+
A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM UPWORTHY
We are a small, independent media company on a mission to share the best of humanity with the world.
If you think the work we do matters, pre-ordering a copy of our first book would make a huge difference in helping us succeed.
GOOD PEOPLE Book
upworthy

drew barrymore

Drew barrymore talks to her audience about smartphones.

It’s understandable for parents to put off giving their kid a smartphone ‘til the last moment possible. Because it can be the moment they change from a happy, carefree tween to a teenager whose face is constantly stuck in their phone.

A smartphone exposes them to all the dangers of social media and is connects them 24-7 to a device that manipulates them on a biochemical level. Further, recent research has shown there is a “fairly robust” consensus among academics that smartphones are linked to the rise in teen depression, loneliness and self-harm.

No wonder many parents are thinking twice about getting their kids a smartphone.

In a video recently shared by The Drew Barrymore Show, the daytime TV host revealed the struggle she’s having with her daughters, Olive, 11, and Frankie, 10, who are asking for smartphones.


“A lot of parents are giving their kids phones at very young ages, and it’s just access to everything,” Barrymore told her audience. “It’s really tough. I’m like very overwhelmed.”

Drew Barrymore on the challenge of parenting kids who want cellphones 

@thedrewbarrymoreshow

@Drew Barrymore on the challenge of parenting kids who want cellphones 🤳 #parents #parentsoftiktok #parenting

But even though she’s under extreme pressure from her kids, Barrymore is standing her ground. “I’m not going to give up. I’m not going to give in. I haven’t let my kids have phones yet,” she told the audience as it broke into applause.

Barrymore’s struggle with telling her children “no” is one that every parent faces.

“It’s amazing to have wanted so badly for my kids to love me and to love their environment and feel safe...None of us want our children to resent us,” she continued. “And we don’t want to be their enemy. It’s such a hard choice to say, ‘I don’t care if you hate me for this. I don’t care if you’re mad at me for this. I know that I am doing the right thing by you and I accept your anger.’”

“Nobody wants their kids to be angry with them. It’s not a great feeling,” she continued. Barrymore also understands that, as a parent, it’s easy to have a weak moment and give in because toeing the line can be tiresome. “I have to find the courage every day not to give in,” she said.

But in the end, Barrymore understands that every parent and child is different and that those who have bought their kids smartphones shouldn’t feel bad about the decision. “And by the way, if you’ve given your kids phones and you’re doing the hands up, you’re not wrong. There is no right and wrong. It’s just a hard thing to navigate,” she said.

The post went viral, attracting over 860,000 views and nearly 1300 comments. Many sent messages of support for Barrymore and those who share the same dilemma. "If your child is never mad at you, you aren't doing your job," Cheriek wrote. "Thanks for adding the last statement. I have told so many people that. There is no right or wrong on how you are raising your children." Julia Belgraves added.

How old are kids when they get their first smartphones these days? According to Common Sense Media, 42% of kids have a phone by age 10, 71% by 12 and 91% by 14. Unfortunately, there is no consensus on the right age to give a child a smartphone. Jerry Bubrick, PhD, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute says it depends on the child's maturity. “I tell parents that it’s not so much about a particular age as it is about a kid’s social awareness and understanding of what the technology means,” Dr. Bubrick told Child Mind.

Pop Culture

Drew Barrymore slams tabloids for  claiming she wished 'mom was dead'

Barrymore called out news outlets that twisted her words to make it sound like she wished her mom was dead.

Do better, tabloids.

Even with a literal ray of sunshine like Drew Barrymore, lightning has to strike once in a while. Especially when it comes to words being twisted by the media.

In a recent interview with “New York Magazine,” Barrymore offered some heartfelt honesty regarding the complicated relationship with her mother and former manager, Jaid Barrymore, as she has done several times before.

After the interview came out, certain news outlets extrapolated a statement by Barrymore to create salacious headlines, presumably for clicks, that claimed the “50 First Dates” star “admitted” that she “wished her mom was dead.

Barrymore, who has already had more than her fair share of exploitation by the media, was simply not having it.


In a heated Instagram post, Barrymore held no punches as she was quick to remind the tabloids that the tumultuous details of her childhood have been a source of news fodder. Then she proceeded to tear them a new one.

“To all you tabloids out there, you have been fucking with my life since I was 13 years old. I have never said that I wish my mother was dead. How dare you put those words in my mouth!”

