Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, is a former Olympic gold medal-winning decathlete, prominent reality television personality, and trans activist. The celeb first gained fame when she won the 1976 Olympic decathlon event at the Montreal Olympic Games, and used her experiences to become a motivational speaker. Caitlyn then later found fame again when she married Kris Jenner and became a step-dad to the famous Kardashian kids; Kourtney, Kim, Khloe, and Rob. Cait and Kris also had two (very well-known) daughters of their own, Kylie and Kendall.
But this wasn’t Caitlyn’s first time at parenthood! The star already had four children from two previous marriages by the time she and Kris tied the knot. She also shares daughter Cassandra and son Burt with her first ex-wife, Chrystie Crownover, and sons Brandon and Brody with her second ex-wife, Linda Thompson. Caitlyn has experienced criticism from the media for not being a consistent part of her eldest children’s lives until adulthood, which Cait has said she very much regret.
Apart from her colorful family life, Caitlyn is also famous for being one of the first celebrities to openly transition from male to female. In 2015, the former athlete announced that she identifies as a woman, and was changing her name from Bruce to Caitlyn, which came right after she announced her divorce from Kris. While Cait’s family was initially supportive of her transition, the drama that followed was none any of us could have predicted. Check out these things that Caitlyn has said about being a parent, and see if it gives you some insight into her relationship with her children and the Kardashians!
16 On Being A Parent And Olympian
Before marrying into the Kardashian family, Caitlyn Jenner (who was still known as Bruce at the time) was known primarily for her career as an Olympic athlete. The celebrity famously won the Olympics decathlon event at the Montreal Olympic Games in 1976, earning her the title of an ‘All-American Hero’ and setting a third successive world record in the process.
Now, most people would guess that training for the Olympics must be one of the hardest feats of Caitlyn’s life. But the star has actually said that being a parent is much harder.
“If I were to compare the Olympic decathlon to fatherhood, I would say fatherhood is a lot tougher,”
Caitlyn once said before her transition, referring to her strained relationship with her older four children. Before marrying her third wife Kris Jenner, Cait had two children with each of his first two wives. The athlete shares Cassandra and Burt with Chrystie Crownover, and sons Brandon and Brody with Linda Thompson.
Caitlyn has openly admitted to having little contact with his older children before marrying Kris, who he says encouraged him to build a relationship with his other kids. The celeb says she has been working in the past few years to repair her relationship with her eldest children, so hopefully, things are on the right track!
15 On Leaving Her Older Kids Behind
Caitlyn hasn’t held back in sharing her regret that she wasn’t a bigger part of her eldest children’s’ lives when they were growing up. The star has explained she had limited contact with her older four kids after divorcing her first two wives, and it’s been tough trying to mend fences since then. Cait adds that its all the more difficult considering that she was very involved in her youngest kids Kylie and Kendall’s childhoods, which is a sore spot for her other children.
"I had to do whatever it took to make them a part of my life. I needed to assert myself. But I could not,” Caitlyn wrote in her memoir Secrets of my Life, admitting that she failed her children when she needed them most. “So I let go of them, which is a softer way of saying I abandoned them. Because I did abandon them."
Luckily, Caitlyn has been working to have a relationship with her other children in the past few years. Her eldest kids were very supportive of her when she transitions, with her daughter Cassandra saying that she’s a better parent as Caitlyn than she ever was as Bruce. “My relationship with Caitlyn is much better than with Bruce, but we still have a lot of work to do,” Cassandra told People Magazine. “We didn’t talk for years, and now we see each other every couple of weeks and talk on the phone, which I am grateful for.”
14 On Growing Apart From Her Kids
Any parent knows that, as their kids grow up, chances are they’ll see them less and less. That’s just life when everyone grows up and gets busy! Caitlyn has admitted the same thing has happened to her and her six children- distance and time have made them drift apart.
“I spend a lot of time by myself here in the house,”
Caitlyn recently said during an interview with Broadly. “I have a lot of children, but sometimes just because of circumstances, maintaining a close relationship with your kids is very tough. They all have lives. They’ve all moved on.”
However, the reality star ended the interview on a sad note, vaguely implying that she’s upset with the state of her relationship with her kids, “We’re just human beings; we’re going to be here for a very short time,” Cait added. “We come and we go and at the end, when it’s all said and done, hopefully your family is going to be there.” Many fans theorize that the former athlete was making a reference to her ongoing feud with the Kardashians, which has left the celeb on rocky terms with her youngest daughters, Kylie and Kendall. It’s unclear if Caitlyn has even met baby Stormi or not!
