Celebrity Parenting Advice: The Good, The Bad, & The Questionable

Celebrity parents are always sounding off on their children and their role as parents… some more than others. Angelina Jolie‘s latest promotional tour for her film, Salt included her opening up to every major news source about intimate details of her family, which included her opinions on the widely speculated fashion choices made by her biological daughter, Shiloh, with partner Brad Pitt.

Jolie is constantly dispensing personal facts about her home life that make many of us scratch our heads in confusion. Meanwhile, other celebrity parents also offer up good, bad or questionable advice when it comes to mommy or daddy duty.

Click below to read the advice several famous moms and dads suggest when it comes to child-rearing. Some of their insight is spot-on, while some of it is downright cuckoo or questionable!

  • Angelina Jolie

In her latest round of interviews, Jolie continues to give the world a glimpse into the private goings-on of her childrens’ lives. She shares that she thinks her daughter Shiloh, 4, is “fascinating,” and elaborates on the fact that her daughter dresses “like a little dude” saying,

I would never be the kind of parent to force somebody to be something they are not. I think that is just bad parenting…. Children should be allowed to express themselves in whatever way they wish without anybody judging them because it is an important part of their growth.

  • Katie Holmes

The starlet and partner Tom Cruise seem to give daughter Suri free reign when it comes to making some important decisions. Holmes shares,

…we homeschool Suri—she has a teacher who is with her every day. We like the one-on-one education. I’m happy that my daughter is strong-willed and determined. You really have to go with what the child is wanting.

Holmes also admitted that she takes fashion advice from her little girl, and that she lets her cut up her clothing if she feels it would be more stylish that way.

Famous papa Tom Cruise adds,

Listen, I believe that she (should wear) whatever she wants to wear. She dresses herself. I want to encourage her creativity and her own self-expression. I think that’s important for the child’s own identity.

  • Gisele Bundchen

The world was up in arms over Gisele’s declaration that breastfeeding should be made
mandatory by law. The supermodel said,

Some people here (in the US) think they don’t have to breastfeed, and I think ‘Are you going to give chemical food to your child when they are so little?’ I think there should be a worldwide law, in my opinion, that mothers should breastfeed their babies for six months.

She also did a huge disservice to women everywhere by claiming natural birth “didn’t hurt in the slightest.”

Perhaps the new mom should be more seen than heard.

  • Helena Christensen

Model mom Helena Christensen takes a much more neutral approach when it comes to dispensing parenting advice. She says,

I don’t know how to give advice. When you have a child, you learn something new every day and I couldn’t give any precise rules because there aren’t any. Every child is different. You’re different. I worried a lot when I had Mingus; the responsibility is so heavy if you think about it. If you think too much about it, it drives you crazy, so just let it happen. All [kids] really want is love and routine and a good night’s sleep and delicious food. He certainly complains if there’s not enough garlic in the food.

  • Bethenny Frankel

Reality star Bethenny Frankel gives the following advice even though her tiny postpartum figure suggests otherwise,

Sleep while the baby’s sleeping! Sleep is way more important than exercise, that’s all you need to be worried about right now.

She also adds that parents should follow their own instincts sharing,

The truth is I didn’t listen to that much advice while I was pregnant or after because everyone has an opinion and you want to experience it on your own.

  • Amy Wilson

Actress Amy Wilson wants moms to know it’s okay to take time out for themselves. She says,

I’ve also learned that a happy mom is a fulfilled one. When I’m writing, or acting, or doing these other things that I love, I’m so fulfilled– and I’m therefore a happier, more patient mother at home. Being a martyr and giving up one hundred percent of yourself won’t impress your family; they won’t even notice– at least until you lose your mind because you’re tired of being walked all over. It’s okay to set some time aside to be the person you used to be before you were a mother. It doesn’t have to mean you’re selfish. I think you can actually be a better mother for it.

  • Ewan McGregor

Hot dad Ewan McGregor has some beautiful advice to share about living in the moment with your children, and being fully present with them. He says,

Pay attention: I recognize it can be boring to play with young children – to tell a story over and over again, let’s say – but the secret is being there. If you’ve made a decision to play with your children, then play with them. Don’t be looking through papers on your desk or sneaking off to the computer. Turn off your BlackBerry. Lose yourself in their world. Even if you do it for a short time, it will mean a lot to you and to them.

  • Rebecca Romijn

Rebecca Romijn‘s twins certainly keep her busy and on her toes. The statuesque star is often quoted describing parenting as the hard work it is. With regard to advice she says,

…do I have advice yet? I don’t know, I feel like I’m so in the trenches that it’s hard to dole out advice yet. I guess just to try and keep a sense of humor about everything. It’s really easy to get bogged down. You can’t even think straight half the time. I hope that once they start talking, that’s when I hope to cobwebs will start to clear from my head.

The model turned actress adds,

“Actually the best advice I can give to parents of twins is to make time alone with your partner and make sure that’s a priority.”

  • Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman is one of the most hands-on celebrity dads we know. So when he shared his parenting tips, we were all ears. He offers,

First of all, you gotta run [the kids] around before the bath. Play a game of hide and seek or wrestle or muck around. Then they’re exhausted. Then we all fall asleep on the bed!

