Even America’s Comedy King Jack Black Struggles With Parenting Anxiety

A self-proclaimed eternal kid at heart, the School of Rock star reflects on how fatherhood changed his life and what he ultimately wants for his two sons, Thomas and Samuel.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Published April 6, 2023
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Image: Christopher Polk | Getty Images

You can baby proof and read up on all the latest parenting books, but nothing can quite prepare you for the realities of parenthood. The moment you first hold your child, your whole perspective changes. For America’s comedy sweetheart, Jack Black, the shift into fatherhood came with a few surprises.

Eternally young at heart, the School of Rock actor told People in a special sit-down that he initially thought he was never going to have kids, because “I’m kind of a kid.” But all that changed when his first son Samuel “Sammy” Jason was born, noting that he instantly knew that he was “signing up for a whole lifetime of just wanting the best for them.”

“It forces you to say, ‘Okay. Look, let’s be responsible now. Let’s figure out the right thing to do in all these different situations.’ [Things] that you never really even paid attention to before,” Black noted. As many new parents know, making decisions according to what’s best for your child can be an overwhelming minefield of anxiety and indecision.

“What surprised me is how much I worry,” The Super Mario Bros. Movie star recalled. “It’s harder than you think when you first start. Because you’re always wondering, ‘Am I doing this right? I don’t know If I’m doing the right parenting thing.’ But you do the best you can, and you hope for the best."

While making parenting decisions hasn’t necessarily gotten easier with time, sixteen years later, Black is confident in what he ultimately wants for his sons Sammy, 16, and Thomas “Tommy” David, 14. “I just want them to be happy,” he said.

Parenting is one of the toughest jobs in the world and can come with almost constant worry. If you are struggling with imposter syndrome or are stuck in an anxiety spiral, check out these 20 positive parenting affirmations to boost your mental health and remember, you’re doing great!

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