What Barrymore actually said was that she didn’t have the “luxury” that many other previous child actors who went through similar tumultuous childhoods had—of being able to cleanly process that trauma after a parent had passed. Instead, she has to process while maintaining a relationship with her mother, who is still alive.

Her words were: “All their moms are gone, and my mom’s not. And I’m like, 'Well, I don’t have that luxury.' But I cannot wait. I don’t want to live in a state where I wish someone to be gone sooner than they’re meant to be so I can grow. I actually want her to be happy and thrive and be healthy. But I have to fucking grow in spite of her being on this planet.”

Knowing this, her anger certainly seems justified. It’s clear that Barrymore in no way meant that she was “excited” to see her mother die.

“I have been vulnerable and tried to figure out a very difficult, painful relationship while admitting it is difficult to do while a parent is alive,” she said in the Instagram video. “Don’t twist my words around or ever say that I wish my mother was dead. I have never said that. I never would.”

It’s no secret that humans are quicker to pay attention to stimuli that is negative, and news sources vying for said attention often use that to their advantage with eye-catching, emotion-inducing headlines. And look, no one knows the importance of compelling headlines like the writers at Upworthy—without them, readers will simply keep scrolling, and valuable stories won’t get read.

However, intriguing a potential reader to engage with a story we find worth sharing and falsifying information for the sake of clicks are two completely different things. And in this case, it not only feeds off of someone’s trauma, it can damage their character in the process.

Luckily, Barrymore handled the situation like a champ and was quick to get support after sending her video—both from fans and fellow celebs alike.

Jennifer Garner, a long-time friend of Barrymore, wrote, “You’re brave and real and I adore you xxx”

“Yes, let them have it!” Jennifer Hewitt chimed in.

Model and host Padma Laksmi also wrote, “Ugh. So sorry. We all knew what you meant. Thank you for your vulnerability always ❤️”

It’s great that Barrymore had the fortitude to respond the way she did. But in all reality, she shouldn’t have to respond to something like this in the first place.

Drew Barrymore speaks during the FLOWER Beauty launch at Westfield Parramatta on April 13, 2019, in Sydney, Australia.

Drew Barrymore, 48, has been in the public consciousness since she starred as Gertie in 1982’s mega-blockbuster, “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,” a performance that earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. So, it makes sense that many people of a certain age feel as if they’ve grown up with her.

Now, she’s an even more significant part of people’s lives as the host of “The Drew Barrymore Show,” which runs every weekday on CBS.

On May 25, the show’s Instagram page posted a touching video of an off-the-cuff moment between Barrymore and a fan during a taping of her show. In the clip, Barrymore realizes that someone in the audience is crying. So, instead of ignoring the fan, she jumps to action to see what is the matter.


The fan is Olivia Radford, 21, who recently moved to Los Angeles from Salt Lake City, Utah.

“Are you OK? Did anything happen? Whose a** do I have to kick?” she said while approaching the audience member. The crying fan’s friend clarified things for Barrymore, saying she loves her. “Oh, thank God, it’s nothing bad,” Barrymore exclaimed.

“I was like, ‘Tell me who they are, and I will take them down.’ Who made you cry?” she joked.

“You’re just, like, my childhood idol. I don’t want to be that person to cry,” Radford admitted. Then Barrymore assured her that emotional outbursts are acceptable and encouraged in her studio.

“Oh, screw that! Be that person!” Barrymore said.

"I really love you. I'm sorry," the fan said as she was handed a tissue. The talk show host then sat on Radford's lap and comforted her. “I have the urge to do this," Barrymore said as she held her.

“This is such an honor for me to meet you. I’m sorry I have dumpling breath,” Barrymore told Radford. “It’s so funny that you would say you don’t want to cry here,” she continued. “I cry here all the time.”

Radford told Upworthy that her "all-time favorite movie growing up" was "50 First Dates" starring Barrymore and Adam Sandler. "As you can tell from the video, I'm quite an emotional person," she told Upworthy. "I cry every single time I watch that movie. It’s extremely inspiring. I’m a huge fan of Adam Sandler as well!"

Radford feels a kinship with Barrymore that goes even deeper than her films.

"Like myself, Drew has had a super hard life," Radford said. "Drew is an extremely loving person, despite all the hardships she’s had to overcome. At the taping, she told me that there was a reason we met and that she sees herself in me, which felt super special."

