Everyone has at one point been the recipient of unsolicited and unwanted parenting advice, whether it's from family (way too often) or friends. Or sometimes just nosy strangers. It's best to smile, shrug or gently explain away why their advice won't be heeded.
But let's face it, once some people have used their uterus, they are instant experts and want to share their wisdom with the world. Combine that with a celebrity factor, and you have know-it-all times ten in many instances.
I really don't know why I'd think someone who acts or sings or does even less, as in reality TV, would be the expert I'd turn to for something other than singing or acting or...fame-seeking, but apparently, it works for some folks! Personally, I like hearing from grandmothers who are a tad hip, pediatricians, and child development experts. Call me crazy!
However, it can be fun to read the far out and wacky tips from celebrity moms and dads who love to drip their knowledge onto us peons and share their wisdom. Unfortunately, they rarely share their nannies, bank accounts or vacation homes with us. That's the stuff I'd really appreciate getting from my favorite stars! They can keep their quinoa, avocado, and organic almond milk smoothie recipes for another time!
As a divorced mom, I can think of few things more likely to ruin Christmas than sharing it with my ex and kids. Sorry, I am just not that willing to trudge through my future with my past. I still am part of a family with my children, and their fathers are still their fathers, but we are not a unit anymore. Not so, says Big Bang Theory star and neuroscientist, Mayim Bialik.
Bialik states on her Youtube channel, "Divorce is not the end of a family."
Actually, that's pretty much the definition of the word. She goes on to state that you should still do things together like vacations, holidays and like her family, even go to worship services together. If we all walked into church together, it might burst into flames. Co-parenting is tricky and never really easy, but how would a new spouse fit into this picture? Do we all go to Chuck E Cheese together on Jr.'s birthday?
Will and Jada Pinkett Smith have raised two noteworthy kids together, daughter Willow, 17, and son Jaden, 19. They've raised more than a few eyebrows sharing their parenting philosophies.
Here's one example from Will from an interview with Metro, "We don’t do punishment. 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, in our experience has had a little too much of a negative quality.”
He goes on to give an example of how you'd never tell a grown up to go clean their room, and how it's equally ludicrous to ask your child to. Wait...what? I don't have the same expectations, responsibilities or concerns about random adults. I have children that I've been entrusted to teach, raise and guide, and yes, limit! This is actually my house and I want it clean. Period.
Brandy, the singer, and star of TV's Moesha, as well as the first African-American portrayal of Cinderella, a has a teen daughter she's raised as a single mom. Brandy was never a trashy, teen-turned-adult celeb, even though she's lived a pretty cool life. For instance, Kobe Bryant was her prom date! Yet, she had many shaking their heads with this quote from an interview with Parade –
"A lot of mothers feel like they’re the mom first, with that authority. But for me, I’m a friend first. I believe that just being there for my daughter as a friend more than ‘I’m in charge …’ causes her to be more open with me as a person.”
The problem is, and child psychologists agree, your child needs a mom, a parent. They can have all kinds of friends in their lives; you have one mom. They need the authority to set boundaries and to be a guide through life and someone who makes them understand rules. That's not saying you can't have fun too, of course.
Giselle Bundchen and Tom Brady share a son and daughter, and a truckload of money and fame. She is a supermodel, and Tom is one of the most successful quarterbacks of all time. While it is great to see her being a role model for breastfeeding, she may have gone a bit over the line with this zinger quote in Harper's Bazaar, "I think there should be a worldwide law, in my opinion, that mothers should breastfeed their babies for six months."
Wow. It's great to advocate for the healthy practice of breastfeeding but to criticize those who choose something else, or to have it chosen for them is another. But to go as far as to suggest that those who don't breastfeed should be criminals, well that's crazy talk. What would the sentence be? Forced pumping? Locked up with the little one?
Remember the snobbish Blair from The Facts of Life? Well, she grew up, married a pastor and had three kids whom she raised as a conservative Christian. As part of that more homespun discipline, she opted for a rather out-there device in her discipline toolbox: hot saucing. Lisa Whelchel shares such creative discipline advice in her book, Creative Correction: Extraordinary Ideas for Everyday Discipline.
