Jodie Sweetin is focused on making strong-minded young women.
The 39-year-old Full House star recently appeared on the Allison Interviews podcast hosted by journalist Allison Kugel and admitted that she is raising her daughters to be feminists.
“My girls have good boundaries; they stand up for themselves and speak their minds,” Sweetin explained. “Particularly my older one, she has always been that kid that would say, ‘I don’t like that.’ Not necessarily in a bratty way, but like, ‘Nope, I’m not doing this.’ I didn’t get those skills until I was in my 30s. I’m just so proud of how they stand up for themselves and say, ‘This is who I am, and this is what I like.’”
Sweetin, who shares Zoie, 13, with ex-husband Morty Coyle and Beatrix, 11, with ex-husband Cody Herpin, said that her generation learned from their mothers not to speak up for themselves and be polite, which delayed her ability to create boundaries, something she did not want for her own daughters.
“Not until my mid to late 30s did I say, ‘Wait, I get to have boundaries? I get to say what I don’t like? I don’t have to hang out with people I don’t want to, or go on a date with somebody because I don’t want to make them feel bad? I don’t have to do any of that? Oh wow, what a gift.’ My daughters … are so wonderfully expressive in who they are. I give them the freedom to be that,” said Sweetin.
Boundaries are especially important being kids born into the spotlight. Sweetin, who has been acting since she was 3 years old, notes that paparazzi should respect requests not to take photos of children, who had no say so about having famous parents.
“I think there is almost more of a shock when it happens to you a little later in life, when you’ve spent your entire life being normal, and now you’re like, ‘What the hell is this?’” she explained. “When you grow up with it, it’s just par for the course. I was attacked as a kid in the tabloids. I can’t stand tabloid magazines or even social media these days. I think anyone who goes after these kids, whether it’s how they dress, or how someone is parenting them when they are out in public, leave them alone. That just happens to be their parents. They didn’t ask to be given all this attention. Back off or respect when the parents say, ‘Please don’t photograph my kid. Don’t put pictures of them in magazines.’ People should respect that.”
During the interview, Sweetin also opened up about her past struggles with addiction and sobriety, and how she deals with her anxiety.
“How do I manage my own head that is just loud and negative and awful to me sometimes, but nobody else can hear it? You’re stuck in it. The thing about anxiety is, people think of panic attacks, but there can be a raging screaming voice in your head all the time that you just can’t get quiet. You just don’t want to listen to this voice, and especially when mental health wasn’t talked about, it’s worse. Having that wiring in your brain, something switches on when you’re an alcoholic. It feels like there is never enough. I can’t ever fill this hole because there is a bottom missing in the cup, and I just keep trying to fill it. I think that is something I’m really grateful for now, is the destigmatization of talking about mental health.
“That was my whole journey through sobriety. A lot of it is really looking at yourself and what are the things that I do, or behaviors that I’m trying to use to cope with my life? How do I do this better? How do I interact with people better? How do I hold myself to a higher standard? How do I go back and make some of those things right so that I can alleviate that shame and terror that comes with all of it? Then, how do I go about life, not creating those situations for myself in the future? That is a huge part of it. I’m always very honest that, for me, medication has been key. Otherwise my struggle was so bad I wasn’t getting out of bed. Now that I know when I need to speak up for myself, even into my thirties, feeling like I needed some therapy and I probably need a psychiatrist for some meds, and all of these things to start taking care of myself.”