Mark-Paul Gosselaar's 4 Kids: Everything to Know

Mark-Paul Gosselaar has four kids: Michael, Ava, Dekker and Lachlyn

<p>WENN Rights Ltd / Alamy</p> Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Catriona McGinn, Michael Charles Gosselaar, Ava Lorenn Gosselaar, Dekker Edward Gosselaar, Lachlyn Hope Gosselaar at The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation 26th Annual Time For Heroes Family Festival

WENN Rights Ltd / Alamy

Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Catriona McGinn, Michael Charles Gosselaar, Ava Lorenn Gosselaar, Dekker Edward Gosselaar, Lachlyn Hope Gosselaar at The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation 26th Annual Time For Heroes Family Festival

Mark-Paul Gosselaar keeps busy these days as a father to four kids.

The actor is raising four children: Michael, Ava, Dekker and Lachlyn. He shares his two eldest, Michael and Ava, with his ex Lisa Ann Russell, and his two youngest, Dekker and Lachlyn, with his wife, Catriona McGinn.

Mark-Paul has enjoyed every stage of fatherhood. “It is fun to see the different stages the [kids] are in,” he told PEOPLE in 2019, before joking, “We’re busy in all aspects of parenting at the moment, from short-order cooks to Uber drivers, to Postmates drivers, to Amazon delivery drivers. We’re covering all the bases.”

Related: Mark-Paul Gosselaar Reveals Why He Doesn't Want His Children in the Entertainment Industry

In another PEOPLE interview, he detailed how he and McGinn were remembering the funny and sweet moments of parenting.

“The minute Dekker sat up and Michael goes to bed without a night light [and] Ava loses her tooth — there’s literally milestones every single day with children,” he said. “We write it down in a journal every once in a while. Anytime the kids say a funny quote, we write it down ... and then we read them out loud. It just shows how the time progressed.”

Here’s everything to know about Mark-Paul Gosselaar’s four kids: Michael, Ava, Dekker and Lachlyn.

Michael Charles Gosselaar, 20

<p>Ari Perilstein/Getty</p> Michael Charles Gosselaar

Ari Perilstein/Getty

Michael Charles Gosselaar

Mark-Paul and Russell’s eldest son, Michael Charles Gosselaar, was born in Los Angeles on Jan. 31, 2004.

In 2019, Mark-Paul told PEOPLE that his Saved by the Bell fame was helping his son score some social points at school. “My 14-year-old son goes to school and is like, ‘Dad, the girls love you!’ and I’m like, ‘No, they love Zack Morris,’ ” he said.

Mark-Paul added that his kids are, for the most part, “indifferent” about his work as an actor. “Honestly, my kids are ‘screenagers’ — if it isn’t something they can watch in five minutes, they don’t,” he explained.

In a 2016 interview with Entertainment Tonight, Mark-Paul shared that Michael was interested in following in his father’s acting footsteps.

"He has athletic ability, but doesn't want to be an athlete," the actor said. "He wants to do something in this business, so I will support that."

However, Mark-Paul noted that he wanted his son to become an actor as an adult, adding, “I wouldn’t want him to go through it as a child, but when he becomes 18 he can do whatever he wants.”

Mark-Paul has spoken about his own experience as a child actor and why he doesn’t want his kids entering the industry while they’re young. "That's one of the reasons I don't want my children in it is because I don't feel it's a place for children," he said in the Hulu documentary Kid 90.

Ava Lorenn Gosselaar, 18

<p>Ari Perilstein/Getty</p> Ava Lorenn Gosselaar

Ari Perilstein/Getty

Ava Lorenn Gosselaar

Mark-Paul and Russell’s daughter, Ava Lorenn Gosselaar, was born in L.A. on May 7, 2006.

When Ava was just 2, Mark-Paul shared that being a father had changed how he thought about his career.

“Having children has made me mature in ways that I think are positive to my career and yes, my family does affect the type of work that I accept,” he told The Washington Post. “Mainly with traveling. If a show were to be filmed in another state other than California, I would have to make a very educated decision regarding it."

Ava is a doting older sibling, though she might bicker with her older brother Michael from time to time. After Dekker was born, Mark-Paul joked to PEOPLE, “They still hate each other, but they love the baby, so all the love now goes to Dekker.”

One thing Ava definitely enjoys is her dad’s show. “Saved by the Bell just continues to generate more and more fans,” the actor told PEOPLE in 2015. “My 11-year-old and my 9-year-old, they binge-watch it!”

The father of four has also hinted that Ava has some serious athletic ability.

“I could probably tell you that one of my daughters is probably better than one of my sons at throwing,” he shared in 2016, when Ava was 10 and his youngest, Lachlyn, was 18 months. “Baseball has been dominated by men for years, and it’s a male sport. I don’t think we live in that world anymore. I think we’ve evolved a little bit more. It’s important for my daughters to be able to dream and attain their dreams."

Dekker Edward Gosselaar, 10

<p>Jesse Grant/Getty </p> Dekker Edward Gosselaar

Jesse Grant/Getty

Dekker Edward Gosselaar

Mark-Paul and McGinn married in July 2012 and welcomed their son, Dekker Edward Gosselaar, on Sept. 30, 2013, in L.A.

Shortly before Dekker’s birth, the actor dropped some hints about his name to PEOPLE, saying, “It is not traditional and it is not too quirky. It is different, but it’s not something odd.”

He also shared: “We’ve always wanted a big family. The kids are looking forward to a little sibling, and are asking a lot of funny questions right now.”

After welcoming his third child, Mark-Paul told PEOPLE: “We are overjoyed with the new addition to our family. We are madly in love with our little boy. He is healthy and just perfect — all we could ask for.”

Dekker’s parents have shared that he’s a smart, motivated student. On the podcast Kids Under Construction, the couple spoke about how Dekker was adjusting to remote learning during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“He’s like us in that he has this built-in resilience,” McGinn shared. “Like, he just knows, ‘This is what I gotta do. This is what everyone’s doing.’ ”

“He’s just started his journey in school, but he actually likes the work. He likes math, it’s the first thing that he wants to do in the morning. He likes the reading, he loves his teachers," Mark-Paul added.

Dekker wasn’t as enthusiastic about writing, but for the most part, “he enjoys school,” the actor continued. “We’re lucky. He’s made it easy for us.”

Lachlyn Hope Gosselaar, 9

<p>Jesse Grant/Getty</p> Lachlyn Hope Gosselaar

Jesse Grant/Getty

Lachlyn Hope Gosselaar

Mark-Paul and McGinn’s youngest daughter, Lachlyn Hope Gosselaar, was born in L.A. on Feb. 17, 2015.

“So in love with our new baby girl, Lachlyn,” Mark-Paul shared on X (formerly known as Twitter)shortly after her birth. “Mum and baby are healthy and happy. 2 boys, 2 girls, too perfect!”

While four kids might seem like a lot, the actor previously told PEOPLE he was ready to embrace it. “It’s a lot of great work,” he said in an interview just months after Lachlyn was born.

Then joking about the older kids babysitting Lachlyn and Dekker, Mark-Paul said, “Michael will take Lachlyn, Ava will take Dekker. Everyone is helping! It’s free babysitting!”

He also shared that four-kid households run in the Gosselaar family. “My mother had four of us. My brother has four. It runs in the Gosselaar family. I’m keeping up tradition," he explained.

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