She states it is better to cause a child minor pain than let them experience worse out in the world later. She said she used it on her three children from preschool ages up to age 10. However, a number of child protective agencies have stated that the practice was bizarre and might launch an investigation if authorities were notified. Whelchel feels it's appropriate for offenses involving the mouth, such as lying or sassing, and to only use a small amount taken from the bottle onto parent's finger to child's tongue. I can't imagine a youngster taking it standing still, either!
Kourtney Kardashian is no scientist. What is she? I actually don't know of an actual career, but she should avoid anything in the health or science fields. On her website, Kourtney explains why she never uses a microwave.
"One kitchen appliance I never use is a microwave. I've heard microwaves can leach nutrients from food and use radiation to heat food. I'm not sure how accurate this is but when it comes to my family, I play it safe."
Well, a little more research by the reality star might have reassured her. According to the Harvard Medical School website (something a little more authoritative than a KK webpage) microwaving isn't a risky method for food reheating or prep as long as the container was FDA tested. Even if it wasn't tested, it may still be perfectly safe. Harvard Medical goes on to claim, "Using the microwave with a small amount of water essentially steams food from the inside out. That keeps in more vitamins and minerals than almost any other cooking method and shows that microwave food can indeed be healthy."
Gwyneth Paltrow talks a lot and perhaps should edit everything she says because she seems to always be injecting silliness into serious topics. In an interview with the British Cosmopolitan magazine, the actress said, "We're human beings and the sun is the sun - how can it be bad for you?" Then she added, "I don't think anything that is natural can be bad for you."
The American Academy of Pediatrics says babies under 6 months need to be out of the sun, period, and for the rest, limit exposure during high-intensity rays, between 10 am and 4 pm, and use a good sunscreen with an SPF of 15 to 30. Wear clothing with a tight weave, and wear a hat that provides good coverage. Getting 15 minutes a day for vitamin D is easy and is usually unintentionally achieved. Food is a good safe source of D as well. How can something natural be unsafe? Everything can be unsafe when not used wisely!
Gwyneth Paltrow's breath must reek of toes because it seems she is forever stuffing her feet in her mouth. One tidbit from InStyle was this,
"I only let them watch TV in French or Spanish."
It's like giving into letting them watch TV was too pedestrian and American for her, so to elevate it she had to impose bizarre limitations. While once in a while it wouldn't be a horrid idea to expose kids to French or Spanish programming to pick up a little language learning, to require it of all watching seems a smidge over the top, and perfectly in keeping with her other parenting philosophies. Will she keep it up? Probably not. Remember when she was all macrobiotic eating and required strict food adherences for the kids? That went out the window later, so hang in there kids, this too will pass.
In an interview with Allegedly podcast, Farrah Abraham of Teen Mom OG fame, Abraham bragged about sticking up for her then-7-year-old daughter, Sophia, to be allowed to wear makeup to school. What a proud activist she is! Anyway, Abraham stated that she was the only mom being called into office over her first-grade daughter's make up, "So I said to them — and I proved my point because then the principal switched schools — I go, 'Well then you should take off your makeup. If you don't want little girls coming to school with makeup, then don't wear makeup."
If that sounds like a solid argument to you, well...you probably can't read this whole article without help, but there are lots of things grown-ups do that first-graders can do later. For instance, I bet that the principal also drove to school. Should Sophia? Cmon, people this is ridiculous. Little girls are children for a short time, and then they have the rest of their lives to be grown. Can we protect a girl's innocence and childhood?
For those who don't know, blanket training is when you place an infant, under the age of 1 typically, onto a blanket and if the child rolls, toddles or crawls off the blanket, a physical punishment is meted out, usually a swat with something on the child's bare thighs, for instance. Michelle Duggar has admitted to using a modified version of this, where instead of corporal punishment, a reward is given. It's to train children to be self-disciplined. If this makes sense to you, I daresay that you might want to pick up a real child development book and read it instead of the dangerous methodology outlined in the Duggars' go-to child-raising manual, To Train Up A Child by Michael and Debi Pearl. Psychologists are quick to denounce the methods in these pages, including the blanket training.
