Martin Freeman has admitted smacking and swearing at his children in the past despite the modern day pressure to always be a "brilliant" parent. Picture: AP
Martin Freeman has admitted smacking and swearing at his children in the past despite the modern day pressure to always be a "brilliant" parent. Picture: AP

'Sherlock' star admits he's smacked his kids and might do it again

By JENNIFER RUBY Time of article published Feb 17, 2020

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London - Martin Freeman has admitted smacking and swearing at his children in the past despite the modern day pressure to always be a "brilliant" parent.

The 'Sherlock' star, who is father to Joe, 14, and Grace, 11, with ex-partner Amanda Abbington, said he wasn’t "proud" of his actions but would probably "do it again".

The 48-year-old said his decision to smack his children twice over the years was due to not being able to "rationalise" with them as toddlers and being at the "end of my rope". 

"I have smacked my kids. When they were very young. I smacked my kids, yes. And it’s not like a victory. It’s not, 'Oh, I must be doing something right,'" he said.

"But I have done it. When it is route one to something they need to understand and I cannot rationalise with them.

"Also I was impatient and at the end of my rope."

In his new Sky sitcom 'Breeders', Freeman plays an aggressive father – a character who doesn’t shy away from shouting at his children. While he said he didn’t advocate smacking children, he added that he struggled with the societal pressure to be a perfect parent, with anything less feeling like "failure".

The 'Hobbit' actor said "obviously it’s not a good idea to hit your kids’ but ‘at some point you’re going to do things wrong, and, 20 years on, your kids are going to ask why you did that".

He told Sunday Times Culture magazine: "It’s inevitable. And with smacking – I’m not proud of that, but I have. I don’t think it’s a policy. And I’ll do it again!"

Freeman split from Abbington in 2016 despite the fact they were still starring in 'Sherlock' together.

He also admitted he had sworn at his children on multiple occasions: "I’ve probably smacked twice, but I’ve called them little f****** more than twice.

"I know I’m not supposed to, but there are so many images about how [parenting] all just has to be brilliant that it makes people feel bad.

"Because it’s not brilliant. I mean, it is – it’s the best thing I’ll do. But that doesn’t mean it’s not really hard. This idea you only ever rationalise with a toddler? Genuinely, good luck. If you can do that, God go with you. Amazing. But, yeah, I don’t think most are doing that."

Daily Mail

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