Jessica Alba is all about making sure that she and her daughters keep an open line of communication. Alba, who shares daughters Honor, 14, and Haven, 10, along with son Hayes, 4, with husband Cash Warren, has previously been candid about how she’s gone to therapy with her eldest daughter. Alba revealed that her younger daughter Haven is now a part of these sessions as well.
“I went with both of them. And around puberty is when it’s the time I think, for me, with my girls,” she explained in an interview with Glamour UK. “That’s when they started to sort of shut down and get really like, ‘I don’t want to talk any more.’ And I’m like, ‘We’re not doing this. We’ve got to keep a line of communication here. How can I be a better parent to you? How do you want me to talk to you? Don’t shut me out.'”
Alba went on to explain how having a therapist allows her girls to express their feelings in a judgment-free environment. “[A therapist has] no relation to you so they can be really objective and you create a safe space for your kid to really candidly tell you what’s not working about your parenting,” she explained.
And to be clear, Alba knows she is far from perfect. “I’m not going to know all the answers, but I want to be a great parent to you. And what you like and don’t is different from what your sister likes and doesn’t like. And I’m going to make mistakes,” Alba recalled explaining therapy to her girls. She made it clear that therapy sessions are meant to be a place for productive dialogue for both parent and child.
“Here’s a safe space, you can’t get in trouble – l let me know what I’m doing wrong, or what you would like me to do differently. Or how do you want me to discipline you when you do screw up? What does that look like for you? And how would you want to be treated so you can still feel like you have your dignity intact?’”
Last year, the Honest Company founder revealed that she and Honor had been going to therapy sessions to work on their communication.
“Like my 13-year-old, I’m struggling with not treating her like a little [kid]— I want to treat them all like babies. I want to baby them. Still, my tendency is to parent them as if they are little,” Alba said during an episode of Katherine Schwarznegger Pratt’s Instagram series Before, During & After Baby.
“For me it was really out of, I felt like my relationship really suffered with my parents because they didn’t know how to communicate with me and how I needed to be parented. So I didn’t want that breakdown with Honor so we went to therapy together.”
Thanks to therapy, Alba said that Honor “felt empowered to find her voice.”
“Just having compassion and empathy around someone else is reality, right?” Alba said in an interview with PEOPLE at the time. “And being able to have context and see either lens, I think that’s something that you could always work on as a person.”
Hard agree there, Jess.