Mark Wahlberg Makes Me Want to Be a Better Dad (Yes, Even if I Am a Single Woman with No Children)

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I like Mark Wahlberg for reasons other than his Calvin Klein ads. For one, I still listen to “Good Vibrations” because I always believe that it’s about that time for the rhythm and the rhyme. Also, I have a mild-to-fanatic obsession with Wahlburgers, the A&E reality show about his family’s burger joint around Boston, and am planning a trip this summer to get my hands on those buns (the burgers!). So obviously, if anyone is going to teach me how to be a great dad, it would be Marky Mark, who helmed a Funky Bunch, fathered HBO’s Entourage, and currently has four kids to raise.

As the cover star of Eqsuire‘s “fatherhood” issue, here are a few lessons I gleaned from Mark on how to be a rad dad — if I ever decide to make that leap from 20-something, working woman to multi-millionaire actor-producer that is.

You Need to Give Your Kids Freedom . . .

“I think the most important thing is to always be involved in every aspect of their life. To give them enough trust that they can share things with you. I don’t want them to be terrified of me, you know?”

. . . But not too much Freedom that they get cocky

“But I don’t want them to think they can do whatever they want and get away with it, either, because they can’t.”

You Want to Give Your Kids Everything You Never Had . . .

“I think, for the most part, I had a pretty good childhood. It wasn’t until we got older that we realized we didn’t have what other people had.”

. . . But you don’t want them to be ungrateful snots

“The biggest thing for me is, you know, as quickly as I was able to turn it around, to get from there to here, from me having nothing as a kid to me here now, providing everything for my kids, it’s like, I worry that maybe they won’t appreciate things.”

“I worry that maybe they’ll have a sense of entitlement. You don’t wanna give your kids everything without giving them the tools to be great people.”

You Should set a Good Example . . .

“I can’t tell my kids to go to school and get an education if I don’t have a diploma. They’d start thinking ‘why do we need to go? You didn’t go and you turned out all right.’ But I’m proud to have it. If I want to go on and further my education and study film or whatever, I can do that.”

. . . but if you were really bad, use that to scare your kids to set a good example

Mark used to have a rosary tattooed around his neck, so when he decided to undergo laser removal, he told the mag that he brought along his ten-year-old daughter Ella and his eight-year-old son Michael. He wanted to use the 30-treatment procedure to show them the evils of tattoos, and because they’re kids and laser removal is terrible to behold, the mini Wahlbergs could only stand the first session and are now suitably scarred for life — but only traumatically. But, hey, at least they’ll remain tat free.