Bill Murray’s Parenting Wisdom Is Spot On

The actor and comedian has six sons.

Bill Murray is a veritable fount of parenting wisdom.

The actor and comedian has six sons - 35-year-old Homer, 32-year-old Luke, 24-year-old Cal, 21-year-old Jackson, 20-year-old Cooper and 16-year-old Lincoln.

In honour of his birthday on 21 September, we rounded up some of his best parenting tips and musings.

“If you bite on everything they throw at you, they will grind you down. You have to ignore a certain amount of stuff. The thing I keep saying to them lately is: ‘I have to love you, and I have the right to ignore you.’ When my kids ask what I want for my birthday or Christmas or whatever, I use the same answer my father did: ‘Peace and quiet.’ That was never a satisfactory answer to me as a kid — I wanted an answer like ‘A pipe.’ But now I see the wisdom of it: All I want is you at your best — you making this an easier home to live in, you thinking of others.”

On his kids’ humour:

“For many years I was a tough laugh, but lately I’ve been giving it up. I appreciate when they’re trying to be funny, you know? I think they feel like they have to be funny, that I’ve got some standard of humour that they have to come to. But funny is funny, and there’s no denying funny.”

On welcoming your first child:

“People only talk about what a joyous experience it is, but there is terror: Your life, as you know it, is over. It’s over the day that child is born. It’s over, and something completely new starts.”

 Bill Murray with son Luke Murray.
 Bill Murray with son Luke Murray.

On how to deal with baby gas:

“When the kid first eats solid food, which usually happens around six months, sort of when you’re at the bottom of fatigue alley, they get gas and they don’t know what it is. They scream uncontrollably, it’s horrifying. Somehow I learned that peppermint breaks up gas, I went and got a candy candy and you just stick it in the kid’s mouth and you go back to sleep.”

On getting a baby to sleep:

“You just pump their legs, and then you do their arms, and they laugh very hard, and then the kid passes out.”

On his relationship with his older sons post-divorce:

“As much as the divorce was very hard, the fallout of it has been really great. I ended up much closer to my guys than I ever would have been.”

On not finding the great love of his life:

“I’m not sure what I am getting done here. I do have kids. I have children that I am responsible for and I enjoy that very much. And that wouldn’t have happened without women.”

On being a celebrity and a dad:

“There’s only a couple times when fame is ever helpful. Sometimes you can get into a restaurant where the kitchen is just closing. Sometimes you can avoid a traffic violation. But the only time it really matters is in the emergency room with your kids. That’s when you want to be noticed, because it’s very easy to get forgotten in an ER. It’s the only time when I would ever say, ‘Thank God. Thank God.’ There’s no other time.”

“I don’t know very much but I talk a lot about what I do know.”

This story was originally published on the US version of HuffPost.

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