Parenting would be a lot easier if it came with an instruction manual that told us the steps we should take to raise successful, happy children. Unfortunately, life isn’t that simple! To this day, there’s still no one proven method on how to properly raise children. Tons of different techniques have been put forward that claim to lead to more prosperous kids, from attachment parenting to free-range parenting. And parents are all divided on which one is the best.
Each kid is unique, so it makes sense that they won’t all respond the same to different parenting techniques. And each parent is unique, which is why we don’t all have the same parenting style. Some moms and dads are stricter with their kids, and might have rules about their children’s social lives, eating habits, or how often they can watch TV. Other parents lean more towards the lenient side, preferring a more care-free and relaxed approach to parenting. And neither of those approaches are wrong.
Just like all of us normal folks parent differently, so do celebrities. Some are strict while others are lenient — some of the most risqué celebs are actually tough on their own offspring. Read on to learn which celebrity parents consider themselves sergeant drills and which think that they’re pushovers.
Let's start with the 10 strictest parents in Hollywood...
20 Jessica Alba
Actress Jessica Alba shares two young daughters, Haven and Honor, and infant son, Hayes, with her husband, Cash Warren. Between keeping up with acting roles, running The Honest Company, and spending time with her family, many fans wonder how this celeb does it. And evidently, she relies on strict parenting.
“My kids are constantly snatching things out of the other one's hand," the actress told People magazine about her approach to discipline. "So now it's, 'Stand in the corner and put your nose against the wall!' My 2-year-old can last 15 seconds before she's like, 'Okay, I'm done!' and then I'm like, 'Wait, it's not up to you!' My 5-year-old can go for some time, like a minute or two."
19 Chip and Joanna Gaines
Chip and Joanna Gaines are always busy flipping houses on Fixer Upper, so it’s a wonder that they find the time to raise five young kids at the same time. But it sounds like they rely on a lot of tough-love to get their kids to be as well behaved as they are.
"When I got to be a parent, I don't know what it is about it […] I feel a little bit like a drill sergeant sometimes,” Chip told People about his parenting style. “Some elements of my personality, as a parent, I'm not really crazy about."
His wife added, "We keep telling our kids they don't get a phone until they go off to college.”
Madonna, who’s a mother to two biological and four adopted children, has been known for her wild antics and risqué looks since her youth. As such, fans have come to assume that this means she’s likely free-spirited and lenient with her own children, but it sounds like that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
The pop icon has been open about how tough she can be on her kids — she doesn’t even allow her kids to watch TV. "My kids don't watch TV . . . TV is trash," Madonna once told U.K. magazine Harpers & Queens."I was raised without it. I didn't miss anything. TV is [dangerous]. No one even talks about it around here. We have televisions, but they're not hooked up to anything but movies. We don't have magazines or newspapers in the house, either."
17 Jennifer Garner
Actress Jennifer Garner and her ex-husband Ben Affleck share three children — daughters Violet and Seraphina and son Samuel. The celeb has been open about the fact that she has high standards for her kids and implements house rules to help them learn responsibility.
“[I’m] pretty strict,” she has said to People. “I’m not worried so much about junk food, because we don’t have it in the house — although I don’t want to be a freak about it so that they just want to get their hands on it at all costs,” she went on. “It’s more that you just want to make sure they’re getting a rainbow of flavours and of foods.”
16 Victoria and David Beckham
Given the fact that they have four kids, we’ve always imagined David and Victoria Beckham must run a tight ship at home. Victoria has actually been open about how she and her hubby lean on the stricter side of things. But given how lovely their kids seem to be, we’d say it’s working.
"We've always been strict with the children," the former Spice Girl told E! News. "They have great manners. They always say 'please' and 'thank you,' and I think that's very important … At the same time, they're still fun.”
She continued, “They still run around the house and they're crazy and they're singing and they're dancing and they're kicking footballs around, which I don't allow them to do but that seems to be the one area that I can't discipline them in," she laughs. "They will not stop playing football in the house."
15 Candace Cameron Bure
Full House alum Candace Cameron Bure has made headlines in recent years for her parenting methods. The devout Christian and her husband aren’t afraid to use controversial methods to discipline their kids and have strict rules for their kids regarding what they eat, how much they work out, and their social lives — Candace has even admitted to adding her kids’ friends on social media!
