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Mark Wahlberg on Dad Life: “Actions obviously speak louder than words”

Jenny CooneyBy Jenny Cooney.
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Yes, Mark Wahlberg is a Hollywood icon and producer with business interests in everything from bottled water to burgers. But he’s also the father to Ella (15), Michael (13), Brendan (10) and Grace (9). Here, the 48-year-old reflects on his family values and how to transfer his ferocious work ethic onto children who’ve enjoyed a very different early upbringing to his own.

“I think the most important thing is to be an example. For me, that is my work ethic that I have, the kind of focus that I have, my faith, what I have with my family, as well as my profession and the other businesses that I’m involved with.

“You can preach one thing and if you’re doing another they’re still seeing what you’re doing. And actions obviously speak louder than words.

“Of course they’re going to
choose what they’re going to do in life. But I want them to work hard. It’s funny because only in America can you in one generation turn it around, but also in another generation, lose everything. So I hope they’re just motivated and inspired to do the right thing.

“I don’t force them to go to church with me, but I make sure that I’m going no matter what, no matter what’s going on, I have to go. And I have to start my day reading and then in prayer. And so hopefully they’ll see that those things work for me and that dad became successful because he was willing to work harder than everybody else. And if I can give them that, then they’re good.

“I still want to give my kids all the things I never had. They’re always, ‘Dad, this house is way too big, let’s move into this other house’. I worked to make sure that I can give them all the things that I thought they would want, the things that I wanted when I was younger. But the most important things are having family and having your faith and having each other.”

INTERVIEW: JENNY COONEY / HFPA

This is an extract from The Father Hood: Inspiration For The New Dad Generation. Buy it here