Heidi Klum knows success. Her modeling career led to multiple businesses, a career in TV and a net worth of $90 million that is growing rapidly. Heidi is a mom to 4 kids, the last 3 with the music artist Seal, and they range in virtual stairsteps from 8 to 13 years of age. But even Heidi can be bested at times, particularly when it comes to her kids eating right. Her solution will never land her in the Joan Crawford Bad Mom Hall of Shame, or anything of the ilk, but nutritionists and child development specialists will call it out as unhealthy.
What's Klum's sin? She bribes her kids to eat their veggies. Gasp! That's right. Said Klum to the Daily Mail,
“Some of my kids don’t love [healthy food] so I decided I would pay them a dollar if they finish [it],”
she continued, "All the money goes into their piggy banks—they have collected a bunch of money since January. "
Tori Spelling, the Beverly Hills 90210 actress and reality TV star, is 44 and the mom to 5 children. She has had some struggles despite being the daughter of media mogul Aaron Spelling, who was worth $500 million at his death in 2006. But some might cite one source of some of her struggles as being her philosophy on parenting. "After I had my kids, I realized it's pretty much all about instinct - you have to do what's right for you. Everyone has an opinion, but it was all about what you do or don't do. I was so overloaded, so I let my children dictate the way things were supposed to go, and things fell into place."
If I let my kids dictate much of anything, it would be a disaster...things falling apart and fast. Kids need parents to set boundaries, model appropriate behavior and of course, love them. But when parents let kids set the rules, everyone will eventually be out of whack because it's not the natural order of things.
Jamie Oliver is a top British celeb chef and restaurateur, who together with chef wife Jools, has 5 children. He is well-known in the States for his push for healthy school lunches in public schools. His family is adorable and they sport cute if eccentric, names like Petal Blossom Rainbow, Daisy Boo Pamela, and River Rocket. But one little parenting tidbit got Oliver in hot water with child experts.
On the BBC Good Food Show, Jamie admitted to some unconventional discipline. "It is not very popular to beat kids anymore, it's not very fashionable and you are not allowed to do it. Not if you are a celebrity chef like me - it does not look very good in the paper. So you need a few options." A bit tongue-in-cheek, but apparently the chef gave his older daughter a Scotch bonnet pepper, known as a ball of fire in some places after she had been a bit sassy with dad. He says that mom Jools was not happy and forbade him doing it again.
The Material is good and grown, and her brood of kids know that their mom is no pushover when it comes to cleaning up. In an interview with WENN, Madge stated,
"Late-night TV, junk food, and messes are not tolerated in my house".
She continued to explain if Lourdes left her clothes on the floor, Madonna would snatch them up and hide them away from Lourdes and continue doing so until Lourdes (or whichever messy child) had just one outfit left. Hard to believe a fashionista like Madonna could be so cruel with clothing, but I guess she wants her kids to recognize the value of possessions and take proper care. I'll admit to doing similar things with kids' possessions until they manage to keep things cleaned up – I mean, if it works, it works!
Brad and Angelina's relationship dissolved for reasons that no one but themselves can ever truly know, but some suggest a big wedge between the couple was differences in discipline, as Brad wanted the kids to have rules and responsibilities and Angelina...not so much. Angelina told OK! Magazine, "I used to be the tougher parent,” she went on, “But since the birth of the twins, Brad's has had to play bad cop more often.” Yes, often in a couple, one parent is the tougher one, but that's really unfair to everyone to play such rigid rules.
The soft parent really does everyone a disservice. Brad's comments previously indicated he was the disciplinarian, especially with his sons, since he admitted a softer spot in dealing with girls. Parents need to be a team and not shirk responsibilities like discipline just because it's not a pleasant task. To put it all on one parent is selfish and immature.