Taraji P. Henson has had many demanding roles playing “mom” in the past few years. She earned an Oscar nomination for her role as Brad Pitt’s mother in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and currently stars as Jaden Smith’s mom in the number-one movie The Karate Kid. But it seems her most challenging role is being mom to her real-life son Marcel, 16.

Here’s some of what she said about parenting in an interview with Babble:

What’s your biggest parenting challenge?

Doing it alone. I’m a single mom, so I have to do everything.

Were you concerned about your son not having a male figure in his life?

We have a really big family, and he’s always had male camaraderie. He plays basketball and he’s close with his coaches. I allow him to be with the fellas. I also let him know that [raising your child solo] is right, but at the same time, he needs a woman beside him [when he has kids.] The family unit is better than one parent.

Is there anything that’s off-limits to your son?

Twitter and sex stuff—anything that deals with things he’s not ready for yet. And we communicate. I don’t just say, “Do what I said”; I give him a reason for it. I told him, as far as sex, I understand your hormones are raging, but you can barely keep up with your extracurricular work and school work. There’s a time and place and reason for certain things, and while I’m not trying to take anything from him, with sex comes responsibility, and you have to be mature enough to handle it.

Taraji may not allow her son on Twitter, but she happens to love to Tweet herself. You can follow her @TherealTaraji.

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