A&E

Celebrities Reveal Unconventional Parenting Styles

By Lisa Striffolino

Celebrities including Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, Dax Shepherd, and Kristen Bell have gotten candid recently with statements on the ways that they raise their children

This past summer, Kutcher and Kunis explained in the Armchair Expert podcast that the two actors only wash their young children once they see dirt on them. Kunis has repeatedly defended her parenting choice, including when she mentioned on the same podcast that she, herself, never showered much as a child.

This sparked a massive Twitter debate on the subject, and even enticed other celebrities to pitch in with their take on the matter.

“Personally, I think it’s kind of gross, but I don’t necessarily see anything super wrong with what [Kunis and Kutcher] are doing,” said Caitlyn Yoh, junior elementary education major. “[Kunis] says that she never showered that much and she turned out fine, and also they aren’t doing anything that is really harming their kids, so I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.”

Although Kunis and Kutcher may not necessarily be putting their children in harm’s way by skipping a few showers, this is not the only time they have been in the spotlight when it comes to their unconventional parenting techniques.

In late October, Kunis admitted to telling her 6-year old daughter that she needs to stand up for herself by pushing back the preschool bullies. Kunis encouraged her daughter, Wyatt, to push back and say no thank you after Wyatt came home explaining that she got pushed at preschool. 

This was a parenting move that both Kunis and Kutcher were not on the same page on, as Kutcher made it clear that this was not the way that a bully should be handled. Kunis eventually went on to say that she had realized this was a pretty big parenting fail on her part.

“Looking at it objectively, that’s not the way to go about it…I think this was definitely more harmful than helpful,” said Jess Mayo, Assistant Director at MyGym Children’s Fitness Center. “In my experience, if you separate the kids and talk to them about it, most of the time the kids aren’t intentionally trying to be mean, they’re just being kids. I think communication goes a lot further than violence and it helps solve the problem instead of escalating it.”

Actors Bell and Shepherd have been relatively candid about their unconventional, laid-back parenting style as well.

The two have recently stated that they have already had conversations about sex with their two young daughters, Lincoln, 6, and Delta, 4. In an interview with Hello Giggles, Bell revealed that she believes being totally honest with her kids is very important to her, including being open with them about how babies are made.

Meanwhile, last year, Bell had posted a video on Instagram of Shepherd explaining the middle finger to his daughter. He made it clear that the middle finger was naughty, and praised her for knowing what it meant, but choosing not to use it.

“I think that celebrities definitely do things that are different, but I also think that other parents are doing off the wall things, it’s just that celebrities are exposed for using these methods because they’re usually asked in interviews,” said Macy Levick, senior communications major. “The media just likes to take their stuff out of context, I feel like there are a bunch of freaky parents out there who are probably damaging their kids more, but we just never see it.”

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