• Ideas

Angelina Jolie: Your Kids Don’t Want You to Be Perfect. They Just Want You to Be Honest

3 minute read
Jolie, a TIME contributing editor, is an Academy Award–winning actor and humanitarian

TIME contributing editor Angelina Jolie guest-edited a special edition of TIME’s Parents newsletter. Sign up to read it and get weekly parenting tips and links.

Dear Parents,

I am thinking of you. I am imagining how hard each of you is trying to get through your days. How much you want to lead your loved ones through this. How you worry. How you plan. How you smile for them, when inside you feel at times you are breaking.

I was not a very stable youth. In fact, I never thought I could be anyone’s mom. I remember the decision to become a parent. It wasn’t hard to love. It wasn’t hard to dedicate myself to someone and something greater than my life. What was hard was knowing that from now on I needed to be the one to make sure everything was okay. To manage it and make it work. From food to school to medical. Whatever would come. And to be patient.

I realized I stopped my constant daydreaming, instead staying always ready for any break into what I was doing or thinking to answer a need. It was a new skill to acquire.

So now, in the midst of this pandemic, I think of all the mothers and fathers with children at home. All hoping they can do everything right, answer all needs, and stay calm and positive.

One thing that has helped me is to know that’s impossible.

It is a lovely thing to discover that your children don’t want you perfect. They just want you honest. And doing your best. In fact, the more room they have to be great where you are weak, the stronger they may become. They love you. They want to help you. So in the end, it’s the team you build. And in a way, they are raising you up too. You grow together.


U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres has warned that the coronavirus pandemic is a “human crisis that is fast becoming a human rights crisis.”

Earlier in April, I took a look at how the secondary impacts of the Coronavirus crisis are putting kids around the world at risk.

How will the coronavirus pandemic affect the Syrian refugee crisis?

In refugee camps, social distancing isn’t possible, and there’s often little capacity for intensive medical care.

The French artist JR, who had the coronavirus and has recovered, reflects on the meaning of art during this pandemic.

In this piece, the Dalai Lama writes about why it’s important to have compassion while battling the coronavirus.

Lockdowns to slow the spread of COVID-19 are leaving domestic violence victims, the vast majority of them women and children, trapped at home with their abusers.

In November, I interviewed professor Geraldine Van Bueren, one of the drafters of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. When the convention was adopted, 30 years ago, it created a distinction that is vital to the millions of children who live with conflict, poverty, violence, and abuse.

These TIME for Kids stories show children what it’s like to live and go to school in a refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya, and Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh.

For those looking for ways to donate their time or money, here’s a list of charities and causes worth attention.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary on events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of TIME editors.