Camila Alves Explains Why Raising Teens With Matthew McConaughey Is ‘More Challenging’ After Son Levi’s 14th Birthday: ‘You Need More Energy’

Camila Alves Explains Why Raising Teens With Matthew McConaughey Is 'More Challenging' After Son Levi's 14th Birthday
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Family comes first! Camila Alves and husband Matthew McConaughey are cherishing every moment with their three children — especially as the little ones cross over into teenage territory.

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The couple, who wed in 2012, share sons Levi, 14, and Livingston, 9, and daughter Vida, 12. After recently celebrating their eldest child’s birthday, Alves, 40, exclusively told Us Weekly how different it feels to raise a teen.

“You know, it’s interesting because when you have little ones, you are physically exhausted, right? And I feel like when you get to the teenagers … it’s almost like you need more energy,” the Brazil native told Us on Tuesday, July 12, while promoting her Taco Sundae ice cream creation, which she developed with Whole Foods. “You need more brain power because it becomes all very about the mind, right? It’s like a teenager [is] trying to find their identity and find how they’re going to navigate their lives. So I think that … for me, it’s more challenging in a good way.”

Alves joked that she misses the days when her three kids still needed her constant attention. “When they’re little, I’m like, ‘Oh, I can do this, like, day and night.’ You know, it’s go, go, go.”

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Despite feeling “physically tired” while parenting toddlers, the tough conversations she’s had with her budding teens have provided a different type of challenge. “When it comes to more of … the ability to really guide, like, a young man or a young woman, it takes a different kind of brain to pass, you know, brain power [and] to guide [or] to navigate through that,” the model told Us. “But it’s beautiful. It’s inspiring. It also makes you look at a lot of things that you are doing as an adult as well, you know, when you get to that stage. … It’s a beautiful stage.”

Alves celebrated Levi’s 14th birthday with a sweet Instagram tribute on Monday, July 11. “Time flies… whatever it is that brings you joy experience fully as that exact experience will never happen again,” she captioned a family photo. “Levi just turn 14 the other day!! He changed my life forever and keeps on doing it for the better! Thank you my love! Vida on this picture 12 now and look her admiration to her little brother Livingston age 9 now… time flies … 💚💛💚💛💚💛💚💛💚💛💚💛💚.”

Though their kids are growing up, the designer and her husband, 52, are still committed to building a strong bond with Levi, Vida and Livingston. One place the family of five enjoys spending time together is in the kitchen.

“They’re in charge of breakfast,” Alves told Us of her kids. “My oldest does just, like, scrambled eggs with kale and turkey and, like, he really gets into it. And tomatoes and onions and cilantro. He mixes it all up and it’s really good.”

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McConaughey, for his part, is the grill master at home. “Matthew really is in charge of, like, meats. … The grilling department I don’t mess with,” the former Shear Genius host teased. “That much I can tell you. … He loves the process of cooking on the grill. It’s there, so we honor that.”

Alves and the Oscar winner are also fond of turning their kitchen into a taco bar, which partially inspired Alves’ Whole Foods ice cream concoction. “I just stopped for a moment and I was like, ‘Well, what do we do at our house?'” she told Us of coming up with the “fun twist” on a traditional treat. “I was looking at my pantry and saw the taco shells. And I was like, ‘This is perfect.’ I’m like, ‘Let’s create a taco sundae.’ … It’s just a really, really nice combination.”

Customers can shop the recipe ingredients now with the launch of an Ice Cream Sundae menu on Whole Foods Market on Amazon. In honor of National Ice Cream Day, fans in Los Angeles, New York City and Austin can try the creation for free at pop-up ice cream experiences at three Whole Foods Market stores Sunday, July 17.

With reporting by Diana Cooper

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