Matthew McConaughey stood in front of the Dolby Theatre in 2014, having accepted his Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club, and shared the three things that he needs every day. Someone to look up to – God, something to look forward to – family, and someone to chase – a hero and better version of himself.
In the speech he spoke of his father teaching him what it means to be a man, his mother who demanded he respect himself and in turn, respect others and the desire to make his family the proud. Since his journey of fatherhood began, Matthew McConaughey has ensured his work and personal life remain separate, keeping his family out of the spotlight. Along the way, he has revealed he always wanted to be a father, and most recently, his own parenting philosophy.
“Never is a man more of a man than when he is the father of a newborn,” he said, adding that fatherhood has made him instinctively know what’s important and has made him “more compassionate”, he told multiple news outlets. “It’s the one thing I’ve always wanted to be. I knew when I was 8 years old. I mean, I wanted to be things like the Washington Redskins running back and all that stuff, but the one thing I knew I wanted to be was a father.”
During an interview for his new film, White Boy Rick, in which he plays Rick’s father, Matthew McConaughey spoke of the importance of children understanding things like personal responsibility and accountability.
When talking about himself as a dad, McConaughey explained, “I’m a fan of discipline, I’m a fan of responsibility and I’m a fan of consequences to prepare [my kids] for when they’re out of our house at 18. Because [in] the real world, you can do the same deed and it doesn’t just give you a demerit, you can end up in jail or worse.”
“Trying to be your child’s best friend isn’t the best approach to parenting.”
The 48-year-old actor is currently raising three kids, Levi, 10, Vida,8½ and Livingston, 10, with his wife Camila Alves. While he goes onto speak about the family’s Friday no-curfew night tradition, his approach to parenting, specifically discipline, is refreshing to hear from one of the world’s most famous people, who appears adamant on ensuring his kids realise their actions have consequences.