13 On Raising A Blended Family
Any blended family will tell you that it's tough trying to mix multiple families together. Caitlyn has been very open about the fact that being a step-parent to the Kardashian kids has put a strain on her relationship with her other children. It’s reportedly a sore spot for her eldest four children that she was so involved with the Kardashian kids as they were growing up as well as her two youngest daughters, Kylie and Kendall, whilst Cait was absent for most of her older biological children’s’ childhoods.
“Sometimes I feel so separated, you know? The Kardashians over here, the Jenners over here, little me in the middle. We've got to keep the family going,”
Caitlyn once said of the divide between the family. Previously, Cait said that ex-wife Kris Jenner was very supportive of her working on her relationship with her older children. But evidently, Cait’s oldest kids, who all lead pretty normal lives, are turned off by the fame and drama that seems to always surround the Kardashians. Matters are even worse right now that Caitlyn is feuding with the Kardashians, and reportedly hasn’t spoken to some of her former step-children for years.
Yep, that would definitely make for some awkward holiday get-togethers!
12 On Her Step-Kids' Reactions To Her Transition
When Caitlyn gave her famous interview with Diane Sawyer publicly announcing her transition, many fans noticed that the Kardashians were absent from the televised interview. There was also speculation over why Cait decided to spell her name with a ‘C’ rather than a ‘K’ in true Kardashian fashion. Needless to say, it didn’t seem like Cait was on good terms with the Kardashians even then, though this was before their current feud blew up.
"The Kardashian side feels slighted by their noticeable absence. They are right to feel slighted,” Caitlyn wrote in her memoir Secrets of my Life, explaining why she chose not to have the Kardashians involved in the interview. She wanted it to be a moment about her transition, not one about the Kardashians. “They were slighted on purpose because of research showing that any time a Kardashian is on television, many in the public tend to think it is a publicity stunt to make money,” Cait continued. “After all of the time it took to get here, I needed to make clear that this was real, this is my life and not some publicity stunt."
After the interview, all of the Kardashians expressed their public support regarding Cait’s transition, so there were definitely no hard feelings. At least not about this…
11 On Losing Touch With Her Kids
It’s sad to say, but many of the recent things Caitlyn has said about her six children concern the fact that she’s not in contact with them as much as she would like. Although the celebrity declined to go into details, she mentioned that it would be nice to get a phone call once and a while.
“Some [of my children] I have remained very close to,” Caitlyn said in a 2017 interview with ABC News.
“A couple of them […] I’m a little more distant. I have to admit, I’ll sit here and wonder, ‘Is it because of my transitioning? Or is it because their life is so busy that they don’t call, like, all the time?’”
The former Olympian continued, “Nobody calls that much. I mostly reach out to them. Obviously, the Jenner side calls more, but they all have their own lives.”
Many fans took this to be a direct diss at the Kardashians and Cait’s daughters Kylie and Kendall, who have seemingly taken their mother’s side in the ongoing feud between Cait and her ex-wife and former stepchildren. Given that Kylie welcomed her first baby only a few months ago, fans are hoping this has given a reason for Cait to reconnect with her youngest daughters. Only time will tell!
10 On Her Children Having Children
The whole world felt weird about the fact that Kylie Jenner just had a baby- wasn’t she only fifteen years old like yesterday?! But imagine how weird it must have felt for her dad, Caitlyn! Given the ongoing feud between the Kardashians and Caitlyn, many fans were curious to know how involved Cait would be in her youngest daughter’s pregnancy. Cait wasn’t featured in Stormi’s birth announcement video, although almost all her other famous family members were, which led many to believe Kylie had shut her dad out of her baby’s life.
However, Caitlyn broke her silence over Stormi when she congratulated Kylie over social media. “My daughter just had a daughter. It’s amazing to be by your side through this journey,” Caitlyn captioned an Instagram photo feature Kylie as a baby. “She’s SO beautiful already. Can’t wait to watch her grow. Throwback to my baby, as a baby @kyliejenner,” she added. Kylie replied back thanking her dad for the shout out, but as of now, the public remains in the dark as to whether Caitlyn has even seen baby Stormi IRL. Hopefully, the birth of Kylie’s new baby has given her a chance to mend the bridge with her dad!
