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Alec Baldwin credits his wife Hilaria with making him a more patient parent

Part of what makes Alec and Hilaria Baldwin’s marriage and parenting skills work is their differences. Though at one time, Alec might have been opposed to the patient, gentle, kid-centric way Hilaria looks at being a mom, he’s open to the approach nowadays — and he knows when to take a backseat. “You know what our house is? It’s one long, endless psychotherapy lesson in Spanish,” Alec joked in a new interview in Elle Decor published today. “I’ll go out to work and the whole time my wife is psychoanalyzing our children: ‘But why do you feel this way? Why?'”

And though he may be lighthearted about it, Hilaria doesn’t deny that she’s all about taking the time to let her children have the room to express their feelings. “Well, you do it your way, I’ll do it my way, and we’ll see how they turn out!” she told him. “Kidding. I just feel like kids learn by example, and if you want to teach your kid to be kind, you can’t be mean at them.”

By acknowledging their contrasting methods, they can play off each other instead of competing — and it’s clear they value each other’s opinions, rather than being convinced that their way is the best way. “Do you think I’m too ‘Namaste’?” Hilaria asked Alec during the interview. His response was golden (and perfectly diplomatic): “No, I think you’re very patient,” he said.

The pair, who are 26 years apart in age — Alec is 58 to Hilaria’s 32 — know that their age gap affects the way they see things. They’re also from totally different cultures: Hilaria spent much of her childhood in Spain, and Baldwin grew up near New York City and hasn’t strayed far from there since. (Plus, you know, he’s super-famous.) “It’s a generational thing,” Alec said. “I’m a lot older, and when I grew up there was none of this bargaining and negotiating you do with kids now. Making them understand. My father was like ‘Oh, I’ll make you understand!’ My mother used to hit us with a curtain rod, you know, people used to hit their kids with kitchen utensils. But [Hilaria] is the best mommy, she respects them, she honors them.”

And so does Alec, who has become more grounded and focused on family since he met Hilaria in 2011, Elle Decor reports. When the topic of conversation veers toward social media — and the trolls that come with it — Alec noted that lashing out is no longer worth it to him. “Getting angry doesn’t solve anything,” he said. These days, if a hater has something mean to say about Hilaria, who is very active on Instagram, she writes that angry response, shows it to Alec or someone else, and deletes it. “If you get angry, they win,” Alec said.

At the end of the day, Alec lets Hilaria rule the roost, which contributes to the harmony of their parenting techniques — and their marriage. “He realizes that I’m there with the kids the majority of the day, and he’s very, very good at letting me be the alpha,” Hilaria said. “Well, I’ve just never been spoken to the way you speak to me sometimes,” Alec replied. “It’s really just incredible.”

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