Jonathan Scott Discusses the Struggles That Come With Being a Stepfather and How He Makes the Most of It

Jonathan Scott was at a wrap party for Property Brothers when he came across a psychic doing tarot card readings. He decided to give it a shot, but was unimpressed when the psychic told him he would have children within the next 12 months. He found it funny because he didn’t even have a girlfriend. 

Six months later, he met Zooey Deschanel while filming a Carpool Karaoke segment in August 2019. “We started dating, moved in together, and before the end of the year I had kids,” he said in an interview, published on his Drew and Jonathan website. “I never even thought about being an ‘Instant Dad.’” 

The interview featured both Jonathan and his brother, Drew Scott, who have taken different paths into fatherhood over the past few years. They both talk about some of the struggles that come with fatherhood – especially with Jonathan being a step-father – and how they’re making the most out of being a father. 

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“Fatherhood is recognizing that there are all different kinds of dads in the world, and I don’t think any one is better than the other. It’s really been the joy of my life to dive into these stepdad duties headfirst. I’ve hit the ground running and love every minute of it,” Jonathan Scott said of what being a father means to him. 

Jonathan’s girlfriend, Zooey Deschanel, shares a seven-year-old daughter (Elsie Otter) and six-year-old son (Charlie Wolf) with her ex-husband, Jacob Pechenik. Both children have a good relationship with their biological father, so Jonathan didn’t force anything on them when he started dating their mother. 

He has built a very strong relationship with the kids over the past few years and enjoys being a father figure, but he admits it hasn’t come without struggle. For example, they were having a hard time figuring out what the kids were going to call him – they already had a ‘daddy’ and a ‘papa’ (their grandfather). 

“Eventually they came up with ‘my Jonathan.’ So, whenever they tell a story they say, ‘There’s daddy, there’s mommy, and he’s my Jonathan,’” he said of his nickname – adding that they tried to ‘change the narrative and get them to call me papa instead,’ but the kids weren’t having it and ‘my Jonathan’ stuck.

Jonathan Scott Believes in Expressing His Feelings

Jonathan Scott talked about another struggle – more of a growing pain – that he endured in the early days of becoming a stepfather for the first time. He recalled how the two kids ‘didn’t necessarily run up and jump in my arms and give me a big hug’ when he first started dating Zooey Deschanel in 2019. 

He also recalled hearing other kids tell Charlie or Elsie that their father was funny – referring to Jonathan – to which they would respond, “That’s not my daddy, he’s my Jonathan.” Scott explained how it ‘hurt a little bit’ to hear that and it took some time before he understood they didn’t mean it as a bad thing. 

“Over time, I worked on expressing my feelings to them, and the things that make me sad and happy. I think it’s good for kids to know that grownups have feelings, too. Having that dialogue with them is so important because as they get older, they’ll continue to keep those lines open,” he said in the interview.

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While it took them some time to open up, he says Charlie and Elsie both ‘scream my name and they come running and want a big hug.’ He also credits his strong relationship with Zooey as a driving force behind their ability to parent together and co-parent with Jacob Pechenik – everyone’s on the same page.

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