9 On Raising Healthy Kids
Given that she’s a former Olympian athlete, Caitlyn knows a thing or two about how important it is to keep healthy and fit – especially for kids! The star has had tons to say throughout the years about the necessity of ensuring your kids are active, and how you can set a good example by getting physical right along with them. “If you're asking your kids to exercise, then you better do it, too. Practice what you preach,” Caitlyn once said.
Back in 2016, Caitlyn got real about how she doesn’t enjoy working out as much as she did in her youth since age takes a toll on physical performance. But, the celeb still encourages fans to get out and get active, however, they can or enjoy! “I just don’t really exercise like I used to. I love morning walks. I live out in Malibu, and I’ve got mountain trails forever,” she said at a press conference in 2016. “I go for morning walks. I try to eat properly, the best way I can, anyway. And I just should stay away from the Starbucks a little more. That’s about it.” The celeb adds that working out with people you enjoy hanging out with, whether it be friends or family, is also a great way to get motivated to be active.
8 On The Mistakes She's Made
Caitlyn Jenner is the first to realize she’s made mistakes when it comes to raising her children, especially her eldest four. The star has acknowledged time and time again that it wasn’t right for her to disappear from their lives after her divorces, and she’s spent the past few years trying to make things right. “I have made a lot of mistakes raising the four Jenner kids,” the celeb once said very candidly about the status of her relationship with Burt, Cassandra, Brandon, and Brody.
The reality star has also expressed how thankful she was when her older children accepted her with open arms after beginning her transition. “At the end, good old Brandon goes, ‘You know, Dad, I’ve always been really proud to be your son … and proud of everything you’ve done in your life. But I’ve never been more proud of you than I am right now,’ ” she told Vanity Fair about how she broke the news to son Brandon and his wife Leah, emphasizing how supportive both of them were.
Cait continued, “I cried. It was a really nice thing to say, and that really set the tone for (telling the rest of the family) and I started moving forward.”
We’re happy that Caitlyn is able to have a relationship with her older children despite the regrets she has and mistakes she’s made.
7 On Putting Her Kids Before Dating
Even though Caitlyn let her two first divorces keep her from being involved with her children’s lives, the star has been adamant that she’ll never let her love life come before her kids again. When Cait first announced her transition, there was a lot of public speculation over whether she was interested in finding wife no. 4 now that she was out and proud. However, the reality star doesn’t seem interested in finding love again at all. Rather, she seems content focusing her energy on her family and discovering her new self.
“My life revolves around my kids. And they’ll be in my life until the day I die,” Caitlyn replied during her interview with Diane Sawyer when asked if she sees herself dating in the future or not. “There’s no excuse for not being a good parent, no matter how many problems that you have. No excuse for that,” she continued, referencing how she was absent from much of her older children’s childhoods. Caitlyn’s children have said how she’s like a different parent since making her transition, so it sounds like she’s making up for lost time. Hopefully, it’s enough to repair the damage done to her relationships with her kids.
6 On The Struggles Of Step Parenting
Caitlyn took on a big role when she married Kris Jenner, and instantly became a stepfather to her four children, daughters Kim, Khloe and Kourtney, and son Rob. And it wasn’t long before Cait and Kris had two daughters of their own together: Kendall and Kylie.
While the celeb used to say that she felt like the Kardashian kids were her own, recently she’s been describing a very different relationship with her step kids.
Since releasing her memoir Secrets of my Life, in which she said some harsh things about her ex-wife Kris, Caitlyn has been at odds with the Kardashians as well as her youngest daughters. In an interview with Piers Morgan this past January, the reality star admitted that she’s not concerned about her step-children any longer- only her biological kids. “I don't talk to the Kardashians anymore. The only ones I am concerned about are Kendall and Kylie,” she explained. “They are my biological kids. I spent 23 years carting them around.”
Caitlyn added that Kendall and Kylie have been making an effort to maintain their relationship with their father amidst the drama. But it sounds like even their relationships have been strained thanks to the feud.
5 On Being Voted 'Father Of The Year'
Caitlyn is the first person to admit that she’s hasn’t been the greatest father ever. But that doesn’t mean the celeb hasn’t won awards for her parenting.
Back in 2012, Esquire Magazine proclaimed Cait (who was still known as Bruce back then) ‘Father of the Year.’ The magazine praised him for supporting his then-wife Kris and her attempts to launch all of their family into stardom. "Being a celebrity is a business," Caitlyn said to the magazine of how she and Kris ran their family.
