Amy Poehler at the "Inside Out 2" premiere at the El Capitan Theatre on June 10, 2024 in Los Angeles...
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Amy Poehler Explained Why She Stopped Giving Advice To Her Teen Sons

“I just find for me, when I start to [give advice], it's where I lose them.”

Amy Poehler is really in the thick of puberty these days. She’s back as the voice of Joy in the upcoming Inside Out 2, a movie that sees young Riley from 2015’s Inside Out become a teenager and experience that rollercoaster of emotions. But the Parks and Recreations star is also dealing with similar issues at home as mom to two teenage sons. And because of this, she’s really found herself having to rethink the way she talks to them about their problems. Because it’s a lot more complicated than it seems.

Earlier this week, Poehler spoke to Dax Shepard on his Armchair Expert podcast about what it’s like to give advice to her two sons, 15-year-old Archie and 13-year-old Abel, both of whom she shares with ex-husband Will Arnett. “Sometimes I see them disconnect when I’m talking,” she told Shepard, who is a dad of two daughters with wife Kristen Bell, Lincoln, 10, and Delta, 8.

Poehler went on to share that she struggles with one part of problem-solving with her sons: “Why can’t we stop at the empathy part and not have to give the fix part?” Poehler had the presence of mind to realize where she might need to change things. “So I’ve got teens now and I am learning that the way to keep them talking is to not do the second part, to do the part of, that happened to me too,” she shared with Shepard.

Poehler shared that she’s finding it “hard to go to sleep” during her sons’ teen years, and finding ways to help them with their problems has been a bit of a learning curve. “As well intentioned and as sensitive and thought out and connected as the second part is, I think it gets kids feeling, like, expectation. They wanna do it for you,” the Parks and Recreation star added, noting, “I just find for me, when I start to [give advice], it’s where I lose them.”

The mom of two must be feeling the shift in her house these days, as she very rarely discusses her life with her sons. During Covid-19 lockdown, Poehler did share that she watched Parks and Rec with her sons, and they were so into the series that they kept asking her for spoilers. Which, to me, is a good sign that they’re still happy to engage with their mom. Especially since she is figuring out what works with them, and what doesn’t work.