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Jennifer Garner Talks About Setting a Good Example for Her Kids: ‘They Are Watching You Really Carefully’

Family first. Jennifer Garner opened up in a recent interview about the importance of setting a good example for her kids, noting that they’re keeping a close eye on everything she does — good or bad.

“I don’t think empathy is something you can drill in someone’s head,” the 44-year-old actress told Today Parents. “You have to have faith that while your kids can seem to be selfish and concerned only about the word ‘mine’ sometimes, overall, they are watching you really carefully, and if you care about other people, they will too.”

Related: PHOTOS: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner: The Way They Were

“I try to be the best version of myself and to have faith that they’re watching me as carefully when I do something right as they do when I roll through a stop sign,” she continued.

Jennifer Garner Ben Affleck
Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck arrive at the Oscars at Hollywood & Highland Center on Feb. 24, 2013, in Hollywood.

Garner shares three children — Violet, 10, Seraphina, 7, and Samuel, 4 — with estranged husband Ben Affleck. Neither Garner nor Affleck, 44, have formally filed for divorce, though they announced their decision to separate after 10 years of marriage more than a year ago, in June 2015.

The couple have continued to coparent despite the end of their romance, reuniting for milestones and birthdays, while also spending time together sans kids.

Related: Check Out Hollywood's Friendliest Exes

On Thursday, September 22, the duo stepped out together for a dinner date in Los Angeles, an outing that an onlooker told Us looked friendly.

“Ben and Jen arrived around 8 and left just before 10,” the eyewitness told Us. “Jen came out and walked to the car. Ben was behind her [and] he looked like he might have had a few drinks. … Jen seemed content, she didn’t look upset and didn’t say anything.”

Earlier this year, Garner opened up in the March issue of Vanity Fair, calling Affleck the “love of her life” in spite of his relationship with the family’s nanny.

Related: PHOTOS: Celebrity Couples and How They First Met: Love Story Beginnings

“I didn’t marry the big fat movie star; I married him,” the Miracles From Heaven actress told the magazine. “And I would go back and remake that decision. I ran down the beach to him, and I would again. You can’t have these three babies and so much of what we had. He’s the love of my life. What am I going to do about that? He’s the most brilliant person in any room, the most charismatic, the most generous. He’s just a complicated guy. I always say, ‘When his sun shines on you, you feel it.’ But when the sun is shining elsewhere, it’s cold. He can cast quite a shadow.”

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