  • Milla Jovovich

Model/actress Milla Jovovich wants to make certain her daughter, Ever will always be close to her. To accomplish this the mom suggests,

You’ve got to know your kids like the back of your hand and make sure they’re honest with you and not scared to tell you things. I know when Ever goes to school I’ll be letting my little bird go, but I just want to make sure she tells me everything that happened, good or bad.

  • Lori Loughlin

Actress Lori Loughlin calls upon her own mother for parenting advice. With regard to parenting she suggests,

I would say you have to take one day at a time, and do the best job that you can. Love your children, and at the end of the day, don’t beat yourself up. As my mother said, in spite of it all, “they will grow up, they will go on, and they will survive.” I still call her for parenting advice.

  • Alec Baldwin

Although actor Alec Baldwin is as famous for his fatherhood blunders (calling his daughter Ireland, with Kim Basinger a “pig”) as he is for his acting career, the star is writing a parenting book. He admits the irony and explains the foundation of his book saying,

It will be ironic for some people, but I’m going to write a parenting book. We’re at, not a crisis, but an awful place right now in terms of parenting. People are raising their children with the belief that we need to be friends with our children. Kids have too much power and call too many of the shots, telling their parents what they will and won’t do.

  • Janet Lansbury

Actress Janet Lansbury offers some great parenting advice when it comes to respecting and honoring your children from infancy onward. With regard to infants she says,

Pay real attention to your babies when you are feeding, diapering and bathing them. Don’t be on the phone while you’re nursing. Talk to babies about what you are doing together. Include them. Then, when they are peacefully looking off at a corner of the room, don’t interrupt. Those periods when a baby is involved in thought will stretch longer and longer and will be the beginning of the independent playtime you will want to cultivate.

Which celebrity parents do you think are doing an amazing, poor or questionable job raising their children?

Filed under: Alec Baldwin,Amy Wilson,Angelina Jolie,Catherine McCord,Celebrity Dads,Celebrity Moms,Ewan McGregor,Exclusives,Gisele Bundchen,Helena Christensen,Hugh Jackman,Katie Holmes,Milla Jovovich,Rebecca Romijn

Photo credit: Fame

  • Anonymous

    I do agree with alec Baldwin
    Kids have too much power now, and that’s really bad for parents !
    I child should know about limits, because they cannot grow thinking that everyone is gonna do what they want :
    Real life is nothing like that, the more early they learn that, the better they will be later !

  • Anon

    Sorry Very bad perants

  • Anonymous

    As far as Gisele Bundchen, breastfeeding is best and should be encouraged. A law? No. Childbirth may have not been painful for her, we’re all different. Her experience in no way changes someone else’s. I don’t see how that’s a disservice to anyone.

    • mslewis

      Totally agree!! I don’t understand why people got upset with what Gisele was saying. Breastfeeing is best for your child and, yes, everybody should do it. Not everybody can do it but those who can should. And giving birth is different for each person and Gisele was in such good shape that I’m not at all surprised that she had little to no pain. All of the abuse Gisele had taken makes me sad, it really does.

  • Carey

    I agree with Alec Baldwin, Milla Jovovich, Ewan McGregor and Amy Wilson.
    Baldwin’s words are so true. Children and teenangers have too much power. The adults are becoming more liberal and subjugated.

    Gisele’s words were wrong but I thought it was unfair and shameful the reactions of women, if I was Gisele I would just shut my mouth. People give too much power to celebrities and when a celebrity uses the power, people get angry.
    Gisele’s mother has six daughters perhaps she did breastfeed each one. And we can’t ignore the fact that in her homecountry the issues of breastfeeding and maternal milk are more developed than in our country.

    • Carey

      I just want to add one more thing to my comment about Gisele Bundchen. She truely believes that what’s good for her is good for everyone else, well she’s not different of other celebrities.
      The experience of childbirth is different for each woman. There are woman who do feel little pain others who feel too much. I don’t believe Gisele didn’t felt anything. Natural birth is good when everything is favourable otherwise is not a smart thing. C-Section has become an epidemy when it shouldn’t.

      I want to add more.
      Katie Holmes, Tom Cruise and Angelina sound like parents who are subjugated and weak when the child wants something. In the case of Katie/Tom I see that Suri is the one who wear the pants at home. But I don’t know about Angelina.

      • Carey

        I’ve just checked. Looks like in Gisele’s home country is going on a campaign to incentivate natural birth because of the extremely high number of C-Sections over there. There are “milk banks” for women who can’t produce milk or can’t feed with her own milk so they can get (if they want) milk from the bank for free, the milk comes from women who donated.
        I’m so out of it. I’ve no idea if in somewhere in America we have something like “milk banks”.

