Kids are a wonder. Children are a joy. They can also be a volatile experiment that a woman creates herself, like a tantrum-wielding clock set to go off in the most embarrassing moments possible. One of my big parenting triggers is when my children decide to do something humiliating in public, usually something they would never do at home, but decide to wait until a family reunion, BBQ at a friend's house, or rushed trip to the grocery store to pick up supplies.
Lucky for me, other than the occasional side-eye from a stranger in line at the check-out or knowing look from a friend that kids can be jerks, once the tantrum, epic sibling battle, or whatnot is over, it’s done. For celebrities this is an entirely different story. There are paparazzi who get paid by the juicy picture to capture every single child meltdown, and the famous parent’s reaction to it. I can only imagine what would be on my photo reel.
These celebrities and their children have been captured at their less-than-ideal moments, and while it wouldn’t be fun to have one's own parenting foibles captured on film or video, at least it reminds the rest of us that parenting isn’t perfect, even when parents have an army of nannies on the clock whenever they want.
20 This Teen Mom's Texting & Driving
Texting and driving is not only illegal, it’s dangerous and foolish. 16 & Pregnant series star Leah Messer was caught mid-text when she was driving and texting with her kids in the car, knowing full well that there were cameras nearby to capture her bad behaviour. The star has had a rough time with parenting her three daughters, and temporarily lost custody. Thankfully Messer has received treatment in rehab, the mom has regained custody of her kids, and is hopefully making better decisions in driving and everything else.
19 NPH Meltdown on Camera
Twins are double the cuteness, but also double the trouble. Normally known for his jovial attitude towards parenting, and his amazing family Halloween costumes, even Neil Patrick Harris has some less than stellar parenting moments. This photo captures dad, clearly at his wits end, trying to keep it together during an enormous tantrum. I don’t think I’ve ever seen NPH look this put out, even when he’s playing Count Olaf. We’re guessing this one never hit the Instagram or holiday photo feed.
18 North West Falling All Over Town
Kim Kardashian and crew invite cameras into their lives all the time - their career is built on it. When cameras are pointed at you all the time, odds are they’re going to capture more than the bathing suit, diamonds, and champagne moments. In this photo Kim is captured not even flinching when her daughter falls on the ground. Thankfully North knows her place, walking behind her diva mom. While many said this was just a bad moment, there have been other reports of similar reactions to other toddler tumbles. At least the nanny was there to help pick up little North?
17 Charlize Theron Parking Lot Problems
Sometimes your kid makes you so angry you just want to grab them and shake them, but instead count to ten, take a deep breath and remember that you are the adult here. Charlize Theron found herself in deep doo-doo when a photo surfaced of her dragging her son, in a parking lot, while he had an epic tantrum. Both look completely miserable, and I’m sure all the unsolicited advice from do-gooders Theron received on the proper way to handle a toddler tantrum was appreciated by the star.
16 Kate Gosselin's Many Moments
Kate Gosselin is famous because she invited cameras into her home to film her family in the hit show Jon & Kate Plus 8. Repeat incidents caught on camera have people speculating that Gosselin isn't a good mother with a tendency to favour corporal punishments. This photo shows an out of control Kate aggressively shoving her hand in her son’s face. Kate has also made headlines for openly spanking her kids and is said to keep a wooden spoon nearby for discipline purposes.
15 Must be Christmas Kourtney
The excitement and anticipation of Christmas can be a lot to handle. Kids are off their routines, staying up late, eating tons of sugar cookies, and waiting for a visit from Santa. This overtired cocktail is a recipe for Meltdown City. Looks like it’s no different for celebs as Kourtney and Scott Disick handle a candy-cane coated meltdown just outside of Barnes and Noble. The cameras swooped in as dad calmly but firmly grabbed little Mason to give him a timeout.
14 Jessica Biel Battles Tantrums
Most of us leave the house with no makeup, in a sweatshirt and a ponytail, but most of us aren’t Jessica Biel. Not only was Jessica photographed not camera ready, paparazzi also managed to get some footage of her son having a serious meltdown while she attempts to deal. We’re guessing this is a parenting moment that Jessica could do without. Tag Justin, you’re it, next time it’s your turn to head out with the misbehaving tot. We’ve all been there Jessica, don’t worry!
13 Jennifer Garner Meltdown Mania
Jennifer Garner has had her hands full for a long time, with four kids and a very tumultuous relationship with now ex-husband Ben Affleck. Kids tantrum anyway, but I’m sure people were speculating that some of the cause for tantrums like this one from little Samuel were partially fuelled by things being less than stable at home – those two make up and break up a lot. Thankfully Garner appears to be a hands-on parent who will be there for her kids no matter what.
12 Duff's Kid Has Had Enough
Hilary Duff seems to have a great approach to dealing with her son Luca when he has a tantrum, keeping calm and carrying on. While Luca is clearly losing it, mom continues to walk and appears to be speaking to him instead of yelling at him. It can be hard to keep your cool as a parent, especially with all the cameras snapping and people judging. Good job Hilary! Are you offering any parenting courses for the rest of us?
