Jessica Alba has spoken candidly about her decision to attend therapy with her two young daughters and revealed that it allows a safe space for her children to tell her “what’s not working about [her] parenting”.
The Honest Company founder, 41, who shares children Honor, 14, Haven, 10, and Hayes, four, with husband Cash Warren, opened up about the ways therapy helps her ensure she is parenting successfully in a new interview with Glamour UK.
Alba, who previously revealed that she attended mother-daughter therapy with her oldest daughter, says she now goes to therapy with both Honor and Haven. She claims she realised around the time they reached puberty that they were starting to “shut down” and stop talking about their feelings.
“I went with both of them. And around puberty is when it’s the time I think, for me, with my girls. That’s when they started to sort of shut down and get really like: ‘I don’t want to talk any more.’ And I’m like: ‘We’re not doing this. We’ve got to keep a line of communication here. How can I be a better parent to you? How do you want me to talk to you? Don’t shut me out,’” Alba said.
As for the impact therapy has had on her relationship with her daughters, the Fantastic Four star said it’s been useful because it allows her children to tell her what they need from her by allowing them to speak freely with an objective third-party.
“[The therapist has] no relation to you so they can be really objective and you create a safe space for your kid to really candidly tell you what’s not working about your parenting,” Alba explained.
The mother of three also shared some of the conversations they cover in therapy, including how she asks her daughters to weigh in on her parenting, share their likes and dislikes, and for insight into how they want to be disciplined.
“I was like: ‘Look, I’m not perfect. I’m not going to know all the answers, but I want to be a great parent to you. And what you like and don’t is different from what your sister likes and doesn’t like. And I’m going to make mistakes. Here’s a safe space, you can’t get in trouble – let me know what I’m doing wrong, or what you would like me to do differently. Or how do you want me to discipline you when you do screw up? What does that look like for you? And how would you want to be treated so you can still feel like you have your dignity intact?’” Alba revealed.
Alba’s comments come after spoke on an episode of Katherine Schwarzenegger’s Instagram series Before, During & After Baby in 2021. During that conversation, she shared that she first began going to therapy with her eldest daughter because she wanted Honor’s childhood to differ from her own, where children only spoke “when they’re spoken to”.
Alba said it was important for her to raise her children in a way that they feel “seen and heard as individuals”.
At the time, the actor also shared some of the things she’d learned from her daughter during the sessions — including that Honor wanted to spend more time with her mother without her siblings.
“[She] was like: ‘You need to spend more time with me alone without Haven around.’ That was a big one,” Alba said.