When we think of pop music and its biggest icons, the first person who comes to mind is Michael Jackson. The king of pop was undoubtedly an incredible genius when it came to his work, and he was one of the biggest musical influences on most modern-day artists. While his music was always pure perfection, his personality, private life and family have always been of interest to the media, and rather controversial at that.
Michael had three children: the oldest, Michael Joseph "Prince" Jackson Jr., who was born in 1997, Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson born in 1998, and the youngest, Prince Michael Jackson II, born in 2002. After Michael's passing, the children were visibly devastated, and ever since they have only had words of love and praise for their late father. However, certain things Micheal did as a parent are rather questionable, and some we really wish we had answers to. When looking at his life as a father, it almost seems as if he had many different personalities: a strict one, a lenient one, a super fun one, and a very odd one.
Alright, now here they are, 10 things we know about how Michael raised his children Prince, Paris, and Blanket, as well as 9 questions we will probably always have unanswered.
Let's start with the 10 things we already know...
19 The Kids Followed Special Nutritional Plans
Michael Jackson was pretty strict about what his three children can and cannot eat. Sweets and fast food were reserved for special occasions, and he really wanted to make sure his children eat healthy at all times. There have been stories of little Paris sneaking around with candy in her purse, trying to hide it from dad. While we do agree that a healthy nutritional plan is essential, and young children should be taught to eat well early on, a candy here and there really shouldn't be something a child hides from their parent. But hey, the children do seem to have grown up into healthy teenagers and adults, so who are we to judge.
18 And Were Taught To Treat Animals With Respect
One thing that Michael Jackson's children often mentioned in interviews after their father passed away is how he taught them to treat animals with a lot of respect and love, and how they grew up surrounded by different animals and the impact that had on their life. By now everyone knows that Michael was a huge fan of animals and his Neverland ranch even had its own zoo. This means his children got to grow up with a bunch of exotic animals in their back yard, and that for sure is not what your common, average childhood is characterized by.
17 He Tried To Give His Children The Childhood He Never Had
It's not a secret Michael didn't really have the best and happiest childhood. He was pretty much exploited by his father and forced to sing in a group with his brothers from the age of five, meaning Michael never got to experience a carefree and fun childhood. This had a major impact on him later on in his life, as he definitely tried to in a way experience those things he never had as a child. And one this is sure, he definitely let his children be children in the true sense of the word. His childhood was taken away from him, so he insisted on making sure his children have one.
16 He Made Them Cover Their Faces In Public
If there's one thing that people remember about the paparazzi pics of Michael and his children from the early 2000s, it's that he always insisted they cover their faces with veils, scarfs or masks. This was his attempt at trying to protect them from the media frenzy, and in a way keep their identity secret. Of course, after his departure, the children have completely stopped covering their faces, which was sort of expected. Whether one agrees with his methods or not, there is no doubt his intentions with this were always good - he wanted to protect his children from the thing that made his life worse: being in the eye of the public at all times.
15 The Kids Were Homeschooled
Very much aware of his fame, Michael realized his children would not be able to go to a regular school without being associated with him (and potentially bullied for it). This is why he - just like many other celebrity parents - opted for homeschooling. And while there are plenty of pros and cons of it, his children did end up being very good at school and even though they missed out on the school experience, they seem to be doing just fine. This move was sort of expected from Michael, considering he was a little bit extra when it came to protecting his children.
14 They Couldn't Play With Toys As Much As They Wanted
According to some sources, Michael wouldn't let his children play with toys non-stop, in order to teach them to appreciate them more. While some parents don't agree with this approach it does tend to leave the children more appreciative of what they have. He was also known for only keeping certain gifts his children received for birthdays and Christmases, and donating the rest to those children in need of toys. This way he also taught his children about sharing and being charitable, which is hopefully a lesson they will remember their whole life. Besides, considering they are celebrity kids, we bet they didn't need all the toys anyway.
13 The Neverland Rides Were Only For Special Occasions
When Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch got its own amusement park we bet all the kids who knew Paris, Prince and Blanket were super jealous. And while it must have been ultra cool to have a bunch of amazing rides and fun things to do in your own backyard, according to the kids they were not allowed to use that area whenever they pleased. The amusement park was only used on special occasions such as birthdays and holidays, and we're guessing that was just another one of Michael's attempts to keep his children down-to-earth and humble. Luckily, we think it worked!
12 He Loved Cooking For Them
According to an interview, Michael's daughter Paris Jackson gave the Rolling Stone magazine in 2017her dad was an amazing cook. Paris claimed his fried chicken is the best in the world, and he also taught her how to make a delicious sweet potato pie. Many people can't really imagine the iconic singer as a great cook, but hey, seems like he was one. He would cook often for his children and with his children, turning this sort of into a fun family activity. And honestly, we believe parents should definitely cook with their children more, as it can be a fun and practical activity the children will learn much from.
11 He Let Them Be Whatever They Wanted To Be
Michael was very open-minded when it came to his children. In a way he was raising them in a gender fluid, judgment-free household before that was even the cool and hip thing to do. He never forced them to be something they didn't want to, and he let them explore their creativity and grow into whoever they would like to be. While the children were quite isolated from the world, that doesn't necessarily mean they felt like they were behind bars, they still always claim they had a happy and loving childhood with an extremely supportive and kind father.
