Quick, everybody dunk dad!
On Thursday, July 22, Mark Wahlberg shared on Instagram a photo of himself playing with three of his four kids in a pool. The 50-year-old actor is seen with his and wife Rhea Durnham's sons Michael, 15, and Brendan, 12, and daughter Grace, 11, who all cling to their dad as they try to push him down into the water.
"They never got me under!" Mark wrote in his post.
Rhea, who also shares 17-year-old daughter Ella with Mark, commented with a slew of multicolored hearts.
The rare snapshot was a delightful surprise to fans, as Mark posts images of his kids on social media only occasionally. Earlier this month, he shared on Instagram a video from a family beach day. In 2020, the actor shared a few pics and videos of his kids, including a TikTok of Grace performing a Tiger King parody. Mark wrote, "Could somebody please tell me what this is? I went downstairs to get a snack."
Over the years, the actor has also occasionally talked about his parenting approach. In 2014, he told Risen magazine, "The most effective thing is being engaged in every aspect of their life, but then also leading by example. It's one thing to talk about it, but it's another thing to do it. When my kids see me go to church every day, when they see me get on my hands and my knees… they [can see] and know how grateful I am and how appreciative I am. Plus they know how thoughtful and aware we are of what other people don't have. Hopefully that will rub off on them."
He continued, "But sometimes you have to just get down to old-fashioned discipline too. It's important to be involved and communicate with them and make sure they can trust you, and share with you, and rely on you. They need to count on you to be there."
In a more recent interview with USA Today, posted Thursday—the same day as his family pool day Instagram post, Mark talked about how his parenting approach changed after filming his latest movie, Joe Bell, which is based on the true story of a man who treks across the United States to teach people about tolerance in a bid to order his teenage gay son.
"I was more strict with my kids, and I think after making this movie, I said, 'OK, well, let me loosen the reins a little bit,'" Mark told the newspaper. "The best way to get them to be completely open with me and communicate with me about everything is be a little softer."