Parenting

Thoughtful Quotes About Fatherhood From Kevin Costner

The actor, who has been married twice, has seven children -- Annie, Lily, Joe, Liam, Cayden, Hayes and Grace.
Kevin Costner and wife Christine Baumgartner with their three children -- (left to right) Grace, Hayes and Cayden -- at the premiere of the film "The Art Of Racing In The Rain" at a theater in Los Angeles last August.
Kevin Costner and wife Christine Baumgartner with their three children -- (left to right) Grace, Hayes and Cayden -- at the premiere of the film "The Art Of Racing In The Rain" at a theater in Los Angeles last August.

Kevin Costner is no stranger to the ups and downs of parenting.

The actor has seven children ― Annie, Lily and Joe with his ex-wife, Cindy Costner; Liam with Bridget Rooney; and Cayden, Hayes and Grace with his wife, Christine Baumgartner.

In honor of his birthday, we’ve rounded up 12 parenting quotes from Costner.

On What He Wants His Kids To Know

“A lot of the time, what we have to do with our children is just get out of the way. Let their dreams be their dreams. Remind them that work comes with their dreams. They can’t just stare up at the ceiling. The reality is I’d kill for my kids. And that’s a bold statement. It makes everybody sit up, but that’s inside us.”

On His Early Days As A Dad

“People talk about how, when they have kids again later in life, they are so much better at it. But I feel really good about the kind of dad I was the first time around. I was there for all the little moments, like when my kids forgot to sing in their school play because they were too busy waving at me. I can’t wait to have those moments again.”

On His Most Important Role

“Movies are magic, and they’ve always been magic to me. You get to play heroes in the movies, but there’s a moment in time where you’re just a father and you get to go home. I have played two roles in my life, one I get paid to do, which is the movies, and the other one is being a father, for which I’ll be rewarded my whole life.”

On Sons And Daughters

“I’ve always been really close to my girls, but I can’t say I see much difference ― except that my girls will occasionally make me a sandwich and my son won’t.”

On Father’s Day

“You get great letters from them [on Father’s Day], and I can see how they’re evolving. Little Grace ended her letter with, ‘Your best child.’ [Laughs]. We’re going to have to talk about empathy and we’re going to talk about perspective a little bit.”

On Remarrying

“Fear kept me from marrying Christine. [She] wanted a child, but I was afraid I couldn’t be an effective father ... [I] woke up and thought, ‘Am I going to lose a beautiful woman who is willing to be with me to my very last breath because I am afraid to say yes to a child?’ That’s all it took. Sometimes you learn the thing you’re most afraid of will save your life.”

On Spending Time With His Kids

“I love shopping with my daughters. Recently, I was in New York with Annie, my eldest, and she was so worried about having nothing to wear, because she’s just starting out on her own and she’s on a budget. So we went on this huge shopping spree. My son Joe is a great songwriter and my daughters both have bands, and I really enjoy singing with them too.”

On Being An Older Dad

“I don’t kid myself about certain realities: I won’t be around to see as much of this one’s life as I’ll get to see of my older kids’ lives. So with him, I really want to be there for every single moment that I can.”

On Lessons From His Parents

“My mother and father talked to me about what it was to be a man and what it was to live a life. My dad really sacrificed a lot putting my brother and I through school. He was a child of the Depression, and he instilled in me the idea that I could do anything. Both my parents were very clear about not wanting to be something because you thought other people would admire it. They wanted you to be something that you admired.”

On Sharing The Parenting Load

“We are very happy. Cayden is the middle of our lives and we enjoy every minute we spend with him. I’m very proud to be a father again. And yes, I love it when I give Christine a little break and I get to spend some time with Cayden by myself.”

On Spoiling His Kids

“All of my kids are showered with love, which is what’s important. I didn’t have much as a child, but if you’d asked me back then, I thought I had everything. We had this dinky backyard in Compton, California, and I thought it was a kingdom. I’ve always taught my kids that they have to work hard and stand on their own two feet.”

On Being A Dad

“Fatherhood is a huge challenge, but it’s the one thing I’m really proud of.”