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The most controversial superstar parenting types revealed

Parenting styles can have a lasting impact on a child’s development, particularly if they are raised in the spotlight.

From reality stars to singers and actors, celebrity parents take vastly different approaches to raising their children. 

While some have been criticized for letting their kids rule the roost ‘out of guilt’ of busy schedules and divorce, others have taken employed drastic approaches like burning their child’s shoes to teach them to stop misplacing them.

And supermodel parents like Yolanda Hadid have even come under fire for promoting ‘harmful’ and ‘extreme’ diet habits, while others like Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher refuse to leave them inheritance so they don’t grow up spoiled. 

Now, psychologists have revealed to DailyMail.com which celebrities follow different parenting approaches – and which ones could be setting their children up for a lifetime of emotional issues. 

Psychologists told DailyMail.com that Kourtney Kardashian practices attachment parenting, which includes co-sleeping, joint baths and responding to the child's every need immediately

Psychologists told DailyMail.com that Kourtney Kardashian practices attachment parenting, which includes co-sleeping, joint baths and responding to the child’s every need immediately

Kourtney said she slept in the same bed as her first born son Mason, now 12, until he was seven years-old. Her daughter Penelope, now 10, still shares her bed 'pretty much every night'

Kourtney said she slept in the same bed as her first born son Mason, now 12, until he was seven years-old. Her daughter Penelope, now 10, still shares her bed ‘pretty much every night’

Dr Carole Lieberman, a forensic psychiatrist from Beverly Hills, California, told DailyMail.com that Kourtney Kardashian shows signs of ‘attachment style’ parenting.

Attachment parenting aims to secure an exceptionally close bond between mother and child.

This could mean dedicating as much time as possible to the baby through co-sleeping, joint bathing, and giving birth without pain medication. 

Kourtney admitted last year that she still co-sleeps with 10-year-old daughter Penelope ‘pretty much every night,’ and she also did so with 12-year-old Mason until he turned seven. 

‘I find, with my kids, that coming from a more loving approach works best,’ Kourtney said in an episode of The Kardashians last year. 

Dr Lieberman noted that ‘smothering’ parents are linked to a greater risk of the child developing depression and anxiety in later life. 

‘Depending on the psychological make-up of each child, [attachment parenting] will either make them want to continue to cling for more years than is really appropriate, or it will make them flee to get away from her faster, because [a parent] has been overbearing,’ she said.

Both these problems are associated with emotional troubles in adulthood, she said. 

Kourtney isn’t the only celeb practicing attachment parenting though.

Musician Alanis Morissette has opened up about embracing this style and ‘unschooling’ her three children. 

The ‘Ironic’ hitmaker, now 50, told People in 2020: ‘For me, attachment parenting is, on a very basic level, eye contact, skin-on-skin, responsivity, gentleness.’

‘The word “attunement” is [important] in parenting but also in marriage and best friendship and professional relationships… If we’re not attuned to each other and we’re missing each other like ships passing, there’s not a chance for that deep connection that will be the hotbed for their whole life.’

Dr Sarah Oreck, reproductive psychiatrist and CEO and co-founder of Mavida Health, told DailyMail.com: ‘Alanis is another one who shares a strong emphasis on breastfeeding and baby-wearing for her children, showing a strong attachment-focused approach.’

An even looser approach is permissive parenting, in which parents ‘lack rules or structure, will not implement consequences, and tend to let their children run their household,’ Courtney Morgan, a licensed therapist and founder of Counseling Unconditionally in Kentucky, told DailyMail.com.

Licensed therapist Courtney Morgan pointed to Kim Kardashian as one example of a permissive parent, 'as she allows her children to cause disruption in her home and appears to have very relaxed rules or expectations'
Licensed therapist Courtney Morgan pointed to Kim Kardashian as one example of a permissive parent, 'as she allows her children to cause disruption in her home and appears to have very relaxed rules or expectations'

Licensed therapist Courtney Morgan pointed to Kim Kardashian as one example of a permissive parent, ‘as she allows her children to cause disruption in her home and appears to have very relaxed rules or expectations’

The term 'almond mom' was coined after Yolanda Hadid (left, with daughters Bella and Gigi) told supermodel daughter Gigi to 'have a couple of almonds and chew them really well' to keep her from feeling weak

The term ‘almond mom’ was coined after Yolanda Hadid (left, with daughters Bella and Gigi) told supermodel daughter Gigi to ‘have a couple of almonds and chew them really well’ to keep her from feeling weak

‘Their relationships with their children may closely resemble friendships or they may lack a strong connection with their child.’

