Garner with son Samuel

Many moms find themselves prying into the lives of their kids, but not Jennifer. She revealed on the Raising Good Humans podcast that the family have an annual tradition over New Year's Eve where they "write down something we want to let go of, something we want to manifest, etc."

She quickly added: "They never show it to me, I wish! I let them have their privacy whatever...!"

The differences between Fin and Violet

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As the actress reflected on how Violet and Fin approached making goals for the year to come, she revealed that the two siblings couldn't be more different.

"It was interesting thinking about temperament. Their personal mission statements and value statements were as if they had never met," Jennifer observed on the podcast.

Asking her kids for advice

Jennifer Garner© Robin L Marshall
Jennifer Garner at the Family Switch premiere

While preparing for the role of Jess Walker in Family Switch, who has a Freaky Friday moment with one of her kids, Jennifer asked her kids "a bunch of questions" about what it's like to be a teenager.

"You're turning the volume up so much because it's all so exaggerated," she explained, before revealing: "But yes, I definitely went to my teens and asked a bunch of questions. They were all like, 'Mom, you're crazy.'"

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