Fans have come to love Jennifer Garner for her roles in movies like Daredevil (2003), 13 Going On 30 (2004), Juno (2007), and Dallas Buyers Club (2013). Not only is the actress lovable on the silver screen, but she also has a relatable, down-to-earth personality that shines through during her interviews. And if her insights into parenting are any hint, then it sounds like she’s a great mother, too.
Jennifer shares three children with her ex-husband Ben Affleck. The began dating in 2004, though they met in 2001 on the set of Pearl Harbor. The couple was eventually married in 2005 during a small Turks and Caicos ceremony officiated by Victor Garber. Their first daughter, Violet, was born that same year, while their second daughter, Seraphina, was born in 2009. Jen and Ben finally welcomed their third child, son Samuel, in 2012. Unfortunately, it wasn’t happily ever after for the couple. They publicly announced their separation in 2015 amid many rumors. Jennifer eventually filed for divorce in 2017, after seeking marriage counseling, and their split was finalized in 2018.
Since then, Jen and Ben have seemed committed to co-parenting their three children. Keep reading to learn twenty unique things Jennifer does when it comes to raising her children.
22 Her Ex, Ben Affleck, Moved In Nearby
Jennifer and Ben have definitely gone through the ringer when it comes to their relationship. So, no fans would be surprised if these two still had trouble being around each other.
However, it looks like things are actually going good between them considering Ben purchased a house right next-door to his ex-wife just last year.
According to Radar Online, his new home cost $19.5 million. A source added that Ben’s mom was also moving in. “Ben's mother will live with him temporarily to help him during the move,” they explained. “Jen and Ben’s mom have a good relationship,” they added.
21 She Grows Her Own Food
Jennifer is definitely conscious about what her family puts in their bodies. The actress once revealed she has a pretty incredible hobby: growing her own food. And not only that, but it sounds like she’s found a way to get her kids and friends involved, too.
"I think growing your own food helps," she explained to People. "When I was a kid, I didn’t like tomatoes, but then my mom grew cherry tomatoes, and if I picked them straight off the vine, they tasted so good. My oldest didn’t like blueberries until we had blueberry bushes. Now in blueberry season we take colanders down every night and they bring their friends over and we pick."
20 She And Her Ex Still Do School Pick-Ups Together
Despite their dramatic divorce, Jennifer and Ben have been spotted out together various times following their split, both with and without their kids. In fact, they are frequently seen picking up their three children from school together.
Last year, Daily Mail published photos of the exes walking out of the school following a function with their children in two. Earlier that day, Ben had been seen leaving his then-girlfriend Shauna Sexton’s home in the early morning.
It’s refreshing to see these famous parents put their kids first and be able to do something as normal as school pick-ups together, especially given everything they’ve been through.
19 They Also All Go To Church Together
School pick-ups aren’t the only time Jen and Ben see each other in the week.
The former couple have also been photographed various times attending church with their children since their separation. Although some fans initially took this as a sign they might be reconciling, considering their divorce is now final, we guess this just means they’re on friendly terms.
Jen has often spoken about how big faith is in her life. "My parents did such a great job of raising my sisters and me in a world where faith was part of our lives. It's the center of our social lives, as well as a spiritual center,” she once told Dr. Oz.
18 The Nannies Come On Vacation
We’d say Jennifer definitely has her hands full with her three children. It turns out the actress agrees. There have been various times throughout the years Jen and her family have been spotted on vacation with their children’s’ nannies in two.
In 2015, following Jen and Ben’s reveal that they were separating, some publications questions if their nanny had something to do with it. The couple had been photographed in the Bahamas with the young nanny only weeks before making the announcement. According to E! News, the couple also fired her around the same time. "It was really sudden," an insider told the publication. "She was weirdly quiet about why the job just ended."
17 She Doesn’t Let Her Kids Have Technology
If all sorts of articles had been written about you in the past two decades, you likely wouldn’t want your children to have ready access to a computer. So, it’s not surprising to hear that Jen and her ex-husband have been strict about letting their children have access to technology.
“We just had back to school night, and I said afterwards, ‘Do they need a computer?’ They need some kind of device or computer to complete their homework,” she told Huffington Post. “Our daughter doesn’t have any of those things, and she’s, like, the only kid in the class who doesn’t, apparently.”
