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'Let them know they can topple the king': How one dad raises bold girls

You want your kids to feel they can challenge authority... but at the same time, YOU are the authority. It's a delicate balance.
/ Source: TODAY

The actor Mark Duplass has a bold strategy for raising empowered daughters.

"The challenge for me as a parent of two girls is to establish enough structure in the house so that things don't go haywire... but at the same time, as a dominant male figure in their life, let them know they can topple the king," Duplass, who plays Charlize Theron's brother in the movie "Tully," told TODAY Parents.

Duplass was answering a question from the TODAY Parenting Team: What has been your toughest challenge as a parent? The TODAY Parenting Team is open to everyone, so you can sign up and contribute your own answer here (and also be included in lots of sweet TODAY Parenting Team offers and exclusives — because parenting is hard, and we all deserve a treat from time to time).

As the father of two girls, Duplass said he knows he needs to establish structure in the house but he also wants his girls to know they can challenge him (and by extension, other male authority figures), and that they could win.

"It's trying to find the balance of making them feel smart and worthy of taking me down, so that when the go in the workplace they know that they can do that, but also not always doing that so our house is not a carnival," he said.

In "Tully," Duplass plays Theron's wealthy brother who offers to pay for a night nurse to help out as her third child arrives. The movie has been praised — and has also received some criticism — for its raw portrayal of new motherhood. (Disclosure: NBC Universal is the parent company of TODAY, the TODAY Parenting Team and Focus Features.)

Duplass is a director, producer and actor who starred in the FX series "The League" as well as the movies "Creep," "The One I Love" and "Safety Not Guaranteed."

Ron Livingston, who co-stars as Charlize Theron's generally well-meaning but clueless husband in "Tully," teamed up with Duplass to share his toughest parenting moment. As a father of two, he said it's always hard when siblings fight, and as a parent you've got to comfort one while disciplining the other. Livingston also invited parents to share their own challenges on the TODAY Parenting Team.

"And if it's not challenging for you," Duplass quipped, "we don't want to hear from you because we're jealous."