Parents vary, and celeb parents are no exception: some of them believe in putting their children under total control, while others don’t seem to put much (if any) stock in the discipline. That becomes more in evidence as baby mania sweeps over Hollywood.
In the place where fame thrives on looking great and acting as well as you can, times have brought on a few changes. Now you take pride in having given birth to a little one, and the way celebs deport themselves in their parental capacity is turning into another focal point to judge them by. Headlines can now be concerned with celebrities’ family life more than with the next step in their careers. Like how Jay-Z and Beyonce treat their kids to $80,000-worth Barbies all plastered over with diamonds and Kim Kardashian’s children can paint on a $50,000 Hermès bag. On the other side, there are those who can stand between their offspring and things like Christmas gifts.
There have been instances of unhappy parenting before, what with Britney Spears and her habit of driving around while holding a baby on her lap, for which she justly received flak from the press, and joined the list of celebs who actually lost custody of their children. Other examples show that celebs’ kids can be deprived of small kid joys that are natural, having to knuckle under and do things like getting by on a macrobiotic diet and staying away from the beach. Yes, there are famous kids who have to live in restricted conditions. But make your own comparisons and see what looks better from these examples of 10 toe-the-line families and 10 run-free ones.
20 The Duggar kids know no Halloween
The Duggar family who attained prominence through the reality show 19 Kids and Counting can top any list devoted to stringent parenting. They must be getting a thick wad from television and be able to afford most things they would like, but it’s neither here nor there. The family, who are devout Baptists, follow rigid rules in everything, letting hugs last no more than three seconds, seeing to it that the girls wear their hair long and so on. Swimming-pools and beaches are sinful zones not fit for the children to turn up on. Wooing must be conducted in the presence of a chaperone only, and, although the family draws their money from TV, no kind of social media is allowed to attend the occasion. What’s more, these people who appear on the screens all over the country have no TV set at home. If you are a Duggar, you don’t observe Halloween, which is demonic according to Michelle. There are so many rules one wonders how they can be remembered. One thing is clear, there are much more rules than children.
19 Angelina Jolie’s children enjoy boundless freedom
If you thought the Duggar household was a bit weird, probably you might think the same of Angelina Jolie’s family. The relationship between her and Brad Pitt, her former husband, was not always as sane as one could wish, yet it didn’t touch the kids.
Although Jolie is believed to spend incredible sums of money (they say it runs to about $900 thousand yearly on nanny services and about $10 million on the children in general, including hiring private jet planes), her other ways of taking care of her progeny are rather questionable. She and Pitt were reported to always have arguments about the best methods of parenting their six kids (three their own and three adopted). Pitt seems to have insisted on keeping them well in hand and giving them a good education, but Jolie thought they should study only those subjects they showed interest in. Nannies said that bedtimes came at any time at all. Discussing the issue with a UK radio station, Jolie revealed her attitude to parenting, saying she wanted the children to show her what they were, there being no other way to learn it. Is it the same as setting them free to lead their lives as they like?
18 Kourtney Kardashian wants to have no truck with microwaves
While with many celebs their parenting often remains a subject for speculation built up from scraps of information, with Kourtney Kardashian it’s all perfectly public through the Keeping Up With The Kardashians TV show. Beginning with the birth of her first son with Scott Disick in 2009, she went on to have two other kids – though her union with Disick finally disintegrated. The children have got all the toys they want and can play around at their will; but their meals and bedtimes are closely controlled. The diet she chose for her little ones (gluten-free, organic, dairy excluded) is a standing joke with her sisters, nevertheless it is a set rule in the household. Microwaves are not used because they can cook reheated dishes unevenly, as well as plastic containers which may be toxic. The little Kardashians have 30 minutes every day to be glued to the screen and no more, and there are no iPads when they go to bed. Not quite the modern idea of kiddy-fun, is it?
17 Meanwhile Kim gives North designer purses to practice painting
Kourtney and Kim run shoulder-to-shoulder in terms of children – each has three – but their attitudes can’t be more different. Kim’s ideas about going to bed are far laxer; also, she doesn’t swear by dieting, especially ones as strict as Kourtney’s. Kim usually totes a $50,000 Hermès bag for her daughter North’s diapers and occasionally for cheddar snacks which she believes to be good food for the kids. Incidentally, she purchased one such for North to paint on. Can you imagine having a $50,000 bag to re-model and re-paint?
Kim ignored bedtime completely at least once when she took North along to Fashion Week, the place which North hardly appreciated, starting to scream her head off to show that the time was ripe for bed and not for attending late grown-up events. Kimberly and Kanye West have two other children, son Saint and daughter Chicago, who may have to endure the same kind of treatment.