Jen added, “So I found an old laptop this weekend for her, and I am kind of panicked about it. She’s not on social media yet — her school has a no social media policy until 6th grade — but I know it’s coming soon.”
16 The Kids Have To Work Out
Jennifer looks incredible for her age, but she’s always been open about the lengths she’s had to go to in order to look this stellar. It turns out the star has been imparting her passion for physical fitness on her kiddos. While speaking to Well and Good, she explained how she tries to incorporate her kids into her work-out.
“I love to hike with my kids on Sunday afternoons. And I have been known to bribe them to meditate,” she told the publication. She explained that all she really wants from them is to get outdoors. “If we can get outside, even for a minute, the whole evening moves more easily,” Jennifer explained.
15 Each Kid Has Their Own Bedtime Routine
We imagine that if must be difficult for Jennifer and Ben to maintain a consistent bedtime schedule with their kids. Even before their divorce, one of them was always away for work.
But the actress has spoken about how important tucking her kids in at night has become in their household- every kid has their own routine. “My most valuable time with the kids is bedtime— I have different books going with each of my kids and they each get their own time [with me], even if it has to be condensed!” she once told Well and Good.
Now that her oldest daughter is almost a teenager; we’re sure bedtime has changed in the Garner-Affleck household. But hopefully, each kid still gets one-on-one time with their mama.
14 She Forbids Junk Food In The House
With all the colorfully packaged junk at the grocery store, most parents have a tough time getting to their kids to eat anything considered healthy. But Jennifer doesn’t give her kids much of a choice in terms of what’s available to eat.
"I’m not worried so much about junk food, because we don’t have it in the house—although I don’t want to be a freak about it, so that they just want to get their hands on it at all costs," she told People. "It’s more that you just want to make sure they’re getting a rainbow of flavors and of foods."
"My mom always said that if the house is smelling good and everyone is hungry,” the actress continued. “Your kids will get their veggies that way by eating a bunch of raw broccoli and carrots and tomatoes.”
13 But She Still Says They’re Picky Eaters
Based on Jennifer’s comments about how she gets her kids to eat healthily, it sounds like they must eat everything on their plate. But the actress once got real with fans when she said she knows a thing or two about picky eaters.
“There are plenty of healthy foods my kids don’t like! I have typical picky eaters, for sure,” she told Well and Good. “I would say we’re in the camp of not mixing flavors and textures more than we are picky about specific foods.”
In fact, maybe her kids get it from her! “I was the pickiest kid ever when I was little, so I try to stay calm when they turn down something I know they would love—but I’m not always successful,” Jennifer continued.
11 She Considers Herself “Messy” And “Sloppy”
From the looks of her perfectly-curated social media feeds, it seems like Jennifer totally has everything together. With three kids and a great professional life, she’s definitely more successful than us! However, the celebrity was candid about how she feels extremely disorganized in her personal life.
“While I find it very kind, and I love that women who have kids relate to me, I find that I am by far the messiest, sloppiest, craziest!” she told PopSugar in 2012. “All the moms I ever see always look very put together and I just don’t get it. I don’t see how they do it! But then again, I would look that way if I didn’t have kids, too, probably.”
10 She Wants Her Kids To Have “Southern Values”
Considering they work in show business, Jen and Ben’s jobs keep them firmly planted in LA. But the actress has implied that she doesn’t want the Hollywood attitude getting to her kids. In fact, she’d prefer them to have a more Southern-inspired upbringing, like she did as a kid.
“It’s really important for my kids to see that everyone doesn’t have the lives they see in Los Angeles. That doesn’t reflect the rest of the world,” the actress told Southern Living. “I want them to grow up with the Southern values I had ― to look at people when they say hello and to stop and smell the roses. If I could do half as good a job as my mom did, I’d be pretty happy.”
9 She Relies On Her Famous Mom Friends
Any mother will tell you that having a strong support system is essential to making it through all of the craziness. Even a famous celebrity like Jen knows that she needs strong gal pals to have her back through the tough times.
