Mila Kunis has been winning over a lot of hearts lately with her real-talk on parenting.
The Bad Moms star and mom of 22-month-old Wyatt is currently pregnant with her second child with husband Ashton Kutcher. While doing press for the box office hit, Kunis appeared on the Sydney, Australia-based radio podcast The Kyle and Jackie O Show to explain how she and Kutcher plan to raise children without a sense of entitlement — even if they do live in Hollywood.
“The one topic of conversation we had even prior to ever having kids was always, ‘How do you raise a child to not be an a——?’ ” says Kunis. “It’s so important because we both came from pretty solid poverty backgrounds and grew up very poor and are very much self-made and are very aware of what a dollar is worth. Nothing’s been handed to us.”
Kunis was born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine and immigrated with her family to Los Angeles when she was 7. Her family came to the United States with only $250 and her parents — who had been successful in their home country — gave up professional careers to restart their lives in a place, they felt, would give their children a better future. Her father, a former mechanical engineer, became a cab driver and her mother, who taught physics, eventually went on to run a pharmacy. Kunis told Kyle and Jackie O that in the beginning, she would have “ketchup soup for dinner” — a reality she knows her children will likely never face.
She continued to explain how she and Kutcher plan to combat the sense of easy entitlement that children in Hollywood often are born with by saying that no matter what, they will never be “what’s mine is yours” parents.
“It’s a matter of teaching them from a very early age that, you know, ‘Mommy and Daddy may have a dollar, but you’re poor,’” she jokes. ”‘You are very poor, you have nothing. Mommy and Daddy have a bank account.’”
For this, I commend Kunis.
Growing up, I never had an allowance. You were expected to do chores and help mom because, well, that’s what you did. As my parents would have said, no one pays them to do the dishes. I would make my birthday and Christmas money stretch out through the year if I wanted small things and by the time I was 10 years old, I was a “mother’s helper” for my neighbor with three kids. By the time I was 14, I was watching them alone and cleaning her house for the bargain price of $10/hour — while also working at my mom’s store three days a week.
Looking back, it was questionable the amount I worked at that age. But it instilled in me an important lesson: when no one hands you anything, you need to work for it yourself.
Which is a lesson it seems like the Kutcher kids will be learning as well — despite the silver spoon they could have very easily been born holding.