Molly Ringwald opens up about parenting and mental health

On this episode of The Unwind, Molly Ringwald joins Yahoo Life to dicuss parenting, mental health, and the importance of vaccinating your children against bacterial meningitis.

Video Transcript

MOLLY RINGWALD: I always like to say whenever I watch any of the movies that I did when I was younger, I always sympathize with the parents. Before when I did them it was all about the teenagers, but now all I can think about is, oh, their poor parents. It must have been really hard for them.

I sort of feel like people kind of come out of the womb, you know, who they are. And I just came out of the womb as a very determined individual. And I can also say the same for my kids. I have these three kids, and they're all so completely different. But the one thing that they have in common is that they're all incredibly determined and opinionated. And I love that. It makes every day really interesting.

My elder daughter wants to be an actress. She's pretty serious about it. Eventually, you just have to sort of look at what their dreams are and support them and what they want to do. I think it's completely normal to feel awkward and out of place and insecure as a teenager. And then at a different time in your life, you know, you feel differently about the way that you look.

I'm sort of always looking back and saying, oh, I was so cute. In certain ways, I feel like my life is just beginning. I've had a great life so far, but I feel like I still have so much more to do.

Mental health has always been difficult for people to talk about. It's been stigmatized. And I think there's nothing worse for people's mental health than feeling shamed or feeling like they have to keep it secret. I very much welcome an open discussion about not just mental health, but all issues. I feel like people should be able to talk about it and not feel shame.

Meditation is incredibly helpful. Somebody taught me about meditation when I was younger, but it's something that I actively use now as a tool to center myself. It's something that I do pretty much every day.

I think as a parent, you just want to do everything you can to protect your kids. There's so much that's out of our control. But the one thing that we can control is making sure that our kids are vaccinated against these deadly illnesses. Meningococcal meningitis is one of those diseases that a lot of people just really don't know about. It's not on their radar, especially after the year that we've had.

Meningococcal meningitis is a rare but deadly bacterial infection. So the CDC recommends that kids get their first vaccination at 11/12, and then their second very crucial dose at age 16. My 11-year-olds have been vaccinated for the-- they got the MenACWY vaccine. And my daughter Matilda just got her second one. I just want to really encourage everyone to go to to get as much information as they can about meningococcal meningitis and the vaccine.

As far as everything else, I think it's just a lot of checking in with my kids, making sure that they're feeling OK physically, mentally. That's a daily practice, something that my husband and I talk about every single day.