Star Dad: Matthew Broderick - iVillage

An actor whose roles have ranged from rebellious high school truant in Ferris Bueller's Day Off to disturbed high school teacher in Election to mousy CPA in the Broadway show and Hollywood film The Producers must know a thing or two about creativity. So we couldn't wait to talk to Matthew Broderick, 44, at a recent luncheon sponsored by Lego on that very topic.

A little press shy, Broderick got chatty when it came to discussing his three-and-a-half-year-old son, James Wilkie. Here's what the actor, husband of Sarah Jessica Parker, had to say about avoiding overscheduling, planning a low-key birthday party and ensuring that things stay creative in the classroom.

What's the best parenting advice you've ever gotten?
I don't think I ever got any!

Father's Day is coming up. Got any special memories from the past?
The year he got me a straight razor [joking]. No, I think he's been too young to really celebrate it. This year I bet he'll do something.

How do you inspire your son and help him be creative?
I try to make as much unstructured time with him as I can. I think it's nice to let him decide what to use that time for, where it's okay if he just wants to lie there and stare at the ceiling and hum for a while.

Things have changed a lot in terms of overscheduling since you were a child.
Well, when I was a kid, we'd play sandlot '- stickball or baseball '- and there was no coaching. There was no umpire, so any argument had to be resolved with just the children. Now it's 40 parents, 30 kids and full uniforms and padding.

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