A permissive parent will often avoid upsetting their child, which results in them giving into their child’s requests and failing to set expectations.

‘I find that sometimes parents take on a permissive role out of guilt stemming from early childhood traumas, divorce, or being absent,’ Ms Morgan said. 

‘Children that grow up in households with permissive parents often go on to struggle with managing challenging emotions, giving up when something is challenging, and being argumentative with authority figures.’

She pointed to Kim Kardashian as one example of a permissive parent, ‘as she allows her children to cause disruption in her home and appears to have very relaxed rules or expectations.’ 

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Kim, 43, coparents her four children – North, 11, Saint, 8, Chicago, 6, and Psalm, 5 – with ex Kanye West, 47. 

Ms Morgan pointed to an episode in the most recent season of The Kardashians, during which Kim shared she wishes and could be more firm and structured like her sister Khloe. 

‘It seems as though Kim is facing the challenges of raising children in a permissive household as her children are getting older. 

‘One may wonder if Kim parents out of guilt due to her relationship with Kanye, her heavy workload, or something else,’ Ms Morgan said. 

‘If given the opportunity, I would encourage Kim to begin creating boundaries and expectations for her children. It may be hard initially, and she can expect some pushback from her children; however, it is not too late to create a household that is kind and firm at the same time.’

One parenting approach that has taken TikTok by storm is the ‘almond mom.’

The term was coined in 2022, when TikToker pattypopculture posted a video called ‘5 Reasons Everyone Hates Yolanda Hadid.’ 

The user claimed Hadid, mother to supermodels Gigi and Bella Hadid, encouraged her daughters to follow extremely restrictive diets.

In the video, pattypopculture shares a clip from ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,’ in which Hadid tells Gigi to ‘eat a salad every day.’ In another clip, Gigi called her mother claiming that she only ate half an almond and ‘was feeling really weak.’

Hadid, 60 and a former supermodel herself, told Gigi to ‘have a couple of almonds and chew them really well.’ 

'Celebs like Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard have been noted for promoting patience in raising their kids,' Dr Jenny Woo told DailyMail.com

‘Celebs like Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard have been noted for promoting patience in raising their kids,’ Dr Jenny Woo told DailyMail.com

Actress Mindy Kaling has also mentioned that she doesn't want to be a parent who 'screams at her kids,' (pictured with the actress, left and right), suggesting a gentle parenting style
Actress Mindy Kaling has also mentioned that she doesn't want to be a parent who 'screams at her kids,' (pictured with the actress, left and right), suggesting a gentle parenting style

Actress Mindy Kaling has also mentioned that she doesn’t want to be a parent who ‘screams at her kids,’ (pictured with the actress, left and right), suggesting a gentle parenting style

In the months that followed, thousands of social media users shared stories of their own ‘almond moms’ who passed on restrictive and dangerous ideas about food. 

Dr Jenny Woo, emotional intelligence researcher and founder/CEO of Mind Brain Emotion, told DailyMail.com that Yolanda’s ‘solution’ to Gigi’s hunger ‘is a classic example of the almond mom behaviors.’ 

‘This extreme focus on restrictive eating and weight control can increase the risk of developing eating disorders and result in unhealthy relationships with food and body appearance,’ she warned. 

Gwyneth Paltrow was also accused of being an almond mom after stating in an interview last year that her typical diet includes a cup of coffee in the morning, bone broth for lunch, and ‘lots of vegetables’ for dinner, coupled with at least an hour of exercise. 

Gentle parenting has also become social media famous. The style ‘focuses on showing empathy and respect to children,’ Dr Woo said, and emphasizes positive reinforcement. 

‘Celebs like Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard have been noted for promoting patience in raising their kids,’ Dr Woo said. 

She noted that this could put them in the gentle parenting camp. 

‘Celebrities like Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard seem to favor this approach, stressing the importance of empathy in raising kids who are emotionally strong and confident,’ Dr Oreck agreed. 

Bell, 43, and Shepard, 49, share two daughters, Delta and Lincoln. The couple drew criticism last year, for example, when they revealed that they let the girls drink non-alcoholic beers.

‘When they have tried to order [non-alcoholic beers] at a restaurant or something, it’s because of a very specific connection to you. Because first of all, they’re educated on addiction and what substances are and how they affect your body and how scary they are and what they can do to you,’ Bell said, referencing her husband’s past struggles with addiction. 