“We turn off the TV, video games and computer - except for homework - during the week,” the star once explained about one of her house rules. “The TV's reserved for Friday night, Saturday and Sunday just because that's the time to do homework, and it makes it that much less chaotic in our house.”
14 Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey is known for her Diva-ish ways, so fans assumed she’d spoil her twins, Monroe and Moroccan, as much as she does herself. But her ex husband Nick Cannon once revealed that the two of them tend to be a bit strict when it comes to parenting their kiddos.
"My kids—it's a blessing—they're extremely disciplined. They try [misbehaving] with other people because everyone gives them so much attention, but when it comes to [Mariah] and I, we only have to say something once,” Nick once explained. “We ask them to have a seat, they sit down, cross their legs, and put their hands in their lap. I hope it lasts!"
13 Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow is less known for her acting nowadays and more so for the health-conscious advice she gives on her site Goop. The star has a lot of controversial and often-expensive life hacks, including the tips she gives on parenting. But overall, it seems like Gwyn is pretty strict when it comes to parenting her two kids, Apple and Moses, whom she shares with her ex, Coldplay’s Chris Martin.
For instance, the celeb boasts about the strict eating plan she keeps her family on. "Every ... nutritionist, doctor and health-conscious person I have ever come across ... seems to concur that [gluten] is tough on the system and many of us are at best intolerant of it and [sometimes] allergic to it," Gwyn explained of her family’s strict eating plan in her cookbook It’s All Good.
"Sometimes when my family is not eating pasta, bread, or processed grains like white rice, we're left with that specific hunger that comes with avoiding carbs,” she added.
12 Mayim Bialik
Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik shares two sons, Miles and Fred, with her ex husband. The star, who also holds a PhD, has been very open about her controversial parenting style, which includes practicing attachment parenting.
Over all, Mayim says she likes to keep things pretty relaxed with her sons, but that doesn’t mean she’s not strict about things like chores.
“I’m a fun mom. My boys think of me as fun but I definitely have a lot of my parents’ strong work ethic and emphasis on chores,” she told People. “When they ask for an allowance for their chores, I say, ‘I don’t get paid for my chores. I’m not paying you for yours.’”
11 Julie Bowen
Julie Bowen is known for playing a pretty carefree mom on Modern Family, but it sounds like she acts a bit stricter in real life when it comes to raising her three sons, Oliver, Gustav, and John, with her husband Scott Phillips.
In fact, the celeb strong disagrees with parents who try to act more like their child’s friend than a parental figure. “Being your kids’ best friend is not always the best parenting choice,” the star told Working Mother. “It’s not about everybody being happy all the time. It’s about setting limits. In my house that makes my kids very unhappy, like tantrums-on-the-ground-twice-a-day unhappy. But the limits are set.”
And here are the 10 most lenient parents in Hollywood...
10 Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie famously shares six children with her ex-husband Brad Pitt. After the famous couple parted ways in 2016, sources say the busy mom had a hard time adjusting to parenting alone and that the kids were taking advantage of her leniency.
“Food and water fights and soccer games inside the house remain the norm,” a source told In Touch, adding that Angie has “no rules” or bedtimes for the kids. “They go to bed very, very late and end up sleeping in very late the next day,” the insider continued. “ The kids have been openly defiant and unmanageable when it comes to tutors and nannies. The nannies have no control when it comes to the kids. They pretty much run them. It’s a case of lunatics taking over the asylum.”
It sounds like the kids are definitely running this household!
9 Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith
“We don’t do punishment,” Will once told E! News about he and his wife’s relaxed parenting style. “The way that we deal with our kids is, they are responsible for their lives. Our concept is, as young as possible, give them as much control over their lives as possible and the concept of punishment, our experience has been — it has a little too much of a negative quality.”
The father of three continued, “So when they do things — and you know, Jaden, he’s done things — you can do anything you want as long as you can explain to me why that was the right thing to do for your life.”
8 Kylie Jenner
Kylie Jenner became a young mom at the age of 20, so we’re not surprised that she’s one of the most carefree mamas in Hollywood. She hasn’t let having Stormi cramp her style. Rather, the tot has become her greatest accessory.
Since Stormi’s birth last year, Kylie has been spoiling her with everything luxurious, from Fendi strollers to tiny designer baby shoes. Kylie also brought Stormi along during her dad Travis Scott’s Astroworld Tour, despite it being an international, months-long tour. You know you’re not a strict parent if you don’t mind travelling with a 1-year old in a tour bus!