10 They Grew Up In A Loving Household
While there's definitely a bunch of controversial things about Michael Jackson and the way he raised his children, every interview his kids gave after their father passed away leads us to believe they did indeed have a really nice and loving childhood - even though it wasn't a regular one (even for celebrity kids). They were spoiled a lot, just the fact they lived at a ranch was crazy, but Michael did his best to remind them that money doesn't grow on trees and that he comes from a poor background. Judging from what we see the kids are now, he didn't do a bad job at all - they seem to be doing completely fine!
Next, the 9 questions we'll always have...
9 Is He Really Their Biological Father?
The one most asked question when it comes to Michael and his children is whether they are his biological kids. While the youngest one, Blanket definitely looks like a young MJ, the other two, especially Prince kind don't really resemble Michael much. One thing that caused a lot of controversies as well as the fact that his children look different, but then again that doesn't have to mean anything. What caused a bit of a controversy is that Prince, on one of his social media profiles responded to someone asking about whether Michael was his biological father the following: "The [connection] of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb ... I was raised by my dad with my brother and sister."
8 When Would He Have Let The Kids Start Dating?
One question we will never know the answer to is how would Michael have reacted to his children dating. When would he have let them start dating? Would he be strict about it? When he passed away, the oldest son Prince was twelve, daughter Paris was almost eleven, and Blanket was only seven years old. They definitely weren't dating at that age, but in their teens both Prince and Paris started dating. We have a feeling Michael, who was always supporting and loving, would have let his kids date in their teens, as long as he got to meet their boyfriends and girlfriends.
7 Did He Ever Ground Them?
Another thing we don't know much about is whether Michael would ground his children a lot. And if yes, would he ground them by not letting them leave the house? Would they not be allowed to watch TV? Michael is the kind of person who we can sort of image to be both - very strict and very lenient. Perhaps one day his children Paris, Prince or Blanket will reveal how strict their daddy was when they made mistakes, and if he was the grounding type. Hard to imagine considering the children couldn't really go out on their own without security anyways.
6 Did He Care That All Those Animals Were Trapped In His Zoo?
We know Michael loved animals but did anyone ever tell him that having them in cages in a zoo, no matter how well one might be taking care of them just isn't natural. Especially when it comes to exotic animals which he had quite a few of, those could not have been living happily in a fenced and caged area. We understand that he liked the presence of nature around him and that he wanted his children to see animals, but we are not sure this was the best way to experience that. Perhaps he should have stuck to domesticated animals only.
5 Why Did He Isolate His Kids That Much?
Alright, we know that Michael isolated his children because he was trying to protect them and give them a "normal" life, which is something he mentioned in interviews plenty of times but did he ever wonder what kind of impact the isolation would have on his kids. Sure, they always had each other, but living in a guarded community where they rarely meet anyone new isn't really the best way to grow up and develop social and interpersonal skills. Luckily, Prince, Paris, and Blanket seem to be doing fine, but did Michael really believe this kind of isolation is the best answer for a normal childhood?
4 Did The Children Ever Have Any Friends Over?
Occasionally we'd see private pics of his children hanging out with him, but one thing that we still wonder is how many friends these kids had? And who were those friends, were the staff's kids, other famous people's kids or kids the children would meet if they were ever allowed to play in a park? We're sure they occasionally must have hung out with other children, but how frequent was that. Michael doesn't strike us as someone who would let his kids spontaneously meet other kids and bring them over the home. Fame turned him in too much of a protective person for that.
3 Why Did He Think Those Names Were A Good Idea?
Alright, plenty of celebs are guilty of this: naming their child unique and kind of ridiculous names. And if we would expect that from anyone, it would definitely be Michael. But we also can't help and wonder what on Earth was he thinking when he named them Michael Joseph Jackson, Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson and Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr. (who goes by the ridiculous nickname Blanket). But for real now, did he have to make sure every one of his children was also named Michael? We get it, he'll always be the king of pop, but regular names would have probably been better!
2 Why Would He Use "Reading Books" As A Punishment?
According to a documentary about his life, Michael used "reading books" as a way to punish his children when they were very young. He himself grew up in an abusive relationship with his father, and he wanted to make sure that no way of punishment he uses is ever physical. But reading books? Seriously? Reading books should never be associated with punishment, parents should always try to encourage their children to read books, as a rewarding activity. We wonder how this impacted Prince, Paris, and Blanket and whether they like reading books nowadays, or do they still consider it as a punishment.
1 Why Did He Think Dangling Blanket Over A Balcony Would Be Okay?
Alright, lastly, we couldn't make this list without mentioning this moment that made everyone doubt Michael's parenting skills. As a quick reminder, Michael was dangling baby Blanket over a balcony to show fans and paparazzi, clearly without thinking of potentially dangerous, or how the public would interpret that. On countless occasions after the incident, Micheal apologized and regretted his actions, but the pictures are still there, and they made sure no one ever forgets. Plenty of things can be discussed about Michael and his actions, but some things are certain: he was undoubtedly a musical genius, an outcast and weirdo, and a loving parent whom his children still miss.