8 Splendid Parenting Quotes From Tom Hanks

The actor has four adult children -- Colin, Elizabeth, Chet and Truman.
Hanks is the father of three sons and a daughter.
Stephane Cardinale - Corbis via Getty Images
Hanks is the father of three sons and a daughter.

Tom Hanks is often referred to as “America’s Dad.” But he is also “dad” to four adult children.

The actor has two sons, Truman and Chet, with his wife, Rita Wilson ― as well as a son, Colin, and daughter, Elizabeth, from his first marriage to Samantha Lewes. In honor of his 63rd birthday we’ve rounded up eight parenting quotes from Hanks’ interviews over the years. Enjoy!

On The Reality Of Parenting

“It’s like being caffeine-deprived for 18 years.”

On Supporting His Son Through His Addiction Battle

“As a parent, you love your kids unconditionally. You support them every step of the way ... You got to applaud the bravery and honesty when it actually comes out of your own house.”

On Privacy

“No journalist has ever been in my house and no photographs have ever been taken of where I live. I don’t parade my family out for display, which is the way it will stay.”

On Keeping His Kids Grounded

“I also hope my kids understand that they’re not operating in a normal world. And yet there are principles they have to adhere to that are normal ― like decency, choosing between right and wrong, and honesty. That’s important stuff, whether you’re flying first-class or not. People ask me all the time, ‘What kind of father are you?’ I won’t know until my kids are grown. I am ludicrously proud of my one son who is an adult, Colin ― he is an actor who’s out there doing stuff. He astounds me: He is a gentleman and a professional who is pursuing something difficult. Yet the only thing he has ever asked me for is advice ― never favors. He has just said, ‘What do you think I should do, Dad?’ It’s extraordinary to me that my son would listen to and have faith in whatever wisdom I can offer.”

On Providing Space

“I get along with each [of my children] completely differently, and every relationship I have is a whole and complete one. But I know absolutely for certain that they need other people in their lives to come and stir them along.”

On His “Family Man” Life

“Honestly, I married into a classic old-world family structure in which people like to spend time with each other and construct their lives so they can. That hadn’t been part of my existence up till then. And you know what? In the 13 years Rita and I have been married, I’ve discovered there’s no substitute for that. There’s such an advantage to being involved in the day-to-day details of each other’s lives. It’s a marvelous fabric to exist in.”

On Parenting Hopes

“The challenge now is how Rita and I will rear our children, who do have everything. All that most parents hope is that their children are happy, funny, well adjusted, and have a passion for something in their lives. What would negate everything is if the next generation that we’re responsible for has a passionless existence. And that’s cause for occasional sleepless nights.”

On Having Four Kids

“Every excursion is an adventure.”

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