Jennifer Garner Practices “Benign Neglect” in Raising Her Kids—But What Is It?

Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt guilty about spending some quality time away from your child. Jennifer Garner has been there too. Today we want to talk about “benign neglect” and how it can help all moms let go of that feeling. Let’s dive in and see how the actress uses this approach to raise her children.

Here’s What Benign Neglect Is

Being a mom should not stop you from taking care of yourself or doing some things on your own. Whether it’s going to the hair salon or getting a manicure, you’re allowed to enjoy your quality time alone. However, a lot of women still struggle with the “mom guilt” feeling. This is why we want to talk about “benign neglect.” Don’t get fooled by the name; this doesn’t mean you should completely ignore your kids. This parenting approach involves creating clear limits and boundaries, which all children need, yet allowing for enough freedom.

Shutterstock // Lisa F. Young

The concept of benign neglect depends on the age of your children as you still need to be present if they’re very young. The main goal is to help your kids gain confidence in doing things on their own. The approach also involves teaching your little ones to properly determine whether they truly need assistance or not instead of reaching out to their parents every time. This will encourage them to explore their surroundings and make their own choices. It’s all about balancing freedom and safety.

Why Does Jennifer Garner Use It?

It seems like Jennifer Garner has found the perfect balance between taking care of her children and having her own life. The mom of three (Violet, 18, Seraphina, 14, and Samuel, 11) shared that she wanted her kids to be more independent by creating healthy boundaries. She wants them to know that she also has a life of her own and they don’t need to be involved in everything she does.

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It makes sense, doesn’t it? Setting a good example for your children is extremely important, from eating healthy to prioritizing yourself. Your children can be perfectly fine even if you’re not there every second. Benign neglect provides parents with more peace of mind and prepares children for social life and relationships outside of their comfort zone at home. This way, both sides can be content and satisfied with their lives instead of being emotionally exhausted.

These Instant Pot Porcupine Meatballs Are Easier to Make Than You Could Imagine

Are you searching for something quick and easy to prepare for dinner? Then you’ll love this classic recipe! It’s a timeless favorite that typically takes quite some time to make. But if you have an instant pot at home, your porcupine meatballs can be ready in just 30 minutes! Neat, right? Check out the full recipe here, and start cooking!

Quick, Easy, and Delicious: Instant Pot Porcupine Meatballs
Instant Pot Porcupine Meatballs

First, let’s explain something. The porcupine recipe doesn’t really feature porcupine meat. Rather, the name comes from the grains of rice mixed with the minced meat which, during the cooking process, protrude the meatballs just like the spikes of a porcupine.

The recipe can be traced back to the 1970s Betty Crocker dish called oven porcupines. As you might have guessed, the original version takes well over one hour to complete. Luckily, this one doesn’t! It’s so simple and easy that it can make the perfect midweek meal for dinner. Below, you’ll find the ingredients list as well as step-by-step instructions on how to cook the meal.



You need the following ingredients to prepare the porcupine meatballs recipe:

2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil 1 onion, chopped and divided 2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed 1 can tomato sauce ½ cup water 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 1 pound ground beef ½ cup long-grain rice 1 teaspoon salt (more or less, to taste) ½ teaspoon black pepper (more or less, to taste)



Here are the instructions for these upgraded porcupine meatballs:

Step One: Sauté the garlic and onion for about five minutes. You can do it in the instant pot.

Step Two: Next, prepare the tomato sauce. Stir in the water, Worcestershire, and tomato sauces, and let it simmer.


Step Three: Prepare the meatballs. Combine all ingredients that are left and roll them into roughly the size of a ping-pong ball.

Step Four: Proceed to cook the meatballs in the instant pot. Put them on one layer and spoon the sauce on top of each meatball. If you’re using a stovetop pressure cooker, you’ll need about 12-15 minutes to cook the meal. Otherwise, put the instant pot on the pressure cooking program for 15 minutes (note that the overall cooking time will be about 25-30 minutes, depending on how quickly your cooker comes to pressure.)

Step Five: Unpressure the instant pot and serve hot. You can sprinkle fresh parsley on top to add depth of flavor.


If you’re a fan of meatballs and are looking for a simple dish to prepare this evening, try this incredible porcupine meatballs recipe. It’s flavorful and can be ready in just half an hour.