“I have a couple of celebrity mom friends that I go to for certain things that only they can — only we can talk about!” she once told PopSugar. “But mostly I talk to my friends, my mom friends from Violet's school. And we just gab away like anyone. But pretty much I hang up from one mom friend and call another.”
8 She Often Says “No” To Her Kids
Jennifer is one tough cookie! While speaking to Huffington Post about her children having tantrums, the celebrity revealed she’s not afraid to use the “word” no, even if they’re having a meltdown in public.
“No is no. I said to my girls, ’What do I mean when I say no?’” Jen said, after explaining how her youngest, son Samuel, had a meltdown in a store over a toy. “And they were like, ‘She really means no!’ So you just have to do it. It’s not pretty. I don’t think that I’m always the best at it, but I try my best to be consistent and for them to know what they can expect from me.”
7 She’s Always Up At The Stroke Of Dawn
We can imagine that Jennifer is a very busy woman. And from the sounds of it, she has to carefully orchestrate her schedule to ensure she has time for everything. Just last year she told Well and Good that she’s usually up at the break of daylight.
“Because we start most days [filming] super early in the morning, even with the longer days, I make it home to read to at least one or two kids after work,” Jen said in reference to work.
“My kids are used to the strange rhythm of production,” the actress continued. “I’m either very much home and available, or I’m working a bunch and leaving notes everywhere for them to find during the day. I have great help at my house and it all works out.”
6 She Leaves Notes In Her Kids’ Lunches When She’s Away
Jennifer knows the importance of staying connected with her children, even when she’s travelling. During an interview with Us Weekly, the star once revealed thee sweet hack for letting her kids know she’s thinking of them while she’s away.
"If I leave town for work, I always leave them a note for their lunch for every day that I’m gone," she told the publication. "I was just gone last week. I’m shooting a movie in Montreal and I was gone for three days and I came home and the kids were like, 'This week’s lunch notes were really great mom!'"
5 She Wanted Her Kids To Be Dancers
Considering how talented both Jen and Ben are, we’re half-heartedly hoping one (or two) of their offspring will end up going into acting or directing. But Jennifer had other hopes for her children, which they sound like they’ve dashed.
“I danced six hours a day. My cross to bear is that my children have no interest in ballet. I think they could smell how much I wanted to put their hair in a bun,” Jennifer told Vanity Fair in 2016. The celebrity added that she always assumed she would go into dancing rather than acting, but clearly the universe had a different plan for her.
4 She’s Available 24/7 For Her Kids
Jennifer once described her life as: “I live my life at these two extremes. I’m either a full-time stay-at-home mom or a full-time actress.” The star clearly goes above and beyond for her children without sacrificing her own passions.
One of the reasons Jen’s life sounds so demanding is because of how available she makes herself to her children. She once reminded fans that they require their parent’s constant focus.
“They need you to focus, and they need your attention, and you never know when they are going to drop some nugget of insight into their brains that you have been waiting for,” the actress shared, Huffington Post reports. “It’s like when they were babies, and you knew they needed to burp, but they just wouldn’t.
3 She Only Chooses Mom-Friendly Roles Now
Jennifer definitely isn’t nearly as busy with acting as she used to be since having children, particularly since her divorce. But the roles she does end up choosing have definitely changed throughout the years. The star was said she appreciates being able to play characters who are also mothers, just like her.
“I’m really glad that I’m playing moms, because there’s no more rich time in women’s lives than when you have your babies, and when you’re trying to figure out how to parent them and balance everything, and the emotional weight of seeing your children struggle, or whatever it is,” Jennifer once said, Today reports.
1 Her Kids Are Big On Crafting
The Garner-Affleck children definitely inherited their parent’s creativity! Jennifer once told Us Weekly that her son and daughters are very big into DIY projects.
"We do a lot of crafting at our house," she explained. "I don’t even know how it got started because if you ask me, 'Are you crafty?' I would say, 'No…' but it's something that we just do."
She continued, "Today, we made the visor. We made the chef’s hat the other day, super cute, and then my oldest is ready to do things that are a little more complicated and we have things for that age, too.” The actress added that her youngest, Samuel, was into “anything with paint.”
Sources: E! News, People Magazine, Radar Online, PopSugar, Huffington Post, Well and Good, Vanity Fair, Today, Us Weekly.