'I'm the fun parent and a soft touch with my kids,' reveals Irish rugby star Jonny Sexton
Published 29/09/2016 | 07:25
On the pitch he's known for his discipline, but rugby ace Johnny Sexton insists he's a "soft touch" when it comes to being a dad.
Sexton and his wife Laura have two children together; a son Luca (2) and an eight-month-old daughter Amy.
Asked if he was a strict parent Sexton replied that he was the "fun parent".
"I am the opposite (of a disciplinarian)," the Leinster and Ireland star said.
"I do enough of that during training. I'd be the soft parent definitely. I get in trouble over that.
"I am the fun parent I think. It's easy to do that because I come home from training every day and I have a few hours with them and one day at the weekend so that's the way it happens."
Sexton and his family returned to Ireland at the end of 2014 after he finished a two-season stint in Paris with Racing Metro.
The fly-half is happy to be back but admits it can be difficult juggling a demanding rugby career with a young family.
"It's hard to come home from training when you are physically tired... It's hard to strike that balance between recovery and rest and also spending time with the kids.
"With more responsibility off the pitch, it can be hard to get the balance right.
"Last year I struggled and I was injured a lot, but I think I've got that balance right now."
Sexton's son Luca began Montessori school this week and according to Sexton it was an emotional experience.
"He was great going in and then half way through he had a meltdown. We have to keep going with it. He's still very young," he said.
The south Dublin native says he and his team mates often socialise.
"It's important to meet up - especially for the foreign players who are here - so we would have barbeques and parties with the kids.
"The kids do what kids do - they get on one minute and kill each other the next."
Sexton says he doesn't mind if either of his children follow him into rugby but will encourage them both to lead active lifestyles.
Sexton was speaking at the launch of Super Troopers, Ireland's first Health Homework programme.