There have always been certain elements of her life that Jessica Alba is incredibly comfortable sharing. But now, she’s digging deeper, and revealing why going to therapy with her 13-year-old daughter, Honor, has been incredibly beneficial to their relationship and understanding one another. The actress and entrepreneur chatted with Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt on a new episode of her Instagram series Before, During & After Baby, where Alba reflected on how parenting has changed and in what ways therapy has impacted her communication with her eldest child.
“How I think I was raised, or sort of the dynamics of how children were treated when I was growing up, and even my parents, was, you know, the kids basically speak when they’re spoken to, they have the ‘kid table’ whenever there’s a family gathering, and you just sort of stay out of the way and do what you’re told,” Alba reflected. As a mother of three now, however, Alba realized how children “want to be seen and heard as individuals basically as soon as they start having any kind of consciousness or thoughts or opinions. It starts early,” she explained.
Then, the conversation shifted to Alba reflecting on how beneficial attending therapy sessions with Honor has been for their relationship. “I started going to therapy with her I think when she was 11,” Alba shared. “For me, it was really out of, I felt like my relationship really suffered with my parents because they didn’t know how to communicate with me and how I needed to be parented. So I didn’t want that breakdown with Honor so we went to therapy together.”
Alba quickly saw how helpful these sessions were, noting that Honor “felt empowered to find her voice,” and adding that the teen was able to “own her opinions in a way and really gain confidence to say, ‘Hey, Mom, I like this, I don’t like this.'” The sessions are a two-way street, too.
The Honest Company founder detailed how Honor really benefits from certain ways of dealing with consequences, telling her mom “when you need to guide me or when I screw up or whatever, this is how I want to be punished. This is what I respond to; this is what I don’t respond to in that way.” In the same way, Honor has told her mom, “‘you need to spend more time with me alone without Haven [Alba’s 11-year-old daughter] around.’ That was a big one,” Alba confessed. “And, ‘You need to treat me like I’m me and she’s her. You can’t mush us together.’ I have to say, I kind of still struggle with that.”
It’s powerful and affirming to see these types of conversations being had in the open. Ensuring that children know, as they are mentally developing, that their emotions and ways of processing are valid is key, and Alba clearly recognizes that in her parent-child relationships. It’s great to know that therapy has been so worthwhile for the mother-daughter pair, and we can only hope these types of conversations continue to happen between more parents and kids.
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