The Word Blake Lively & Ryan Reynolds Have Banned In Their Home So They Can Raise 3 Strong Young Daughters

Lively and Reynolds are conscious about what words they say around their daughters, as it can affect their self-esteem.

Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, James Reynolds, Inez Reynolds lev radin / Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

When it comes to parenting their three daughters, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds have a few strict sets of rules in place.

Lively and Reynolds, who first met on the set of "Green Lantern" in 2010 before eventually dating in 2011 and then getting married in September 2012, share three daughters together, James, 8, Inez, 6, and Betty, 3. The couple also recently welcomed their fourth child, a son, in January 2023.


While Lively and Reynolds tend to keep their children out of the public eye, the pair have occasionally shared glimpses into their lives at home, including certain things that they do to make sure they're being the best parents possible to their children.

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Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds have banned the word 'bossy' from being said around their three daughters.

During a July 2017 interview with Glamour magazine, Lively revealed that she and Reynolds have stopped using the word "bossy" when it comes to describing their daughter, James.


"We've joked that my daughter is bossy," Lively told the publication. "But my husband said, 'I don't ever want to use that word again. You've never heard a man called bossy.'"

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Lively further explained, "There would never be any negative connotation for a man being a boss, so to add a negative connotation on a woman being bossy? It’s belittling. And it doesn’t encourage them to be a boss. So do I know how to be the best parent for a daughter? No, I have no idea. All I can do is share what I’m thinking—and learn from others."

The "Gossip Girl" actress also revealed another useful tactic that Reynolds uses when choosing words that he'll say around their — at the time — two daughters, James and Inez.


"With my husband, I’m lucky to have someone who is so conscious. My husband was like, 'Why do I always say he?' And I said, 'That’s what we’re taught.' So he’ll pick up, like a caterpillar, and instead of saying, 'What’s his name?' he’ll say, 'What’s her name?'"

Lively also admitted that she is still trying to find her way to be the best parent she can be for her daughters. However, when asked what kind of message she wanted to send to her daughters, Lively revealed that she often thinks of a message once said by actress and comedian Sarah Silverman.

"[She] does a great bit that I'm going to butcher: 'Stop telling little girls that they can do anything. They already believe they can do anything. It opens the door for questions . . .' We're all born feeling perfect until somebody tells us we're not. So there's nothing I can teach my daughter. She already has all of it. The only thing I can do is protect what she already feels."

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Many parenting experts encourage parents to stop using words like 'bossy' around their daughters.

While speaking with TODAY, Julie Masterson, Ph.D., co-author of 'Beyond Baby Talk: From Speaking To Spelling, A Guide to Language and Literacy Development for Parents and Caregivers,' and speech-language pathology specialist at Missouri State University, explained that research has shown girls develop certain verbal skills faster than boys.

The term "bossy' is often pointed toward girls and women who assert themselves in certain situations. The word often dims the skills that many girls need to succeed, and they don't only hurt outspoken girls but also the quiet ones, who hear the word being used against others and feel they will also be ridiculed for standing up for themselves.

In young girls' minds, the term "bossy" equates to a girl that is "unlikeable" or a "mean girl." 


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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics.