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Ben Affleck on the 'special connection' he shares with Jennifer Garner

'We’re the only two people in the world who care this much about these three kids'
by Donna Freydkin / / Source: TODAY

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While Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner's romance is over, Affleck says they still share "a special connection" through their three children together.

“You have to be on the same page. You have to cooperate," says Affleck, who reprises his role of Batman in "Justice League," out now. "If you recognize that you both have the best interest of the kids at heart, it’s quite a special connection. We’re the only two people in the world who care this much about these three kids. We don’t always agree. I tend to be more permissive about video games, for example. I played video games when I was kid.”

Affleck, the father of Violet, 11, Seraphina, 8, and Samuel, 5, tells TODAY.com he's a more laid-back about some things than their mother.

“My daughter is demanding a phone and she’s 11. Jen is not as supportive as I am of the phone. I feel like she should have it to be able to call or whatever,” says Affleck. “She goes to her friend’s house and they have less computer supervision over there so she reads stuff. There’s only so much you can do to staunch the flow of information. It’s better to help them contextualize it.”

Affleck says he and Garner keep a “tight leash” on what his kids see and do when they’re online. Meaning, they pay attention and monitor all activity.

“I don’t allow my oldest daughter to get on Instagram or Facebook. Or any of those. I do protect them from trolls by not letting them read it. If we want to show them something, we specifically show them,” he says.

His kids know that much of what’s out there isn’t exactly accurate and if something is particularly egregious, they discuss it with the children. “Kids are pretty resilient. Once you explain it to them, they’re pretty cool about it. She rolls her eyes,” he says of Violet. “It’s a pretty good lesson. Kids are mean in grade school. The Internet is quite a bit like sixth grade. Can you believe it?”

Still, the little Afflecks aren’t totally jaded. At least one of them is impressed that dad is Batman. “My son understands that I play Batman in movies. The girls, no matter what I do, they roll their eyes. They’re impressed with Gal (Gadot). They think it’s cool that I know Wonder Woman. They’re impressed with Taylor Swift,” he says.

Affleck is dating “Saturday Night Live” producer Lindsay Shookus, who stopped by his interview. He says there’s no major secret to successful coparenting with Garner — it’s about putting their kids first.

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