Actress Olivia Wilde knows that everyone isn’t given the same opportunities in life. So when she recently stopped by the United Nations for a panel discussion on the new animated children’s series Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures, she explained that she teaches her son, Otis, 4 and one-year-old daughter, Daisy, the value of hard work and often tells them “they won the life lottery.”
“Everything they have access to is privileged, so they have a responsibility to conserve resources and to be kind, embrace gender equality, and understand the value of their education,” the 34-year-old explained. “If we can raise a generation that thinks that way, I really think the world will improve.”
Olivia — who shares her kids with her longtime partner, actor Jason Sudeikis — also gushed that children’s programming like the new Thomas & Friends show helps teach Otis and Daisy valuable life lessons.
“We watch together and they can ask me questions. This makes them feel responsible to their global community, and you look for any way to do that when you’re a parent,” she said, adding that she appreciates the show’s content being so “thoughtful.”
The new Thomas series introduces kids to a range of important topics including gender equality, which is perfect for Olivia because she doesn’t want her kids to identify with the standards that society has already set for them.
“My son will say, ‘Boys are stronger,’ or ‘Boys like blue.’ I question where that came from, where he’s getting these simplistic influences,” she explained. “I try to expose them to content that breaks up that paradigm.”
“Instilling kids with better values early on might help us avoid some of these really old-fashioned identity politics in the future,” Olivia added.