7 Christina Aguilera
Pop star Christina Aguilera has two children: son Max and daughter Summer. The singer tends to wear her creativity on her sleeve, so it’s not a big surprise to hear that she has a carefree attitude when it comes to parenting. So much so, she didn’t even remove the nude artwork from her house when her son was born. Rather, she’d rather have him learn to get comfortable from a young age.
"I think it's important that [Max] sees mommy not be [embarrassed] for [embracing herself]. We're art collectors, there are a lot of female [forms] around the house,” the singer explained. “Max will be growing up in a house where it's just the norm. ... It's only weird when you [make it that way]. I'm more confident and comfortable in my own skin.”
6 Dina Lohan
We don’t know if there was ever a celeb parent more easy-going than Dina Lohan!
This famous mama was so relaxed with parenting her daughter, Lindsay that she’d actually go to Hollywood parties with her. Many have accused Dina of acting more like a friend rather than a parent to her daughter, and have blamed her for Lindsay’s troubles.
“I think that, you know, in life, parents have their things together and sometimes the children are immersed in it and you just have to really step back and let your parents do what they do and figure out everything for themselves,” Lindsay said about her relationship with her mom last year. “And we all have a great relationship now so it’s nice ... it’s much simpler that way.”
It was just a few years ago (okay- maybe more than a few) that Snooki was partying it up on Jersey Shore. Now she shares two adorable children with her husband and has a third one on the way! But given how wild Snooki was in her heyday, we’ve never expected her to be the strictest parents.
In fact, the reality star has admitted she prefers to let her kids do their own thing, even when they’re in the middle of a tantrum. “I literally just walk into the kitchen, ignore them… and then they come over and they say, ‘I’m okay now,’” the former reality star once explained. “I’m at the stage of parenthood right now where I just need to stop entertaining them. The more you pay attention to that [kind of behaviour], the worse it gets.”
4 Johnny Depp
Known for playing weird characters and acting even more bizarre in real life, it’s no surprise to hear that Johnny Depp has a relaxed approach when it comes to parenting his two children, Lily-Rose and Jack, who he shares with his former partner Vanessa Paradis.
Amongst the things Johnny has said about parenting, the actor has admitted to preferring his children use substances they’ve gotten from him rather than elsewhere. He’s additionally publicly said he’d physically harm anyone who bullies his kids (whether the bullies are kids or not!).
Both Johnny and Vanessa are also alright with their daughter forgoing her college diploma in order to pursue modeling work.
3 Beyonce and Jay-Z
Since the birth of their eldest daughter, Blue Ivy, Jay-Z and Beyonce have pulled out all the stops when it comes to spoiling their little ones, proving they’re more care-free than strict.
Just last January, the couple were criticized for spoiling Blue when they took her to the 2018 Grammy’s, with many fans saying the 6-year-old was already showing signs of being a diva. Fans were specifically surprised when Blue was caught on camera shushing her parents during Camila Cabello’s speech, which subsequently caused the Internet to blow up.
Need more proof the Carter kids are spoiled? The twins evidently have multiple nannies and Blue already has her own staff, including a stylist, chef, and bodyguard. There’s nothing that Bey and Jay wouldn’t do for their family.
2 Pamela Anderson
In 2012, Pamela made a post to her website in which she explained she fully expects her sons to experiment with illicit substances as well as other risky behaviours, sending fans into a frenzy.
“I really believe in my kids. My kids have had a great foundation, they have seen the world,” she told Fox News about her controversial parenting style “They’ve made great choices. They are really smart people, I am not afraid of my kids surfing the Internet. I think they are making proper decisions and you can’t be in denial of what life has to offer. I don’t know how much of a role model their parents are, but we’ve had a lot of fun.”
1 Leah Remini
Most moms get upset if their kids use their phone at the breakfast table, but it sounds like actress Leah Remini is the exact opposite!
In 2008, Leah admitted she was a “pushover mom” when she said that she still diapered and bottle fed her then-four-year-old daughter, claiming her toddler drank an average of six bottles per night.
Just last year, the actress demonstrated that she’s still pretty relaxed when it comes to parenting when she revealed she takes her daughter’s breakfast order via text message.“My kid, texting me her very specific food order, the fruit… well – that was 'an array'. Please tell me I’m not alone, does your kid text you from the next room? #gotkids #parenting#shortordercookupinhere #foryouiwill" she wrote online alongside a photo of her and her daughter’s text conversation.