"That's how you have to look at this, and by that measure, this is a very successful business. You see them everywhere, all the time. There's a reason for that."
Fans weren’t all too kind about the fact that Cait won the award, with many bringing up the fact that she had openly admitted to abandoning her older four biological kids. Still, Caitlyn has discussed how proud she is of the award. “'Esquire Magazine' just gave me 'Father of the Year'. I'll put it right up there with my gold medal. I survived; that's why they gave it to me,” she once said of the award. Hey, any parent will tell you that raising a kid is more challenging than running a race!
4 On Reconnecting With Her Kids
Caitlyn has had to reconnect with her adult children following her transition in the middle of the spotlight. The media has been obsessed with documenting how the star repairs her strained relationship with her kids, and also how she’s distancing herself from her Kardashians family.
The celebrity has been open about how she believes her transition affected her relationships with her kids, with it making her close to some and distant from others (which many have taken to mean Kylie and Kendall). "Um, you know, when you go through something like this, you always hope for the best, and it could not have been any better,” Caitlyn said to Good Morning America in 2015. However, she added that her children have been supportive through her transition. “My kids have been absolutely great. Now, you're certainly closer with some than you are with the others. But that's always in a relationship,” she said.
The star added that she’s unsure whether her transition or simply busy schedules are to blame for why she sees less and less of her kids. Many fans think her ongoing feud with the Kardashians is the main thing reinforcing this sad situation. The drama just never seems to stop when it comes to the Kardashian Klan!
3 On Her Bond With Her Granddaughter
Caitlyn may have missed a lot of milestones in her children’s lives, but she’s sure making up for lost time when it comes to her grandchildren. Since reconnecting with her eldest four children, Cait has had the opportunity to become a part of her grandchildren’s lives, of which she now has 12 (including Stormi!).
Speaking to ABC News in 2017, Caitlyn couldn’t help but gush about her adorable granddaughter Eva, who she said calls her “boom-boom” rather than Grandma.
“She loves that name,” the reality star explained. “Actually it’s kind of fun because the grandkids will never know my former life. They only know me.”
Cait went on to emphasize how supportive her children have been of her transition.
Fans remain unsure of how much of a part Caitlyn will play in baby Stormi’s life (the daughter of Kylie), given the ongoing feud happening between Cait and the Kardashians. “To be honest, I don’t talk to them anymore. Kim and I haven’t talked in a year. They don’t want me in their lives, they bashed me pretty badly,” Cait told OK Magazine this past February. “It’s devastating when your kids do that. It really hurts. I don’t know what the future holds. We will see.”
2 On Her Most Important Job
Now that her kids are all grown-ups, Caitlyn has had a chance to reflect on her job as a parent, and the celeb has had some revelations in the past few years.
Along with admitting that she abandoned her eldest four kids when they were young, the celeb has also emphasized that the most important job in anyone’s life is being the best parent they can be- something she knows she didn’t always do. “That's the most important thing you do in your life,” Caitlyn explained. “Raise children and try to do the best job as a parent and give your kids the best shot in life to go out there into the big, bad world.”
The celeb has been doing her best to mend broken bridges, and sources say she especially reached out to youngest daughter Kylie when she was due to give birth. “Caitlyn wants to be in the delivery room with Kylie,” the source said to Hollywood Life. “[And to be] be one of the first to see Kylie and her child after giving birth and she wants to help out and give Kylie anything she needs including advice, comfort and support immediately.” Hopefully, Kylie is open to having her dad be a part of her daughter’s life!
1 On Kids Leaving The Nest
Any parent will tell you that one of the most difficult things is when the kids finally leave the nest! Not only does this likely mean they’re moving out, but they’re going to be busy with their own, adult life, so it’s likely mom and dad will begin seeing less and less of them.
When speaking to Good Morning America in 2015, Caitlyn admitted that she doesn’t’ see her kids as often as she used to. "I always wonder because I don't see them as much as I used to see them, obviously,” she pondered.
“And so you wonder is that because of what I went through or just because, you know what, I raised wonderful kids. From the beginning, entrepreneurial, be smart, this is a business, you got to treat it like a business.”
The celebrity continued to praise her children, emphasizing how proud she is of all of them for achieving all that they have. “All of them have gone out, have kids. I've got 11 grandchildren now, have children, have successful jobs,” Caitlyn continued. “They travel all over the world. That's also the reason why I don't see them quite as much as any parent feels the exact same way."