It is Harder to Raise Teens Than Little Kids Says “Grey’s Anatomy” Star Patrick Dempsey

Parents usually think their job gets easier as their kids grow older. But Grey’s Anatomy star Patrick Dempsey thinks it is actually the opposite.

Dempsey, who shares 21-year-old daughter Talula and 16-year-old twins Sullivan and Darby with wife Jillian Fink, recently talked about his experience as a parent in a cover interview with PEOPLE magazine. At one point, he noted that he believes raising teens is more challenging than raising little kids.

According to Dempsey, teens still need parents to take care of them, but are purposely making it harder on them.

“Because you need to be around, but they don’t want you around because they’re fighting for their independence, which they should,” Dempsey explained. “They need to find out how they interact in the world, they need to learn those boundaries, they need to make mistakes. And you need to be there for them and allow them to learn from that.”

In some of his previous interviews, Dempsey revealed that all of his kids have different interests. Talula is passionate about cooking and has her own pastry company called Talula’s Kitchen. Sullivan is interested in following his dad’s footsteps and wishes to become an actor, while Darby wants to be a soccer star.