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Jennifer Garner explains why her parenting philosophy involves ‘a little bit of benign neglect’

“I’m not trying to live their life, and I don’t mind that they see that I love mine.” 
/ Source: TODAY

Jennifer Garner says she avoids helicopter-parenting her three children.

“I don’t know that I have some overarching philosophy,” Garner, 51, told TODAY’s Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on Nov. 28. “I just think they’re such cool people and I want to hear everything, and I want to be around. But I also think it’s OK if they suffer from a little bit of benign neglect.”

“Their lives are their own,” she continued. "I’m not trying to live their life, and I don’t mind that they see that I love mine.” 

The actor shares Violet, 17, Seraphina, 14, and Samuel, 11, with ex-husband Ben Affleck.

Garner also inadvertently offered another piece of mom wisdom while discussing her “Pretend Cooking Show,” a regular series she hosts on Instagram. 

“Are you good at baking?” Jenna asked.

“Fair question,” a laughing Garner replied. “I’m game for baking — and I don’t mind mistakes. They usually still taste delicious and I don’t want to let a mistake get in the way of me wanting to try something new.”

Hoda, who is mom of daughters Haley, 6, and Hope, 4, noted that you can apply that same idea to raising children. 

“I feel like one of my children, like, if something goes wrong, she wants to throw the paper away and get rid of (it),” Hoda said.

Garner was on TODAY promoting her new comedy “Family Switch,” which will be available to stream on Netflix starting Nov. 30.

“I showed it to my son’s class and the kids were laughing, laughing, laughing,” she said, quickly adding, “My son was mortified.”

Garner has been posting on social media about the film, but don’t expect to see any comments from her kids. Violet, Seraphina and Samuel are not on social media, though her eldest turns 18 on Dec. 1, and will legally be an adult.

“I have an 18 year old coming up … I really feel like who knows what my kids are online? I do not judge,” Garner explained. “They are not on TikTok or Instagram or Facebook or anything like that, and I’ll call that a win. Who knows, that could change. You never know." 

During an appearance on TODAY earlier this year, Garner said that Violet was "grateful" to not be on social media. As for the other two?

“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,’” Garner said. “Find scientific evidence that matches what I have that says that it’s not good for teenagers, then we’ll chat.”