        • Another Anonymous

          re: milk banks. we do. they’re not common but they do exist.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t understand why Gisele Bündchen’s advice is a disservice for women. I think she is right, breastfeeding is the best thing you can do for you child, much better than any formula could be. It may not come naturely to every woman and may take time to adjust, but it is so worth. It may not be the best reference, but I was shocked to see a girl at “16 and pregnant” to stop breastfeeding after just 4 days because it hurt her. A friend of mine had to “suffer” almost 4 weeks, but had an amazing midwife that encouraged her to try again and again. She happily nursed her baby girl for almost a year afterwards. Maybe we are lucky, as part of the pregancy health plan in Germany, we have a midwife come to visit every day during the first week and on demand during the first month after the birth. So you don’t have to look for help when you’re struggeling, the help just shows up on your door step. I don’t know how the system’s work in the States, but I’m sure this 16-year-old girl wouldn’t have given up so early if she had had someone by her side telling her that everything she experienced was totally normal and that she should keep on trying.
    And about the birth pain, I’m sure Gisele is not the only woman in the world that had a pleasant birth experience. My mum had two calm and painless births and she is still confused about the depiction of birthing in movies and tv shows. I think those are a disservice to women. I’m not surprised about the rising no. of c-sections when all we hear and see about births’ is the pain and the screaming.

    • Another Anonymous

      The us doesn’t have support like that, it would be wonderful if it did. Saying we should breastfeeding manditory implies it’s the woman’s fault for not having the support necessary.

      My problem with what she has said publicly is that it seems to be her belief that it should be as easy for everyone as it was for her, and it just isn’t. Not everyone has her body type, and certainly not everyone has the time or resources to devote to being fit and healthy that she has. I’m not taking anything away from her, I think she could be a role model to other women, but she needs to chose her words more carefully. Use words that support other women in making different choices, rather than seem to cut them down.

  • ll65

    There are milk bank in the US. There are 15 clearing houses in the states that sends donated breast milk to mothers or hospitals who need the benefits of breast. The breast milk is screened and pasteurized to be safe. I just heard a podcast about this on Pregtastic Pregnancy Podcast. Very interesting subject as I’d never heard of such a thing before yesterday.

    • ll65

      Also, I know a few women who said they didn’t have enormous pain during childbirth. I know just a many who said they were in agony. I think the problem with Giselle was that she wanted breastfeeding to be mandatory. She is pompous but I think her heart is in the write place.

  • marie

    my favorite was Helena Christensen! second fave was Ewan McGreggor, but over all most of them were good. The worst was the Cruises. Katie’s comment “I’m happy that my child is strong-willed” is just screaming “my child ignores me no matter what I say” . Giselle’s comment about having a pain-free delivery made me roll my eyes. Good for you though! but it’s a bit irresponsible for her to make an statement like that. In regards to the breastfeeding law, I think Giselle was just being passionate about it. I’ve met some people that had made the decision to NOT breastfeed way before their baby was born and to me it was a bit shocking too. I agree that it’s best for the baby, but it’s not for everyone. I struggled with breastfeeding for 4 exact weeks, I cried and I felt useless and it broke my heart to give my baby formula, but at the end I realized that both things were good. I think that instead of focusing on breastfeeding laws, these celebrities should be concentrating on helping to create a law that would allow the mother to:
    1.- stay home BEFORE the baby is born, so she can rest properly. Making the mother work until the baby pops out at her desk is MEDIEVAL.
    2.- Let the mother with her baby AT LEAST 6 months, notwithstanding what the insurance company says. How can you expect someone to have the ability to focus knowing that her 8 week old baby is with an stranger? 8 or 12 weeks is not enough! (sorry, I love the U.S.A, but this Country treats babies like pieces of meat!!) Now if the mother wants to come back after 8 or 12 weeks, let that be HER choice, NOT the insurance company. Oh, and those 6 months should be paid at full…the FMLA which allows the mother to stay 4 extra weeks WITHOUT pay IT’S A JOKE!! NOW, HOW IT’S THAT SUPPOSED TO HELP! Sorry everyone, I got a bit carried away…

  • SiervaMaria

    As much as I agree with Angelina about not impeding a childs creativity, I’m with Alec Baldwin on not letting a kid run my show. I just recently had to remind the 11 year old that I am not her “girlfriend.” She was getting a bit to comfy with the notion that just because I try to keep things more conversational and open, she thought that gave her permission to lose her mind for a minute and reduce me to her level. We got it straight.

  • cara

    go marie.

    cruises are in complete denial. they are over-indulging suri and you can see from her behaviour that she is developmentally not where she should be as a result e.g. the being carried, hiding behind hair, sucking on bottles, carrying her blankie with her 24/7. I do have sympathy for Katie though, she appears to be quite lonely and isolated and it is very easy in such a situation to blur the line between child and companion. Katie says, “you really just have to go with what the child is wanting” and i would add that what Suri wants and needs are some firm boundaries.

    Helena Christensen and Ewan McGregor have some really beautiful and true observations.

    Giselle Bundchen is a smug and stupid and in MY ideal world there would be a law passed to prevent smug and stupid people from giving interviews.

  • Anonymous

    There was an old cartoon strip entitled “There Oughta’ Be a Law!” Ms. Bundchen’s quote was not meant to be taken completely literally.

Latest Dish