'An obvious example of helicopter or Snowplow parenting is Lori Loughlin, who resorted to bribery in her daughter¿s college admissions process,' Dr Woo told DailyMail.com. Loughlin is pictured here in 2018 with daughter Olivia Jade Giannulli

‘An obvious example of helicopter or Snowplow parenting is Lori Loughlin, who resorted to bribery in her daughter’s college admissions process,’ Dr Woo told DailyMail.com. Loughlin is pictured here in 2018 with daughter Olivia Jade Giannulli

Dr Oreck pointed to pop singer Pink as someone 'known for her authoritative parenting style, having spoken openly about setting clear rules and boundaries for her children while also encouraging their independence and creativity' (here with her children and husband in 2019)

Dr Oreck pointed to pop singer Pink as someone ‘known for her authoritative parenting style, having spoken openly about setting clear rules and boundaries for her children while also encouraging their independence and creativity’ (here with her children and husband in 2019) 

Actress Mindy Kaling has also mentioned that she doesn’t want to be a parent who ‘screams at her kids,’ suggesting a gentle parenting style.

‘To me, people who do not blow their top and also can stay on a consistent message. That to me – I’m most impressed by those people, she said at the BetterUp Summit in April. 

On a more extreme end of the spectrum are helicopter parents, who take extreme initiative in their children’s lives.  

‘Helicopter parenting is when parents are driven by a high desire to protect and ensure their children’s success. They are often overly involved with their children’s lives,’ Dr Woo said. 

Hallmarks typically include micromanagement and needing to be fully in control, as well as helping children with tasks they could easily complete on their own. This is also called a ‘snowplow’ or ‘lawnmower’ parent. 

Dr Woo warned that while ‘this can lead to externally successful children, it can stifle independence and problem-solving skills.’

‘An obvious example of helicopter or Snowplow parenting is Lori Loughlin, who resorted to bribery in her daughter’s college admissions process,’ she said. 

Loughlin, 59, came under fire in 2019 after it was revealed she and 50 other parents were charged with cheating to get their children into college

Additionally, Ms Morgan said a popular approach is authoritative parenting.

‘Authoritative parents find a balance between creating structure and allowing children to have freedom and flexibility,’ she said. ‘They create opportunities for their children to solve problems for themselves while remaining a supportive person for their child to return to when needed.’

Psychologists have called Arnold Schwarzenegger (here with three of his children and ex Maria Shriver) an authoritarian parent due to harsh punishments

Psychologists have called Arnold Schwarzenegger (here with three of his children and ex Maria Shriver) an authoritarian parent due to harsh punishments

Schwarzenegger is shown with daughters Katherine and Christina in October 2017 in Los Angeles. He has shared how he once burned Katherine's shoes in the fireplace because she kept misplacing them

Schwarzenegger is shown with daughters Katherine and Christina in October 2017 in Los Angeles. He has shared how he once burned Katherine’s shoes in the fireplace because she kept misplacing them

‘Children that are raised by authoritative parents often have high self-worth, are really great at problem solving, and are able to maintain healthy relationships with others.’

Dr Oreck pointed to pop singer Pink as someone ‘known for her authoritative parenting style, having spoken openly about setting clear rules and boundaries for her children while also encouraging their independence and creativity.’  

This is not to be confused with authoritarian parents, who ‘tend to be overbearing, have strict rules without explanations, and implement harsh consequences,’ Ms Morgan said. 

Parents following this style have also been shown to be demanding, impatient, and unwilling to negotiate. 

Arnold Schwarzenegger told People last year that had some extreme parenting methods when his children were young. 

For example, the action star, 76, recalled throwing his son’s mattress out the window once after the nine-year-old dailed to make the bed.

‘I opened up the door to the balcony, picked up the mattress and threw it down with the bedsheets, the pillows, everything. I said, “don’t ever make someone come in and clean your room, clean your shower or make your bed,”‘ he said. 

‘I said, “Because I taught you how to make the bed.”‘

Additionally, he admitted to burning his daughter’s shoes after she forgot to put them away. 

New York-based child psychologist Dr Francyne Zeltser told CNBC Make It that Schwarzenegger’s actions matched the description of an ‘authoritarian’ parent.

‘It doesn’t matter if it’s making beds [or] putting shoes away. If it’s something that you’re capable of doing, and the expectation is that you do it, you should do it, even if somebody else is here that will do it if you don’t,’ Dr Zeltser said. 

‘Words alone don’t always relate the same message as action. So perhaps the mattress out the window, or the shoes and the fireplace were [Schwarzenegger’s] way of demonstrating that he was serious by what he said.’

Schwarzenegger also warned against creating a ‘generation of wimps and weak people’ on the Howard Stern Show, calling upon parents to ‘teach kids to be tough, to do sports, to study and struggle and go through these kind of painful moments sometimes.’