Matthew McConaughey opens up about 'tough love' as a parent

Camila Alves, left, and Matthew McConaughey at the Oscars on Sunday, March 4, 2018/ (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Camila Alves, left, and Matthew McConaughey at the Oscars on Sunday, March 4, 2018/ (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) 

Matthew McConaughey has given a rare insight into how he raises his kids - and the importance of tough love.

The actor opened up in an interview with Town & Country magazine about parenthood with his wife Camila Alves McConaughey and life with their three children: Vida, 10, Livingston, seven, and Levi, almost 12.

The 50-year-old actor says that "sometimes loving your kids means giving them just what they want", while other times it means "tough love."

"Affluent people can give their kids everything they want, but they're not usually going to get what they need," he says. "Loving a child is a lot harder if you really give a damn. 'No' takes a lot more energy. It's a lot easier to say 'yes.'"


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The Oscar winner said he and Camila draw a lot on their own experiences of growing up when raising their kids, although his wife think he is more of a 'softie'.

"From the snicker that my wife's giving me [when asked who says 'no' more] it seems that I'm more consistently the yes guy" he told Town & Country, admitting "she's probably right."

The couple also talked about the work they're doing for their foundation, 'Just Keep Livin', which according to their website is "dedicated to empowering high school students by providing them with the tools to lead active lives and make healthy choices for a better future."

When asked about the organisation's objective, McConaughey admitted, "I always knew I wanted it to be kids, because I wanted the entire foundation to provide prevention before we needed a cure."


the root of the family - mommas - ⁠ @camilamcconaughey #happymothersday

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The idea for the foundation came after the death of McConaughey's father in 1992, where he said the "'just keep livin' approach helped him navigate through the good times and bad times, stay true to his ideals, and make the best out of this adventure we call life".

McConaughey talked about his desire to have more children at the History channel's HISTORYTalks in New York City in March, although admits his wife wasn't as keen.

"I'd like to have eight more kids, but my wife [is] not on the same page," he laughed.

"I understand that. It's a lot easier for us [men]" he said, before continuing to say he said he thinks the think he can do 'most honourably' is "having three autonomous, conscientious, confident children", calling his children "his living legacy".