16 Kate Middleton and Prince William never overstay the Queen at dinner table
Living in luxurious surroundings is one thing, but hewing to the line is another, and we know that royals have strict household rules. Kate Middleton and Prince William are expecting their third to join Prince George and Princess Charlotte. The children are looked after by a nanny and can’t be said to enjoy a free lifestyle. Apart from the fact they don’t use iPads at home, they have their meal times regulated so closely that they can’t finish the meal before their great-grandmother the Queen does. Once she has ceased eating, they have to follow suit. At Christmas, they mustn’t open all their presents at once. Although the Prince and the Princess are very young yet, it is their duty to accompany their parents on official visits which are numerous. They have to dress up and go through a lot of greetings and partings – which sounds rather a chore. Did you ever think that princesses lead a life like that?
15 Mayim Bialik is well into breastfeeding
Remembering Bialik for portraying Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory, you may believe she is a long way from being a mother; but the actress has two sons in treating whom she displays some very surprising parental qualities. There are enough moms who are exponents of breastfeeding, like Bialik, but is there another one who would breastfeed her kid after they turned four? Well, Bialik does.
Among some other things she practices are co-sleeping and no schedule household. The kids eat and go to bed when they feel like it. There is no obligation for them to thank people and ask politely. Since their mummy draws $100,000 for every episode on BBT, they must have everything they need. Bialik laid down her parenting ideas in her book Beyond the Sling: A Real Guide To Raising Confident Loving Children The Attachment Parenting Way. You can get other unconventional child-rearing ideas from its pages.
14 Gwyneth Paltrow watches over her children’s food
Gwyneth Paltrow isn’t exactly known as an easy-going person, but she is a truly focused one. She put her acting on the shelf in order to invest her time into her company Goop which disseminates lifestyle advice. Her two children are also in the thick of things. It is supposed that Apple and Moses share their mom’s diet eating only gluten-free and low-carb food (cakes, chips, cookies strictly excluded!). Paltrow’s cook book definitely states that after her family lay off foods like bread, pasta, or processed grains, they “are left with that specific hunger that comes with avoiding carbs.” Interviewed by ABC News, she said that her children can watch TV in some European languages, but not in English. It may be great for knowing languages, but is it kiddy fun?
13 Britney Spears places her baby on the lap when driving
As Britney Spears’ reputation as an iconic pop star is high, so her reputation as a mother is lower than low. Both in relationships and in parenting the singer is highly unconventional; as for her children, it ended up with her losing custody of them. She was photographed holding her son Sean Preston with one hand on her lap while driving with the other – in a direct violation of court order. Then she all but dropped the kid before paparazzi. These instances of gross carelessness are characteristic of her attitude. So, even though she likes to upload charming pictures of her children on the Instagram, many people are aware that what looks good on the outside is pitiful on the inside, so Spears’ parenting adds no bright feather to her hat.
12 Jessica Alba’s children’s good things don’t last
Reigning in Hollywood with her attractive appearance and the ability to carry off parts in big budget films, at home Jessica Alba seems to be an exacting mother who is always quick with a prohibition. Alba is an exponent of a healthy lifestyle, and she involves her children into health-related activities. But she doesn’t bear kids to have a lot of independence. They live in the household where their life is strictly timed. As Alba shared with the Woman’s Day magazine, when her little ones act up, she puts them in the corner face to the wall. The actress deals out punishment lavishly, and says she takes pride in the way she handles her kids. But the question is whether they feel good with this kind of parenthood.
11 Will & Jada Pinkett-Smith see no need in kids cleaning
If you want an example of a really successful family, here’s Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith’s – they have been together for more than 20 years, which is a long time for a celebrity family. They had two children, Willow and Jaden, and both of them succeeded in gaining enough fame and wealth. The parents found no use in punishments and oppression, so W. and J. enjoyed their rights when living under their roof. The two are now serious proponents of gender neutrality – the attitude they must have developed at home where they knew no holding back. Will Smith is sure there is something negative in punishment. Also, why pick on kids? According to Will, you don’t tell an adult that it is time they cleaned their rooms, so there’s no reason to pester a child with the same demand. Easy living the Smith way seems to be a great thing!
10 Kunis-Kutcher family don’t hold with Christmas presents
When Christmastime is nearing, the question arises how much money a family can afford for kids’ gifts. If you are a celebrity, you are free to spend as much as you like, and thousands of dollars is not anything unheard of. But it doesn’t work for the star couple Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher. Last year Kunis revealed to Entertainment Tonight that they don’t give presents to the children. She seems to pose as a strict mother who doesn’t want her kids to grow up greedy for gifts. Neither does she want to upload her kids’ photos, keeping them well out of the limelight. It can be hard since there are always photographers around, but harder still not to look forward to Christmas with its gifts and fun because family traditions say different.
9 Katie Holmes allows her daughter to lay the rules
Katie Holmes has certainly been through a little private hell since she and Tom Cruise parted ways, and it may well be the reason why she dotes on their daughter Suri so much that she bends down to the will of a girl who is not yet into her teens. To tell the truth, she has been doing it all this time, and now she is 39 and Suri is 11 it is even more obvious. When Suri could barely walk, the actress allowed her to put on her designer heels – a decision that caused a lot of controversy with many parents worldwide wondering if Holmes is able to control her daughter. In her interviews the Logan Lucky star admitted that she takes heed of her daughter’s opinion. Having shaken off a scientologist, Holmes appears to have replaced him with a pre-teen to tell her what to do? It doesn’t feel quite right for an adult to hang on the lips of her daughter who is way too young.
