Why This Actress Raises Her Family with Midwestern Values
By Movieguide® Contributor
As a parent, actress Jennie Garth stays true to her roots, raising her daughters to be self-reliant, independent and responsible, sharing the values she was raised with growing up on a horse farm in rural Illinois.
“I think a lot of people definitely don’t associate me with a Midwestern lifestyle. They think Beverly Hills, which is not me at all,” Garth said. “That’s a character I played, and it was a lot of fun, don’t get me wrong. But I grew up on a family farm where we gardened and mowed our yard, and we cleaned up after the horses.”
“We rode horses,” she continued. “You know, we did all the work. And my parents were educators, and they did so much. And I think one of the most important things they taught me is that there’s nothing I can’t do. If the toilet breaks, I’m going to try to fix it before I call the plumber. You know, that kind of thing.”
Garth has taken care to instill these strengths in her own daughters.
“When I think of my Midwestern values, those are the key elements to it—doing what you can for yourself, taking care of yourself and taking care of your family,” she said.
“And just level-headedness, which I think comes with that,” Garth added. “It’s very important to instill that in my kids, that they are in charge of their own destiny, and there’s nothing that they can’t do.”
One way Garth has lived out these values for her daughters was by moving her family out of Los Angeles.
In 2012, she and her daughters moved to a seven-acre farm in central California. Although she still maintains primary residence in the city, she plans to leave permanently after her youngest daughter graduates from high school.
“I truly do love California. I love Los Angeles. Such a beautiful, diverse, incredible city, full of really interesting people,” she said. “But I’ve had my fill. I’ve had my fill of traffic. I’ve had my fill of the rigamarole, the hassle. The everybody’s in a rush to get somewhere or be somebody. And I’m just at a different stage in my life.”
“My daughter is 16. She’s going to graduate in two years, and you will see my tail lights after that graduation ceremony,” she added.
As her daughters have entered adulthood, Garth has reflected on the difficulty of raising girls, especially today.
“Girls are amazing. Incredible,” Garth said. “But there’s a lot that goes with it. And there’s so much that we have to teach them as they move forward in this world today. And there’s so much we have to protect them from for as long as we can until they are able to protect themselves.”
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