Celebrities with controversial parenting styles

Parenting is no easy task to take on, and with so many different ideas and practices out there, it’s hard to know which ones to follow with your own kids. Celebrities have these same struggles as well, but some of their parenting styles have stirred up some major controversies, and made headlines all over. If you’re wondering which of your favorite celebrity parents have controversial methods, now is your chance to find out.

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith

When it comes to their kids, Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith chose to take a more laid back attitude. They’ve tried to keep things as rule free as possible.

The two have said that if the kids do something they shouldn’t have, then they want them to set their own punishment. Will has shared that when the kids were younger they would create a “circle of safety” where the kids could confess anything they had done without facing consequences.


Madonna has been known to have a few quirks as a performer, and her parenting style is no different. Supposedly, she spends upwards of $10,000 on giving her children “blessed” water to drink, based on Kabbalah practices.

On top of that, she is also very strict about not allowing her children to read anything unapproved or watch television. According to some sources, Madonna only allowed her ex-husband Guy Ritchie to read the kid her own book, David the English Rose.

Mayim Bialik

Star of Blossom and The Big Bang Theory, Mayim Bialik has stirred some controversy with her style of attachment parenting. This style involves children sleeping in the same bed as the parents, as well as nursing the children long term, beyond infancy.

Using her experiences, as well as her PHD in neuroscience, she even wrote a book on the subject all about raising children using attachment parenting. Many have questioned the book, but Bialik stands behind her philosophy.

Celine Dion

When it comes to her children, Celine Dion wanted them to have the freedom to make their own choices. For example, she allowed her son Rene Charles to decide when he wanted to get a haircut.

For a long time he wasn’t interested in cutting his hair, and everyone watched as it grew into long locks. It wasn’t until his school regulations required it that his superstar mom got it taken care of, and by then he was already eight years old. But that’s how she wants her children to be.

Tobey Maguire

Actor Tobey Maguire has taken a unique approach to parenting his children by taking part in the “Resources for Infant Educarers,” otherwise known as RIE. The idea behind this method is that babies should be treated more like grown ups, and less like infants.

This means no using highchairs, no pacifiers, no speaking in baby talk, no bottles or sippy cups, no bouncy seats, no rocking them to sleep, and of course no toys. It’s all about respecting the babies as individuals and not talking down to them.

Alanis Morissette

The subject of nursing babies has been a pretty hot topic in the parenting world, and amongst celebrities it’s no different. Singer Alanis Morissette has stated that she intends to continue nursing her children as long as possible, and will only stop when they decide to.

She said she would continue nursing even if they are six years old. It is her belief that by nurturing a baby’s attachment with the mother, it could prevent harmful addictions later on.

Gisele Bündchen

When it comes to celebrities who have strong opinions on nursing, Gisele Bündchen is at the top of the list. This supermodel, and wife of NFL player Tom Brady, has been very outspoken on her belief that nursing babies should be mandatory.

On top of that, she is also against the use of diapers, citing them to be unnecessary and bad for the environment. Instead she practiced the method of elimination communication, and would hold her son over the toilet after nursing.

Leah Remini

In 2008, the King of Queens actress received the label of being a “pushover mom.” The title was given after she had admitted that she was still bottle feeding and diapering her then four year old daughter, leaving many people questioning her methods.

Remini admitted that her daughter seemed to rule the home, she just couldn’t help but give in to the demands. However, after learning that bottle feeding at that age could affect a child’s health, Remini decided to try weaning her daughter.

Gwyneth Paltrow

Plenty of parents have all sorts of rules when it comes to how much TV their kids are allowed to watch, but Gwyneth Paltrow took her rules one step further.

While her kids are allowed to watch TV, it is only permitted if the show is in French or Spanish, with the hopes that the kids will pick up the language. Reportedly, Paltrow is also very close with her children, and once shared that they all take baths together, which some people found to be a bit odd. But to each their own.

Lisa Whelchel

Actress Lisa Whelchel, best known for playing Blair on The Facts of Life, made headlines when she revealed her controversial method of disciplining her children.

If her kids are ever rude to her, talk back, or behave inappropriately, she puts a drop of hot sauce on their tongue as a form of punishment. Many people were shocked to hear this, and some felt that it was too extreme of a way to punish misbehaved children.

Johnny Depp

Anyone who has ever seen Johnny Depp knows that he can sometimes come off as being a bit strange. Apparently, he’s not so different as a parent, and even his daughter Lily Rose has admitted that her dad is kind of weird.

He’s done things like save her hair from a fourth grade haircut, which some might say is cute in a sentimental sort of way. He has also expressed that if his kids choose to go a bit wild he prefer they come to him for guidance first.

Kourtney Kardashian

Like Mayim Bialik, Kourtney Kardashian is also a big fan of attachment parenting. The reality star has never shied away from the fact that she shared a bed with her children until they were ready to sleep on their own.

