Terrence Howard talks parenting, says he is more 'present' this time around

"I feel like I missed out on a lot," he said of his older kids.

ByMICHAEL ROTHMAN
March 22, 2017, 10:36 AM
PHOTO: Actor Terrence Howard attends the 89th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center, Feb. 26, 2017, in Hollywood, Calif.
Actor Terrence Howard attends the 89th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center, Feb. 26, 2017, in Hollywood, Calif.
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic via Getty Images

— -- "Empire" star Terrence Howard is a father to five children, but the actor is finally coming to terms with the fact that he's now a better father to his younger kids than he was to his older children.

During an interview with People magazine, Howard touched on his younger children with third wife Mira -- Quirin, almost 2, and Hero, 7 months -- and how he's putting in the time with this "batch" of kids.

"I was 24 when I started my first batch. I was still becoming a man," he told the magazine. "I didn’t really put the time into my kids. I called them every day and they said they saw me more than enough, but I feel like I missed out on a lot of personal time with them. Now I’m more conscious and present this time around.”

Howard, 48, has three children -- Aubrey, Heaven and Hunter -- with his first wife, Lori McCommas.

In fact, Howard is trying to see life from a different perspective and teach his kids the same, including respecting all forms of life.

"I hope if someone saw me trapped, some bigger creature would help me,” he said. "If everyone on this planet just acted like a blade of grass, this would be a beautiful place. A blade of grass only takes what it needs. And if you break it, it doesn’t spend its time cursing you out and trying to hurt you in return, it just keeps growing."

He added, "We all have growing to do."

This isn't to say that Howard hasn't spoken out about his love for his older children in the past. Hunter sang backup vocals on his 2008 song "Shine Through It."

He also raised his oldest son to follow his dreams.

"I'm raising a really beautiful young man that will probably become the scientist I always wanted to be," he told NPR.

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