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Being a parent may be tough, but Kevin Hart’s relationship with his daughter sounds pretty ideal. And it’s thanks in part to his approach to parenting.
While at the Rally HealthFest in San Francisco, Hart talked with E! News correspondent Maria Menounos about his 12-year-old daughter, Heaven, and her plans for an upcoming soccer-themed party.
“I’m the goalie — the kids are just kicking the balls at me,” said Hart, who’s also dad to 9-year-old son Hendrix. “‘OK, Daddy, we just need you to catch ’em. Can you do that for us?’ If that’s what you need me to do, baby, I’ll catch the balls.”
It’s clear that Hart, 37, and his daughter have a special relationship — and not just because of how devoted he is to her. He also shared with Menounos that she talks with him about boys, much to his chagrin.
“She actually talks to me, which makes me mad,” he confessed. “But I can’t let her know that, because she’s comfortable with telling me, ‘Dad, I think I like this guy … this little boy, he’s nice and he makes me laugh,’ I’m like, ‘Oh, cool. As long as you talk to Daddy, and if you need anything, I’m here. Just be kids — don’t do anything you’re not supposed to.’”
Mimicking her voice, Hart continued, “‘I know, Daddy, I already know. I just want you to know because I always want to tell you stuff.’ And I go, ‘Oh, goodness, here it comes.’”
Being a father to a daughter isn’t easy, and even Hart admits he’s a novice at dealing with daughter-related issues. But he has a healthy attitude about it. As he puts it, “I mean, this is my heart, so I don’t want to prohibit things, but she’s a child, so I want to make sure she understands the parameters of what she can and can’t do.
“We’re living in different times, so the way that you could prohibit things back in the day … it’s different now,” Hart said. “The Internet gives kids access to anything and everything, so I think that friendship is extremely important, and communication is extremely important. That’s what me and my daughter have. And I love that.”
But his wisdom doesn’t end there. Hart doesn’t look just at his relationship with his daughter, he also pays attention to the relationship he has with himself as a parent.
“I love being the realness within the parenting room,” he said. “I mean, a lot of people love to get mad at kids for things and forget that they did the same thing as kids. There’s a stage everybody goes through where they start telling lies, and then they realize, ‘Oh, wait, this is bad.’ There’s a stage you go through where you’re trying to be sneaky. There’s a stage you go through where you think you know everything your parents don’t. These happen all the time. I mean, these are the different levels that a kid has to go through to understand what it means to be an adult. So when you blur those lines and you forget that you once did those same things and you expect perfection out of a child, you’re just not being fair.”
So how does Hart deal with his kids acting out or doing bad things? Simple: He laughs.
“I laugh at a lot at stuff first, and then I give my dad speech,” he revealed. “Like, I remember when I did that. Nine times out of 10. But you don’t laugh when they’re around! Laugh with the adults, and then talk about it with your kids. Give them the breakdown of it, but also be human. I love to show them that I’m human. ‘Look, your dad did the same dumb stuff. I’m not perfect, but I want you to be better than me.’ I mean, you can be, because now I have the knowledge to tell you what’s smart and what’s not smart. Take that information and use it the correct way.”
If for some oddball reason the comedy thing doesn’t work out for him, Hart could have a stellar backup career as a parenting coach.
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