Jennifer Garner just shared her super strict approach to social media when it comes to her kids.
In case you didn’t know, Jennifer shares three children with Ben Affleck, whom she was married to for 10 years between 2005 and 2015.
The couple are parents to daughters Violet, 17, and Seraphina, 14, as well as an 11-year-old son, Samuel.
As far as celebrity kids go, we don’t know all that much about the Affleck-Garner trio, and it sounds like Jennifer and Ben definitely prefer it that way.
During an interview with Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on Tuesday’s episode of Today, Jennifer opened up about putting precautions in place to protect her kids’ well-being and privacy. Namely, they're not allowed to have social media.
Talking more generally about raising teenagers, Jen gushed about her kids and described them as “pretty great,” which prompted the hosts to ask about how she’s managed to distance them from social media.
“How do you do it without them hating you?” Hoda asked.
Jennifer explained that she challenged her kids to prove to her that having social media would be beneficial to their well-being.
“I just said to my kids, ‘Show me the articles that prove that social media is good for teenagers, and then we'll have the conversation,’” she said. “Find scientific evidence that matches what I have that says that it’s not good for teenagers, then we’ll chat.”
When asked how her kids feel about this policy, Jennifer revealed that it’s so good so far.
“My eldest is grateful,” she said of Violet, admitting that things are subject to change. “We'll see. I mean, it's a long haul. I have a couple more to go, so just knock on wood. We’ll see if I really hang in there.”
This isn’t the first time that Jennifer has expressed apprehension about the negative effects of social media on kids. During an interview with Katie Couric in 2019, she said social media was a “huge problem” at Violet’s school.
“Without even having parents who are well known, I worry about all kids having to deal with this new pressure,” she said at the time.
The 13 Going on 30 star explained that a then-14-year-old Violet was interested in the idea of creating an Instagram account, admitting that she could see the appeal because “it’s something kind of fun that I do.”
“I just say, ‘When you can show me studies that say that teenage girls are happier using Instagram than not, then we can have the conversation,’” she said at the time, echoing the same stance she holds today. “‘But everything you look at, I don’t see anything positive for you out there.’”
For his part, Ben seems to have a similar attitude toward his kids’ online presence, or lack thereof.
Speaking with the LA Times last year, the actor admitted he didn’t pay much attention to the public’s perception of him until he realized that his kids were getting old enough to see the comments for themselves.
“I got to a place where [the public perception] was so different from who I am that I just stopped reading and stopped caring,” he said. “But then, as my kids got older and started seeing the internet themselves, that’s the difficult part.”
Ben went on to explain that the idea of his kids consuming content online totally changed the way he feels about the many memes he’s inspired over the years.
“Even the ‘Sad Affleck’ meme — that was funny to me. I mean, there's nobody who hasn't felt that way at a junket. But then my kids see it and I think, ‘Oh, are they going to think their dad is fundamentally sad or they have to worry about me?’ That's really tough,” he said at the time.