Megan Fox is a mom to three boys — 7-year-old Journey, 9-year-old Bodhi, and 11-year-old Noah —and she’s put a lot of thought into how she wants to raise them to become good men when they’re older. Fox recently sat down for an interview with WWD to discuss her new book of poetry titled “Pretty Boys Are Poisonous,” where she shared her hopes as her kids grow into “honest and respectful” adults.
“It’s very important for me to raise boys who are able to have a very deep emotional intimacy with their partner,” she shared.
Fox hopes to achieve this admittedly lofty emotional parenting goal through modeling that behavior and by being transparent.
“It’s very important to me that they are not liars, that they are able to be fully transparent and honest and respectful… at some point in their life,” said Fox. “I don’t expect them when they’re 16 to have a sacred love, but I do expect them at some point to get to that place because I am their first introduction into women and the way that I love them is going to influence the way they are allowed to love others when they go into a relationship.”
Fox’s statement comes on the heels of a book tour that gets deep to the heart of toxic masculinity and the plight of men in America through her angst-ridden, often biting poetry. “I’ve spent my entire life keeping the secrets of men, my body aches from carrying the weight of their sins,” says Fox of the collection.
Fox herself has admitted she has been drawn by “the bad boy types” in the past and has no problem airing her grievances with the men in her life. She is currently in a relationship with rapper/punk rocker Machine Gun Kelly and co-parents her sons with her ex, Brian Austin Green. Her relationships have been in the spotlight for her entire career — and she’s opened up publicly and said that not all of them were healthy, not by a long-shot.
But right now, her focus is on the next generation. “I hope that just through my transparency in the way that I engage with [my boys], in the way that I am demonstrative and affectionate with them, that allows them to love in a really healthy way,” Fox said.
This approach to raising good, thoughtful kids draws on the social learning theory, which explains a child’s learning is done through observing the behaviors of others — both positive and negative.
“Kids do as they see, so role model the future you want your kids to see,” Shelly Flais, M.D., a pediatrician, single mom of three boys and a daughter, and author of the new book Nurturing Boys to Be Better Men told Fatherly about how to raise better boys.
As Flais discusses in the story, being vulnerable means sharing life stories, admitting when you don’t know what to do next in times of struggle or when your kids ask you a question, and apologizing when you’ve made a mistake. It can be a hard change for parents who want to be a stronger, more invulnerable guiding hand. Raising good boys is also about teaching them to fight against old gender norms and gendered messages we hear from a very early age.
It’s not easy to contend with a society’s worth of bad messaging about boys and men. No matter what you think of Megan Fox, by being open about the effort it takes to raise well-rounded, respectful kids, she’s destigmatizing that important, and hard to talk about, issue out loud — not just in her home with her boys but in front of audiences of millions.