Justin Timberlake Revealed His Biggest Fear for His Kids

Justin Timberlake doesn’t have much to worry about in life, but he does have one concern about his kids growing up with famous parents. In an interview with Dax Shepard for his Armchair Expert podcast, Timberlake opened up about the challenges of giving their kids as normal of an upbringing as possible.

Justin Timberlake during the filming for the Graham Norton Show
Justin Timberlake | Isabel Infantes/PA Images via Getty Images

Justin Timberlake shared his parenting concerns

During the podcast, Timberlake and Shepard discussed what it’s like raising kids and both admitted that it’s hard to sometimes find the right balance because of the fame factor.

Timberlake, who has two sons with wife Jessica Biel, said there’s a challenge with not being too private but still keeping their kids out of the spotlight.

“I try to be conscious of making sure we can live a life where we’re not weirdly private but we’re conscious of making sure they can be kids for as long as possible,” Timberlake explained. “And not have the weight of somebody else treating them differently because of something that their parents do.”

Shepard and Timberlake agreed that there are other concerns for kids who grow up in famous families.

Shepard and wife Kristen Bell have two daughters, so they are well aware of the same concerns that Timberlake expressed. “I have great fear that kids are going to hang out with them solely because of that or resent them because of that,” Shepard noted. “To me, the two options both seem terrible — either they’re going to have fake friends or they’re going to have people hate them for no reason. I have a good deal of fear about that.”

Timberlake added, “I guess, for guys like us, you know, the hope is that we just keep instilling in them that we’ve got really fun jobs, but it’s not who we are. Hopefully down the road, then that has more weight to it, I guess.”

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Timberlake and Shepard shared how masculinity was part of their childhoods

The two also shared their similar experiences of growing up in Memphis and Detroit, as they both felt like masculinity played a big role. “You either played football or basketball or people considered you a sissy,” Timberlake explained.

The singer said his stepdad taught him “so much about how to be a gentleman,” but he also learned a lot from his more traditionally masculine grandfather.

“I’d say, ‘This kid at school was picking on me, Papa’ and he’d say ‘That’s not your dog.’ What does that mean?!” Timberlake said. “He came from a generation of ‘rub some dirt on it,’ don’t be a b*tch, like that type of thing — this whole generation of men who were told not to feel. And now we have something to figure out about it because now we’re being allowed to feel.”

“Raising young males is one thing and raising young females right now is another thing,” he added. “There’s a lot to unpack.”

“I don’t envy you at all,” Shepard said. “Because here’s the moment I always fear [with boys]: Someone is going to pick on them at school, they’re going to come home upset, I’m going to hate that, and I’m going to tell them what I know, which is, well, either get punched for the rest of your life or just slug them once and then it’s over. I wouldn’t know what else to say. You’re weighing, do I want my kid to be a victim so that he can help this transition to where guys don’t hit each other anymore? Do I want my kid to be the sacrificial lamb? That seems so scary to me.”

“Thanks, I’ll be carrying that around for a week,” Timberlake joked.