As the three children Jennifer Garner shares with ex-husband Ben Affleck get older, the actress said there’s one thing in particular she’s had a “hard” time dealing with.

“I have a really hard time not saying, ‘This is what I see you as,’ and, ‘I think you should,’” Jennifer, 51, told People in an interview published on Thursday, March 27.

“I really have to sit on my hands,” the Peppermint star said about watching and allowing her kids make their own decisions, while admitting her parents did the same thing with her.

Jennifer shares Violet, 18, Seraphina, 15, and son Samuel, 12, with Ben, 51. The former couple wed in June 2004 and split in 2015, although their divorce wasn’t finalized until October 2018.

“They’re really solid right now,” the 13 Going on 30 star said of her teenagers ​and soon-to-be 13- year old, adding, “I’m just watching them in this new phase of life where they’re figuring out who they’re going to be and what they’re going to study. And I’m so interested in them. All the time, I’m interested in everything about them.”

When it comes to studying, her eldest daughter, Violet, will be graduating from high school in the spring of 2024 and heading off to college. Jen revealed during a November 2023 appearance on Live With Kelly and Mark that Violet was already in the process of touring school campuses.


“It is exciting,” the Once Upon a Farm owner gushed. “I can see the stress — even though the excitement and stress go hand in hand. But she’s handling it like a champ and she’s totally in charge. I’m not having to say, ‘Are you doing this, are you doing this?’ She’s a self-starter. And I’m just proud of her no matter what.”

Jennifer added that she has to deal with what comes with her other children’s activities. “Yeah, I’m a basketball mom but also a debate mom, which basically means batting down the hatches and saying, ‘Please don’t debate me right now. Like, just, please, please, please talk to someone else if you want to have a tussle,'” she explained.

However, the Alias alum was still impressed with her children’s debate skills. “It is incredible for building confidence, for building, just the ability to articulate an argument. I grew up in the South — I didn’t know how to have an argument until I was 40!” she laughed.

Jennifer and Ben have maintained a healthy coparenting relationship with their children following their divorce. The Argo star married Jennifer Lopez in July 2022, and her twins she shares with ex-husband Marc Anthony have blended into a family unit alongside Ben’s kids.

Seraphina and Jennifer’s child Emme Muniz, 16, are close friends as well as stepsiblings. Their brother, Max Muniz, is also part of the household.

“We moved in together. The kids moved in together. It’s been, like, a really kind of emotional transition, but at the same time all your dreams coming true,” the “Dinero” singer revealed during a January 2023 appearance on NBC’s Today. She added, “It’s just been a phenomenal year. Like, my best year I think since my kids were born.”