Blake Lively And Ryan Reynolds' Trick For Talking To Their Daughters Is One We Can All Learn From

"We’re all born feeling perfect until somebody tells us we’re not."

Ryan Reynold's hilarious parentings tweets, which he sometimes runs by wife Blake Lively, deserve all the shares they get, but so does the simple parenting trick the couple implemented in their household. In an interview with Glamour for its upcoming September issue, Lively revealed that she and Reynolds have adjusted the way they speak to their daughters, James and Ines Reynolds, to help them feel empowered.

Both Lively and Reynolds have made a conscious effort to be more conscious of language around their girls. "My husband was like, 'Why do I always say he?' And I said, 'That's what we're taught.' So he'll pick up, like a caterpillar, and instead of saying, 'What's his name?' he'll say, 'What's her name?'" Lively said. 


When Lively is reading a script, she notes how stigma surrounding women affects the way they're written. "I'm more conscious of language too," she said. "I was reading a script, and this woman, who's very tough, did something where she took control of her life. And so she's sitting, gripping the wheel, 'a look of empowerment on her face.' And I thought, Hmm, they don't point that out about men: 'Look how empowered he is.' It's just innate." 

Lively and Reynolds also try to be careful about perpetuating sexist stigmas when it comes to talking about their girls. 

"We've joked that my daughter is bossy. But my husband said, 'I don't ever want to use that word again. You've never heard a man called bossy.' There would never be any negative connotation for a man being a boss, so to add a negative connotation on a woman being bossy? It's belittling," Lively said. "And it doesn't encourage them to be a boss." 

The way we speak to children matters. Studies have shown that kids develop gender-based prejudices from early childhood onwards and kids' performance on a particular task is impaired when told the opposite gender is more successful at the same task. By making an effort to fight the gender imbalance in children's literature, using empowering language to lift a girl up, and asking her about her interests instead of commenting on how cute she is can go a long way. 

"Sarah Silverman does a great bit that I'm going to butcher: 'Stop telling little girls that they can do anything. They already believe they can do anything. It opens the door for questions ....' We're all born feeling perfect until somebody tells us we're not. So there's nothing I can teach my daughter [James]. She already has all of it. The only thing I can do is protect what she already feels," Lively said. 

"Do I know how to be the best parent for a daughter? No, I have no idea," Lively said. "All I can do is share what I'm thinking —and learn from others." 

Well, we'd wager parents will learn a thing or two from her too. 

Cover image via Kathy Hutchins /


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