Parenting

Powerful Quotes About Parenthood From Geena Davis

The actor has a daughter, Alizeh, and twin sons, Kaiis and Kian.
Reza Jarrahy, Alizeh Keshvar Davis Jarrahy, Kian William Jarrahy, Geena Davis and Kaiis Steven Jarrahy at an event in May 2017. 
Reza Jarrahy, Alizeh Keshvar Davis Jarrahy, Kian William Jarrahy, Geena Davis and Kaiis Steven Jarrahy at an event in May 2017. 

Geena Davis takes her role as a parent very seriously.

She also takes seriously her role with her organization, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which fights for greater equality and representation in entertainment. Davis has tried to pass on some of the institute's lessons to her three kids: a daughter, Alizeh, and twin sons, Kaiis and Kian.

In honor of her birthday, here are 11 quotes about parenting from Davis.

On Becoming A Mom In Her 40s

“I felt 100% that I would be such a better parent than I would have been even five years earlier and certainly 10 or 20 years earlier. If I’d had kids earlier, I could easily have become one of those mothers who overinvolve themselves and try to live life through their kids. I’m sure there are younger people who have figured things out long before I did, but in my case, I became a parent with exactly the right person, at exactly the right time.”

On Her Values As A Parent

“It’s important to me that my kids feel acknowledged. I was raised in a generation where we were taught to stifle things. It was like, ‘Don’t cry.’ Or, as soon as you fell down, you were told, ‘That didn’t hurt.’ Kids were supposed to be seen but not heard, like they were furniture or pets or something. I’m making a point of letting my kids know it’s OK to express themselves. I try not to decide for them what they’re feeling. I want them to know they don’t have to hide their emotions.”

On Wanting Her Kids To Avoid Acting

“I profoundly am not encouraging her to go into this field. In fact, I’ve always said, ‘If none of my kids become actors, I’ll have done my job right.’ It’s such a crazy business. It’s better to have a real-life job.”

On Welcoming Twins

“My daughter was 2 when they were born, so that meant three kids under the age of 3 at home. And I was worried because part of me thought, Am I going to be able to love boys as much as I love my little girl? Of course, I do, and it’s been really wonderful. But it was overwhelming.”

On Children’s Programming

“I had no clue that children’s media in the 21st century would be wildly imbalanced. And as a mother, I was horrified because what message is that sending to kids from the very beginning if the female characters are narrowly stereotyped or hypersexualized or not even there at all?”

On Countering Unconscious Bias With Her Kids

“I decided with my daughter that I would always watch with her, and I could comment on what she was seeing. I also did it when my twin boys were born. I could lean over and say, ’Hey, did you notice that there are only boys in that group of kids? Why do you think that is? Do you think girls could do what those boys are doing?′ It really does have an impact because now it’s not unconscious. They’re not unconsciously taking in that that’s the way the world works. They’re pointing out that it’s unfair.”

On Being An Older Parent

“There are moments when I feel like I have a looong road ahead of me, with college and dating and driving and all of that. But then I realize that just means that I have so much time left to enjoy them. And it really does go by so quickly.”

On Her Daughter’s Playtime

“She likes to tell stories about Snow White going into the forest, where she meets an evil witch. But then Snow White takes out a magic wand and turns the evil witch into a nice witch. It’s a good thought. She never wants to play princesses who are just lying there asleep or under some spell. They’re always very active princesses who battle dragons or evil witches.”

On Bath Time

“My daughter won’t even get her face wet, but my sons literally submerge themselves and try to swim laps in the tub. They stick their whole heads under and blow bubbles; I can’t tell you how much I look forward to it.”

On Gender Bias

“I think the impact of media images is so profound that we actually could make life imitate art. You know, you see a dog or something and you say, ‘Oh, he’s cute’? The default is always male, and it’s because we’ve had such a male-centered culture. And it’s because it’s what we see and hear from the very beginning. I remember I was once with my boys in a park and they saw a squirrel. I consciously decided to say, ‘Look, she’s so cute’ and they both turned to me with surprised expressions and said, ‘How do you know it’s a girl?’ I was like, wow, I’ve already failed. They were 4 years old.”

On Empowering Her Daughter

“I can’t stop our culture from sending disempowering messages to my daughter, no matter how much I limit her media exposure. But I can tell her that it’s wrong. I can teach her that it’s unfair and needs to change. I can’t stop people from complimenting me on her appearance as if she’s just an object. But I can tell her later why that’s inappropriate. Maybe no woman has been president of the United States yet, but her mother has ― on TV! I can tell her how to form her own opinions and not let our culture dictate what’s appropriate for women to be and do.”