Reese Witherspoon worries she is ''ruining'' her children's lives.

The 'Big Little Lies' star - who has 17-year-old Ava and 13-year-old Deacon with ex-husband Ryan Phillippe and four-year-old Tennessee with spouse Jim Toth - admits her older kids ''very rarely'' agree with her these days and she has been turning to her own mother for parenting tips.

She said: ''They very rarely agree with anything you tell them. And when it comes to a 17-year-old girl, you begin to see that you don't know anything about her any more.

''I find myself calling my mum and asking her for advice. I ask her, 'Am I ruining their lives?' ''

And the 41-year-old actress thinks her older children are more ''demanding'' than her youngest son and she's found her relationship with them now is a lot more ''complicated''.

She said: ''The teenagers are much more demanding. You're constantly having to guide them through all those big first moments in their lives - the first love of their life, getting their first car, and then thinking about college.

''The relationship is much more complicated compared to when they're young and your main concerns are very practical - making their meals, driving them to school and getting them to bed on time. And they usually listen to you [when they're young]!''

But the 'Home Again' star is keen to encourage her children to be independent and have their own freedom.

She told OK! magazine: ''I encourage them to be active and do sports. I also want to give them enough freedom so that they can develop their own individuality and not feel like their mother is trying to control their lives, not that they listen to you anyway.

''My parents were very thoughtful and I grew up with an independent spirit.

''I want my children to be able to discover their own interests and pursue their own ambitions.''