11 Beyoncé in Hot Water
Pregnant women aren’t supposed to go into hot tubs, neither are people with heart conditions, or babies. Babies have thin and sensitive skin which means the heat from a hot tub could be damaging. This picture of Blue Ivy looking like she’s getting groggy from the heat had Beyoncé in hot water. Even worse, this photo wasn’t snapped by the press, Queen Bey posted it herself. We’re guessing she regretted publicizing this one, and people weren’t shy to point out how dangerous this soak could be for Blue Ivy.
10 JLo Actually paid a bit too much attention to the cameras
You know the second you get on the phone and your child needs to talk to you instantly? This photo of J-Lo and daughter Emme reminds me of that. As a working parent, sometimes you need to multitask and maybe even take your kid along to a meeting or two. Unfortunately for J-Lo during this red-carpet event, her posing for the cameras instead of tending to her child had people speculating that she was a cold mom who cared more about getting her picture taken than her kid. Hopefully she got a sitter for the next event, so she could focus on one thing at a time, without the press jumping all over her.
9 Crying Baby Spice
It looks like Ginger Spice has a runaway toddler situation. The logic of a tot this small is questionable, so we’re guessing that even her mom doesn’t know why her daughter has decided to cry and run away. Most parents can really relate to the sheer frustration of parenting when it comes to these types of moments - especially when travelling. If I took a picture of every incident like this from my own kids at this age, I’d have an entire photo album. Don’t worry Mama spice, let love lead the way and she’ll eventually stop tantruming.
8 Myleen Klass with Un-model Behaviour
Models are poised with grace and a presence that can be captured both on film and the runway. When it comes to parenting, your kid doesn’t care how glamourous you are professionally, they’ll still tantrum, they’ll still make a scene, and they’ll do it when everyone is watching. Looks like a big meltdown for Myleene Klass’s youngest daughter. Hopefully she’ll be a good role ‘model’ to her little one and show her how to calm down and be more aware of the cameras following the family.
7 The Look On Gwyneth's Kids' Faces
Gwyneth is highly hated for declaring her parenting philosophies to anyone who will listen care of her site Goop. While the mom won’t let them eat processed macaroni and cheese and enriches their lives by only letting them watch TV in Spanish, the kids don’t seem that thrilled with mom. This photo shows Paltrow reading to some children, and her own child looking completely miserable. Maybe it’s time for Gwyneth to stop judging and spend some quality time with her own kids; maybe eat some hot dogs and take them to a baseball game.
6 Britney's Car Seat Moment
Back in the 1980’s I recall hearing about parents who sat their eight- or nine-year olds on their lap to ‘let them drive’ around an abandoned parking lot on their birthday, or to celebrate some other milestone. This is and was dangerous, but what about putting your toddler in your lap while you drive? Britney got caught driving with a baby in her lap, and not secured in a car seat in the back. Thankfully her son was fine, and Britney has moved on to make better parenting decisions in the time that has passed since this incident.
5 Reese Witherspoon's DUI Drama
This southern sweetheart isn’t always the banana phone singing mom that we’ve grown to love on the big screen. Back in 2013, Reese’s husband Jim Toth was arrested for a DUI, and Reese had been hitting the bottle pretty heavy herself. The star was caught on camera, having a full-fledged temper tantrum, trying to drunkenly use her star power to ‘fix’ their predicament. Maybe next time they’ll call an uber (or a limo, they are celebs after all) and sleep it off.
4 Suri Cruise Screams for Ice Cream
The look of utter frustration on Katie Holmes’ face really says it all. She bought her daughter ice cream, but apparently that wasn’t good enough. While it’s unclear if Holmes took the ice cream away from Suri because she was misbehaving, or the tot decided that she didn’t want ice cream any more because the paparazzi was near by, we’ll never know. But as the ice cream drips down the former Dawson’s Creek stars hand we’re guessing she’d prefer this photo not make it into any scrap books.
3 Baby Dropping Britney
We think Brit must have attended some parenting classes as she’s managed to keep out of the headlines for poor parenting choices, but back in the early 2000’s in the haze of toddler drama, she was everywhere. In this snap Britney nearly drops her son on the ground right in front of the cameras. Thankfully someone was able to come in and help her keep her son from a fall to the ground. Sure, kids can be fidgety and hard to hold onto, but Britney really seemed to struggle with her parenting back then. Many say this was due to heavy drinking, and the paparazzi were only too happy to get it on film.
2 The Infamous Dina Lohan
While Lindsay Lohan is now an adult, her hard-partying ways started way before she was 18. Much like Drew Barrymore and her mother, a lot of this hard partying was not only condoned by her mother, it was downright encouraged while mom got to tag along and party with her daughter like they were sorority sisters gone bad. Dina has routinely been accused of hanging onto the coattails of her daughter and dragging her down. Hopefully Lindsay manages to get her act together now that she’s a grown-up.
1 Kourtney & the Hood of the Car
This is another case of social media regret. Kourtney Kardashian found herself the subject of serious backlash on Instagram after posting a photo of her two kids sky high on top of a Mercedes G-Wagon. People were appalled at the carelessness of posing both kids so precariously atop the car, in addition to not so humble bragging about the family wealth. People were quick to point out that the car hood is so high that even in her tallest heels Kourtney isn’t tall enough to retrieve them if they run into trouble.