Reading with my kids is one of my favorite bedtime traditions. It’s a chance to snuggle with my normally energetic boys, laugh with them, and get lost in a good story together. It’s easy when they beg me for more books — a 5- and 4-year-old’s genius stall tactic to get out of going to sleep — but I sometimes worry these precious moments will become a thing of the past when they get older. Thanks to Jennifer Garner, I may get to keep this tradition long into their teen years! The mom of three recently shared how her latest role is helping her bond with daughter Seraphina, 14, and I’m definitely taking notes for when my kids are older.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight on April 4, Garner opened up about her new starring role in The Last Thing He Told Me, based on the book by Laura Dave. She revealed that she’s reading the adult thriller with her daughter, and it’s such a good idea.
“I read the book with my middle child and… bedtime went out the window until it was finished,” Garner told ET. “We were compelled to keep reading. It’s so propulsive, the read, because the stakes could not be higher. They are turned on a dime again and again and again. And in the middle of it is this very tender love story between a woman and her stepdaughter, and kind of the idea of becoming a parent.”
We love that Garner read aloud with her daughter. It’s such a great way to introduce your teens to more adult content — you can answer any questions they may have in the moment — and foster a love of reading in your teens as they get older. According to the Child Mind Institute, reading to your kids isn’t just about the books. “It’s about having consistent, focused time together, without other distractions or demands,” according to their website, which added that even “a few minutes of reading” gives both parent and child a chance to slow down and connect.
In Garner’s new Apple TV+ series, which premieres April 14, she stars as Hannah, a woman who teams up with her moody teenage stepdaughter, Bailey (Angourie Rice) to search for her missing husband (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). Garner said that her experience being a mom to Seraphina, Violet, 17, and Samuel, 11, with ex-husband Ben Affleck helped prepare her for the role.
Garner told ET that she has “amazing teenagers” but that she could “feel the moments” when her character is “biting her tongue and where she is just praying for serenity now.” So relatable! “That being said, again, I am close with and have amazing teenagers,” she said.
As for her kids? They think their mom is “extra.” “I think my children live feeling that way,” Garner jokes. “They would tattoo it. They don’t even need to say it. It is fact.” Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that!
Her kids may think she’s extra, but they still love spending time with their mama (and reading with her!). So she’s definitely doing something right.
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