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We all have that moment when it happens -- when the words come out of our mouths as parents and we wish we could pull them back, the moment we know we officially have become our mom or dad.
“You fight against it, and I think earlier in my life, like when I was in my teens, my 20s, I thought, ‘If I have kids, I’ll never say that to my kids,” said the Golden Globe-winning actor and comedian during a wide-ranging interview in Hollywood connected to his Guest Editor role. “And you do. You find yourself saying things like, ‘Don’t make me come back there. I will turn this car around right now,” he said with a laugh. “That doesn’t scare kids but you think it does.”
Hear some of the other ways Steve says he's just like his dad -- think grunts and groans!
While he may wish he wasn’t uttering some of those same phrases his dad used when he was a kid, he is thankful to have his father’s No. 1 piece of advice about being a parent: listen. “Before my first date ever, he said, ‘Listen and ask questions. Don’t talk about yourself. Just find out about her, and at the end of the night, even if you’ve said nothing about who you are, she will think you are the most interesting person she’s ever met.”
Indeed! So we wondered if Steve puts that great advice to practice with his kids? “No, not with my kids. No, it doesn’t work,” he said with a laugh ... but we knew he was kidding.
“Taking an interest, I think, is different than just asking questions,” he said. “You can say, ‘How was your day?’ and a kid will always say the same thing. ‘Fine.’ ‘What did you do in school today?,” he said. “You never get anything ... you have to express an interest, you have to be invested in what they’re doing.”
Steve said his wife, Nancy, who is a comedian and writer (they met doing improv in Chicago) spends a lot of time at their kids’ school, and Steve’s on the school’s board. “So we try to be invested in their learning as well,” he said. “And not spying or eavesdropping. We want them to have their lives but we take it very seriously, what they’re doing and what they’re learning and how they’re learning it.”
Want to hear more about this adorable dad? Of course you do! Stick around all week as our iVillage Guest Editor reveals who's the disciplinarian in the Carell household, whether his kids are on Instagram, and why Ryan Gosling wishes Steve were his dad!