Reese Witherspoon is worth over $120 million, lives in a Pacific Palisades mansion, and has anything and everything you could ever want for in life.
So why is her 17-year old daughter Ava Phillippe working at a local pizza place?
Because it builds character and it’s an awesome mom move on Reese’s part. How refreshing for a Hollywood parent (Ava's dad is Ryan Phillippe) to make their teenage daughter get a summer job in a place far, far away from mom’s movie sets. Sounds like nepotism is a dirty word in Reese’s house.
Ava, 17, was spotted this week working as a hostess in a pizza restaurant in a Hollywood suburb, seating people, setting tables, and taking food orders. Dressed in navy pants, a white t-shirt, sneakers, and a choker, she was seen working a shift at the restaurant. It has been Ava’s summer job before she goes back to school in the fall.
The teen is down-to-earth; she drives a used Volkswagen Jetta, volunteers with kids, has started her college search and plans to attend a university on the west coast next year.
And while Ava seems like the perfect teenager, Reese, 41, recently said that she has been turning to her own mother for parenting tips.
"They [the kids] very rarely agree with anything you tell them. And when it comes to a 17-year-old girl, you begin to see that you don't know anything about her any more,” Reese told OK!. "I find myself calling my mum and asking her for advice. I ask her, 'Am I ruining their lives?' "
She’s not. According to New York based Career and Executive Coach Maggie Mistal, Reese is leading the kids in the right direction. Nearly an impossible task when you are raising children with all the money in the world. How many Hollywood teens work “normal” jobs?
"If you want to be happy in your life, even if you have a lot of money, you want to feel that you have a purpose,” Maggie tells Personal Space. “You need to get clear on your purpose of being here and making a difference. If you don’t have to worry about paying the bills, many people struggle with that.”
Maggie says one of the best ways to get to the bottom of who you are and find your purpose is to actually work.
“You learn what you like and don’t like from experience,” she says. “[Ava’s] next job can be more of something she likes. Working different jobs gives you insight in who you are, which is invaluable.”
She praises Reese for her mothering skills—especially in the glamorous world her family lives in.
“As a mom she’s teaching her to be humble, her daughter might get perks because she’s her daughter, but she’s trying to instill life skills so she can create her own success,” Maggie says. “Living off someone else’s success isn’t very fulfilling. You need to get exposure, you need to understand what regular people go through, perspective is really grounding. Anything you can do to ground them in reality is useful.”
Even better is that Ava is learning her skills in a place where she is far away from movie sets or famous people.
“Pizza place vs. movie set is grounding and a gives healthier perspective,” Maggie says.
“Learning what you’re worth and how good it feels to earn and spend your own money is satisfying,” Maggie adds. “It’s fine to spend someone else’s money, but you don’t feel the self esteem from it. We tie our value to how we are paid. She’s a minimum wage worker now because she has to think about how she wants to use her skills and that’s very good to learn early on. She’s learning people skills, she’s gonna need to deal with people effectively. Reese is probably saying ‘I don’t want you to be obnoxious. I want you to have empathy, compassion, and happiness,’ It’s creating a feeling of being connected and understood. She’s learning compassion, money isn’t the answer it’s just one piece of the puzzle.
“She’s trying to give her daughter really grounding experiences to manage all the stuff she’s going to have access to.”
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