8 Screen time in the Obama family is strictly regulated
Barack Obama left the White House, giving up the hard job he had to do, but he still holds the public eye – he, his charming wife Michelle and their two girls, also former residents of the presidential headquarters. Yet you mustn’t think Sasha and Malia’s lives were one long uninterrupted holiday. Michelle acknowledged that she had the girls under unceasing surveillance coming into their rooms to see they were talking about school, about the only subject considered right. During the week they were to use computers and iPads only for school assignments, and at weekends screen time was strictly regulated. Now Malia Obama attends Harvard, so the academically-minded control proved worthwhile!
7 Pamela Anderson believes in children experimenting
Nobody would think that the Baywatch and Playboy star is one great parent: Pamela Anderson is gorgeous but scandalous, a mixture not quite suitable for considerate parenting. Yet the blonde beauty bore two children with her first husband, drummer Tommy Lee, and now the star turned 50, her sons are no longer little children. If we are to go by her website, Anderson’s parenting is just as reckless as other aspects of her life, even if she speaks of moderation. She doesn’t mind her sons experimenting with substances that are not quite above-board and speaks of looking for “true love.” Actually, those two ideas can be incompatible!
6 David and Victoria Beckham expel soccer from home
David Beckham, of England National Football Team, is for many people a paragon of soccer playing. He is married to ex-Posh Spice Victoria Beckham, and during their 18 years together they gave birth to three sons and a daughter. The kids’ famous mother is worth more than $400 million, their father is good for about the same amount too, and you may think the Beckham children are sitting on top of the world. In fact, they are not always free to do what they want. Interviewed by E!, Victoria said she and David believe in strict upbringing; the children are taught to be polite and stopped from chasing about the house. Much as they want to play with soccer balls, they are not allowed to! It seems that the time for them to step into daddy’s shoes hasn’t come yet.
5 Celine Dion’s twins crawl into her bed
Celine Dion has conquered the stage and reigns in the music industry, but her successes in parenting are far more dubious. Dion has three children, all sons, an elder son and twins. She has few rules for her children, and takes twins to bed with her because she believes they feel more secure this way. Her son was allowed to grow a mane of hair until he went to school when he had to cut it to suit the regulations. René-Charles, Eddy, and Nelson were named after important people in Dion’s life, and hopefully they will also prefer fame to unbounded freedom.
4 Madonna doesn’t hold with TV – and ordinary water
Madonna may be incredibly pranky on the stage, but at home with her kids she is exacting and unyielding. The pop icon has two children of her own plus four adopted ones, and their lives are not all sugar and spice. Madonna is dead against television (her words for it are “trash,” “poison”). Alongside with TV, newspapers and magazines are off-limits. The children’s food ought to be only wholesome, meaning there can be no candy or ice-cream. Even the water they drink must be Kabbalah water of a special “holy” quality. All this sounds as if her children are hard pressed for fun.
3 Alicia Silverstone cherishes her own parenting ideas
Alicia Silverstone owes her fame to the ’90s Clueless comedy which achieved iconic popularity. But among parents she is also well-known – though not so positively – for her outlandish habits and views. She was condemned for feeding kids from her mouth with food she has chewed at first in a birdlike fashion. Still the actress considers herself to be a prominent dietitian and parenting expert and penned two books on these subjects meaning to follow them up with a third. Some of her opinions are really weird, like she states diary is toxic or you don’t want to have vaccinations against severe diseases. You may not want to follow her advice, and nobody will blame you for that.
2 Chip and Joanna Gaines chose military kind of upbringing for their kids
Home improvement is a great idea for a show, and in their Fixer Upper Chip and Joanna Gaines do a great job that is interesting for everyone. But while their house can be perfectly customized and optimized, their parenting is not unimpeachable. While looking pretty laid-back, the couple who have four children are really demanding. There are to be no phones for their children before college, television and gaming are strictly limited. Asked about his parenting ways, Chip compared himself to a drill sergeant in one of his interviews. Things are a bit more lenient with Joanna, yet we have doubts just how nice it is to be a Gaines child with all those restrictions.
1 Leah Remini lets her daughter have her way
It’s a public knowledge that when you don’t say “no” to your kids you breed anarchy. Leah Remini, of the King Of Queens sitcom fame, decided to prove otherwise. As she revealed on The Rachael Ray Show, her daughter Sofia can lap up six bottles during a night or even more, giving her mom a problem of a kind. That’s something to marvel at. Then again, the actress let slip that her 4-year-old daughter continued to wear diapers. It looks like there’s no controlling force to put things into the right perspective.
Cast your mind back to when you were a kid, would you have liked to get this kind of treatment? It’s usually no use trying to prove a parent that he or she is doing it wrong, even if it’s obvious in some cases, but a few of these facts can give us shocks.