The subject came up a few time on Keeping Up With the Kardashians because having the kids in bed disrupted her relationship with her now ex, Scott Disick. Many have questioned if co-sleeping is a healthy practice, and the debate continues to rage on.

Kristen Bell

Kristen Bell shared that she had been struggling with sleep training her four year old, but her solution stirred up quite the controversy. Bell, along with her husband Dax Shepard, switch around the doorknob on her daughter’s bedroom, and then lock her in the room.

Bell and her husband will stand outside the door, tell their daughter they love her and it’s time to sleep, and then wait until she falls asleep. Some people were concerned, but Bell assured them they unlock the door once their child is sleeping.

Farrah Abraham

Reality star Farrah Abraham has found herself in the middle of several parenting controversies. Like others on this list, she has chosen to co-sleep with her daughter Sophia, but took it one step further by stating that she intends to do so until Sophia turns 18.

Additionally, Farrah has been criticized for taking her young daughter to get her eyebrows waxed, allowing her to wear makeup, and even letting her daughter join SnapChat. Farrah insists her daughter is happy, but some worry these practices will have a negative effect on Sophia.

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie, while being an incredible actress, has also become the ultimate celebrity mom. However, not everyone agrees with some of her parenting practices.

Angelina and her former husband Brad Pitt had a no secrets policy with their children, and share everything with them, including when they were going to spend intimate time together. On top of that, Angelina has also been criticized for the massive amount of money she spends on her children, which has reportedly been estimated to be around $10,000 a year.

Alicia Silverstone

There are plenty of parents who argue about the best food to feed their children, but what drew critics to Alicia Silverstone was more about the way she was feeding her son, rather than the what.

Alicia shared a video of how she fed her son by pre-chewing the food and then passing it from her mouth to his, similar to birds. People all over the internet reacted, with some arguing that it was unhygienic and could pass unnecessary germs. Nevertheless, she stands by her methods, insisting it helped him with weaning.

Candace Cameron Bure

Candace Cameron Bure herself has been a devout Christian for a long time. So, it was not necessarily surprising when she chose to raise her kid in a religious household.

However, many found this to be controversial, with many parents opting these days for a more secular household. She has also drawn criticism for openly sharing that she believes in harsh punishments for her children, which she claims helps to set better boundaries for them.

Kim Zolciak

Reality star Kim Zolciak has come under fire numerous times for some of her parenting decisions. In 2016 she shared some questionable SnapChat photos of her daughter wearing an electric dog collar, which she reportedly was doing so her step-father would allow her to see her friends.

She later shared another photo of her sons wearing handcuffs. People questioned the safety of these photos, but Kim ignored them, and expressed that they were not the big deal people were making them out to be.

Katie Holmes

Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise make quite the pair when they’re out on the town, but her parenting practices have still come under question.

Supposedly, Suri has pretty free reign to do what she wants which includes drinking Starbucks coffee at age four and eating out past midnight. Katie has also come under fire for allowing Suri to buy provocative gummy snacks from an adult themed store, and allowing her to wear heels by age three.

Jenny McCarthy

Jenny McCarthy has been outspoked on many of her parenting views, and has caused some controversial headlines from those views. In 2007, she came out stating that her son had autism, and she believed that his vaccinations were the cause.

She has since become the face of the anti-vaccination movement, although she more recently stated that she wasn’t necessarily against all vaccines and believes that parents should simply be informed of the risks. She has also done many non-traditional treatments and therapies with her son that many in the medical community also disagree with.

Christina Applegate

People were a little taken aback when Christina Applegate shared the best parenting advice she ever received, that she wanted to share with others. Her advice?

Use a product called a NoseFrida, which is a suctioning devices used to suck mucus out of an infant’s nose. She insists it’s the best method for clearing up a baby’s sinuses, and some parents agree with her. However, others find the possibility of accidentally sucking in mucus to be a tad gross.

Mama June

When Alana Thompson, better known as Honey Boo Boo, and her mother Mama June, first appeared on Toddlers and Tiaras, people were instantly taken with the spirited young girl.

However, many viewers were also troubled by some of Mama June’s parenting methods. She particularly came under fire for plying her young daughter with sugar filled items, such as her go go juice. Some argued that giving a child that much sugar to keep them energized was harmful for their health, but Mama June believed her daughter was doing just fine.

Hilary Duff

Hilary Duff has made no secret about the loving relationship she has with her son, and now that she has recently given birth to a baby girl we hope to see that continue.

While she hasn’t necessarily done something controversial that directly affects her son Luca, it’s possible that he may be grossed out by it in the future. In an interview, the actress shared that after Luca was born she decided to save the stump from his umbilical cord. It’s possible she’ll save it from her new baby as well.