In a new interview with Hello!, the 44-year-old actress opens up about how watching her six children with ex Brad Pitt become teenagers has impacted her.
"When your children are little you feel more 'mommy.' When they are teenagers you start to remember yourself as a teenager," she says of Maddox, 18, Pax, 15, Zahara, 14, Shilo, 13, and 11-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox. "You see them going to punk clubs and you wonder why you can't go. I'm in this fun moment where I’m rediscovering myself."
As her children grow she's made sure to impart important lessons on them, including kindness, humility and a broad view of the world.
"Kindness -- to others and themselves. It's important to be humble -- know the freedoms you have and what you've been blessed with and make sure you help others," Jolie says of what she's taught her kids. "And always remember your place -- we’re all human and very flawed. We're tiny pieces in a much bigger world."
It seems her children took her words to heart, as Jolie notes that "as they grow up, I find my children are strong individuals but still open-minded."
"I try to lead by example and be kind and gracious, as my mother was -- and loving and tolerant. But when there's a fight that needs to be had, get in there," she says. "We need to prepare the next generation because there’s so much happening in the world -- they’re up against it. I'm working on a program for children with the BBC. We're counting on our children so we must give them the right knowledge and support."
Another way Jolie's kids show their love is by making big days and milestones into sweet moments for their mom.
"On Mother's Day my children make me breakfast and pick me flowers -- they treat me like a lady," she shares. "When I do take time for myself, I rediscover that softness I speak of... I also realize I have more fight and resilience in me than I knew. But at my core I'm soft and vulnerable -- it's not my dream just to be strong. I want to be allowed to be soft and I don’t want to be harmed or feel unsupported when I am."
"Oh my god, and embarrass your children ugly cry!" Jolie told ET's Nischelle Turner of when she got on a plane home. "I also, just at some point, had the big [sun]glasses and the amount of times I turned and waved. I do know it was the one moment in my life I think I turned around six times before the airport just... and he sweetly stayed and kept waving, knowing that I was going to keep turning around. You could feel he knew he couldn't leave."
"It's nice to know how much he knows he's loved," she added. "And but yeah, I miss him, I miss him. I'll just get out there. It's not like I haven't set my plane tickets."