The 46-year-old actor discussed her relationship with her children during an appearance on Today with Hoda & Jenna on Tuesday. Witherspoon shares Ava, 23, and Deacon, 18, with ex-husband, Ryan Phillippe. She also shares her 10-year-old son, Tennessee, with husband Jim Toth.
During their conversation, Jenna Bush Hager described Witherspoon and Ava as “twins,” a comment that Hoda Kotb agreed with.
However, the Big Little Lies star didn’t necessarily feel the same way, responding: “You think so? You see it? [Ava] and I don’t see it that much.”
Witherspoon then opened up about raising her children, two of whom are now adults, and how she’s continued to “establish a different relationship” with each of them.
“First of all, you’re managing them a lot when they’re little and it’s very physical,” she explained. “And then it’s more emotional support. And suggestions, not telling them what to do when they get a little bit older.”
She went on to emphasise the importance of maintaining a healthy bond with her children, adding: “But you have to really nurture your adult relationship with your children too. And give them respect and space to become who they are, not who you want them to be.”
Although Witherspoon claimed that she doesn’t look like Ava, this isn’t to say that she takes issue with them being mistaken for each other. During a conversation on CBS This Morning in November 2021, the actor said she “loves” when fans mistake her for Ava because it makes her feel “young”.
“Well, I love being mistaken for her because it makes me feel so young. I’m so proud of her,” the Legally Blonde star said. “She really rolls with it. I’m sure it’s not easy looking exactly like your mother.”
Witherspoon also said that there are moments where Ava is “frustrated” by her resemblance to her mother, which has prompted the pair to have discussions about Zoë Kravitz, another actor who looks a lot like her own mother, Lisa Bonet.
“We talk to Zoë Kravitz a lot. Because she and her mother [Lisa Bonet] look exactly alike, so whenever Ava is frustrated, I go: ‘Call Zoë, text Zoë, she knows what to talk about,’” she said. “I mean, that’s another mother-daughter combo that’s like identical twins.”
In January, Ava took to her Instagram Story to open up about her family’s fame after being asked if she thought her life “would’ve been different if [her] parents weren’t celebrities”. She said “yes, very,” but that she “wouldn’t change a thing” about having famous parents.
“The good and the not so good all made me who I am and gave me so many amazing opportunities,” she wrote.
Last month, The Morning Show star also celebrated her daughter’s birthday on Instagram with a sweet tribute, writing: “Every day that I get to watch you become the most amazing woman is such a gift. Your gigantic heart, generous spirit, and endless creativity inspire me every day. I love you so much.”