Violet Affleck and Jennifer Garner at the White House wearing black dresses

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Jennifer Garner may be one of Hollywood’s most prolific actresses, but her top priority is her family. The 13 Going on 30 star, 51, shares her three kids, Violet, 18, Seraphina, 15, and Samuel, 11, with her ex-husband Ben Affleck. During a new interview, Jennifer opened up about how it’s sometimes “hard” for her to allow her kids to make their own choices.

“I mean, my parents did too, and I’m so amazed by that. I have a really hard time not saying, ‘This is what I see you as,’ and ‘I think you should,’ ” she told PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “I really have to sit on my hands.”

The Last Thing He Told Me actress also gushed over how proud she is of her growing kids.

“I’m just watching them in this new phase of life where they’re figuring out who they’re going to be and what they’re going to study. And I’m so interested in them,” she said, adding, “All the time, I’m interested in everything about them.”

Violet is preparing to go to college, and Jennifer couldn’t help but credit her eldest daughter during a separate November 2023 interview. During an appearance on Live With Kelly and Mark at the time, the mom of three praised her daughter for how she’s handled the stress of college prep.

“The excitement and stress go hand-in-hand,” Jennifer acknowledged. “[Violet’s] handling it like a champ and she’s totally in charge. She’s a self starter. … I’m proud of her no matter what.”

Jennifer and Ben’s kids acclimated themselves to new lifestyles after their parents moved on with their respective partners. Jennifer is now dating John Miller, and Ben, 51, is married to Jennifer Lopez. Since divorcing in 2018, the Catch Me If You Can actress and the Tender Bar actor have maintained an amicable co-parenting relationship.

The Affleck kids have been spotted hanging out with both their mother and their stepmom. Not only that, but they’ve become close with J. Lo’s children, Max and Emme, whom the pop star shares with her ex-husband Marc Anthony. From simple shopping trips to worldwide travels, Violet, Seraphina and Samuel have adjusted to the blended family lifestyle well.

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