Radford was able to briefly speak with Barrymore after the taping, and the talk show host wished her luck on her new life in Los Angeles. She hopes to make the experience permanent by getting Barrymore's words of advice tattooed in her handwriting because "she told me to always 'Be that person.'"

The tender exchange between Barrymore and Radford shows that the talk show host is just as sweet and caring off-camera as she is when she does her show. They always say you should never meet your heroes, but it’s probably a good idea if yours is Drew Barrymore.

Drew Barrymore has always had a complicated relationship with her mother.

Drew Barrymore made a recent blog post in honor of Mother’s Day reflecting on her own complicated mother-daughter relationship, which eventually led to the actress and talk show host filing for emancipation at the age of 14.

Barrymore has long been candid about having a turbulent childhood, and in her blog post, she details being sent by her mother to a mental health facility in her adolescence, where she spent two years in the center's youth program attending individual and group therapy.


While going to rehab was certainly a humbling experience for the teen star, looking back she can confirm it was also a “revelatory” one, particularly in the way she viewed the importance of adults setting up protective structures for kids.

“I understand now: kids love feeling safe, and having boundaries is one of those crucial bumper rails. I lived a boundaryless life and job. And this place, as hellacious as it was, it was exactly what I needed from the too much excess my life had become on the outside,” she wrote.

During that time, she also learned the importance of advocating for one’s own emotional needs, even if that means putting distance between themselves and those they dearly love. Certainly a relatable lesson for many.

“It taught me the foundations of telling your truth…Your feelings. Your faults. Your hopes and wishes. Your hurts. What and where you wanted to get to in life,” she wrote. “And—very important—who was going to help you on your path and who would you have to let go. For me…it was my mother.”

When Barrymore did emancipate from her mother, there was a newfound sense of freedom (“the umbilical cord was severed,” she wrote). But still, she had to learn to reparent herself and somehow establish a structure she had never been taught. No easy task.

“I cannot give myself rave reviews. I drank too much. Partied and burned the candle at every end. I danced on desks and posed half-naked in the name of art. Nothing I judge. It’s my history. I was just trying to figure out how to grow up and who I wanted to become,” she shared.

Though over the years she has found a way to bring stability into her life, Barrymore admitted that being a mother “constantly triggers everything from my own childhood now,” especially since today, with social media providing “everything at your fingertips,” kids live in a similar world to what she grew up in. “It is the world I promised my daughters wouldn’t experience…and yet all our kids are in it now,” she shared.

And still, she declared that being a mom is the “greatest thing” she will ever do in her life.

“Everything in my experience here on this pale blue dot has been for them,” she wrote. “And now it is also my chance to not make it about me but learn how to deal with all that comes with choosing to be a parent.”

As for her current relationship with her mom, Barrymore finished her blog post by sharing that it had recently been her mother’s birthday. After sending a quick and simple birthday message, her mother wrote back, “Thank you so much! I’m incredibly proud of you and send you love,” which felt like the “greatest gift.”

And to her girls, Barrymore had this sweet Mother’s Day message: I just hope I can be someone who makes you feel safe,” she wrote. “And that you can laugh with. And that you can tell me anything. I’m here for it. I’m in the circle with you… for life.”

Barrymore has a reputation for being raw and honest, but fans seemed more profoundly struck by the vulnerability of this essay.

"I love your openness and honesty about what you have been through and experienced. Your example helps those you struggle in their own ways to see past the step they are on in this thing called life and know you can continue in whatever way/path you choose,” one person commented on Barrymore’s Instagram.

Another wrote, “Thank you! For your openness, for sharing and for fighting to be different and be yourself, for helping me set my heart at peace and know I am being true to myself. Happy Mother’s Day you beautiful human!”

Mother’s Day can indeed be a complicated time for many. The holiday can trigger feelings of loss, betrayal, resentment, yearning, fear—maybe all of the above and all at once—if someone’s relationship with their own mom was/is turbulent. There has been more awareness and sensitivity around this in recent years. Many companies have even given the option for customers to opt out of any Mother’s Day-related messaging.

No matter what wounds our mothers might have left us with, open conversations can be healing, be it online, in therapy groups or in our close friend circles. Who knows, it might just provide that bit of nurturing the soul has been searching for all along.

If you’d like to read Barrymore’s full blog post, click here.