Micheal Douglas is looking back on a painful time in his family’s life. In a video exclusive to ET, the Oscar-winning actor told AARP the Magazine that one of the most important things he’s learned as a parent is to set boundaries.

“Set boundaries, big and small. My older son, Cameron, was a drug addict and ended up serving seven-and-a-half years in federal prison,” Douglas shared. “That was hard, having to protect myself and my family and tell my older son that if you feel like I’m pulling away from you, I am, because I’m afraid you’re either going to kill yourself or kill somebody else. That experience with Cameron I don’t wish on anybody.”

The father of three added that while difficult, it’s something he had to do for his child. “There is a toughness that’s required,” he said. “But when you reach that point, you’re doing it for your child.”

Douglas opened up to ET about Cameron’s struggle with drugs back in 2018, speculating that maybe he “needed this to really see the new life that he’s got ahead of him.” 

The greatest lesson The Kominsky Method star learned from his late father, legendary actor, Kirk Douglas, was, “Whatever you do, make sure you give your best effort and try as hard as you can. And after that, f**k it.”

Douglas has a slightly different way of putting it for his own kids and grandkids, telling AARP that the No. 1 thing he wants them to learn from him is work ethic.

“A work ethic. Courtesy to your fellow human beings. And kindness. Which are traits you have to work at and rehearse. Particularly compassion,” he shared.

Douglas went on to say that he recognizes his privilege and is conscious of what that means for him and his family.

“I feel a certain responsibility to conduct myself as somebody who has been blessed and fortunate simply because I was born a white male,” he explained. “And also to teach them to be good citizens of the planet. I’m conscious of us all being in this together.”

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