Celebrity Parenting Advice – Just Stop Already

Before I begin my little diatribe on celebrity parenting advice, I should start out with a few things.  1.) I am extremely pro-vaccination.  2.) My kids slept in cribs.  3.) I love my stroller.  With that in mind…

Celebrity Parenting Advice – Do They Publish Anyone Now?

I have to wonder just how easy it is for these books by famous people to get published.  Jenny McCarthy has books published on pregnancy, the first year, and autism.  Marilu Henner wrote I Refuse to Raise a Brat.  Now Alicia Silverstone has her own very special and spiffy new book, The Kind Mama.

There’s only one celebrity parenting advice book that I’m not going to hammer on, and that’s by Dr. Mayim Bialik.  No, I don’t agree with the majority of her conclusions, as I do not parent according to the philosophies of Dr. Sears, and I most definitely disagree with her commentary on vaccination… but at least she has a Ph.D.  She’s educated.  But she acknowledges that her lifestyle choices with attachment parenting are different than other non AP parents.

Celebrity Parenting Advice - Just Stop Already! (Cloth Diaper Addicts)

Why Do We Read Celebrity Parenting Advice, Anyway?

I’m not sure what the draw to reading celebrity parenting advice books may be.  Could it be that it’s some sort of voyeurism, sort of like the popularity of tabloid journalism?  Is it because we are a society who is fascinated by what is strange and unusual to us?  (After all, what else explains shows like Jon & Kate Plus Eight or Here Comes Honey Boo Boo?)

Or is it because some of us do have “non-mainstream” parenting practices already and love the sense of validation that we get from famous people who do the same way we do?  (After all, they are famous and have money, so they must be doing something right.  Right?)

Maybe it’s a combination of all of these things.  Either way, though, I certainly don’t feel that the vast majority of these celebrity parenting advice books are written by people who are qualified to tell us how to raise our children.  Yes, they can tell us how they raise their children… which, really, isn’t that what every blogger who writes about her kids does, anyway?  Isn’t that what we do every time someone asks a question on Facebook about toilet training or why Aiden won’t stop hitting Emma at the play ground?

There’s a fine line, though, between telling someone how you do it and telling someone that it’s how they should do it.

Is Celebrity Parenting Advice Mostly Harmless?

Some of it is, of course.  Dr. Bialik suggesting baby led weaning isn’t going to put your child in harm’s way.  It certainly can be a far more entertaining method of feeding your child than purees on a spoon.  It can be absolutely infuriating when a bit of celebrity parenting advice includes things like “cribs are abuse” because that isn’t just saying “I parent differently than you.”  That’s saying “You’re doing it wrong because you aren’t doing it like me.”

The real danger, though, in celebrity parenting advice is when they suggest things that are harmful.  Jenny McCarthy is the one that I hate on the most for this with her insistence that vaccines are what cause autism.  There are all kinds of people out there who don’t vax.  I don’t agree with them.  Fine.  But I absolutely think it’s dangerous when celebrities use pseudoscience or no science to back their ideas.

It’s dangerous for moms struggling with postpartum depression to listen to Alicia Silverstone’s ideas that a vegan diet without sugars will take care of postpartum depression.  This is a real issue that shouldn’t be dismissed with “put down the chocolate and think happy thoughts.”  Moms need help, not unicorn farts and rainbows.

Really, I just wish that they’d stop with the celebrity parenting advice.  Even what isn’t dangerous is often irrelevant.  (Yes, Gwyneth Paltrow, I’m referring to your only allowing your children to watch foreign language television on those occasions that they are allowed to watch at all.)

What do you think of celebrity parenting advice?

Stock image from adamr / freedigitalphotos.net

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.

Comments

  1. Anastasia says:

    Like Seriously, Ya Know? Chocolate Milk causes PPD? Really, imagine that except I’m ALLERGIC to milk, so how does that fit in again? PPD in my case was caused by, oh I dunno, fighting for my life through a pregnancy, having no thoughts at all about the baby because it was expected to come too early & being totally unprepared for a (thankfully late) preemie AND being a mom AND having my (now ex) spouse basically ditch me because this was baby #3 & “I’d done this before”. Um where does diet play into THAT?

    (Suzi you know I’m not attacking you)

    Even Doctors get certain things wrong. It’s nice to read about how “we’re all different & that’s ok” but I’ll stick to Girlfriend’s Guide TYVM & laugh my tush off instead of preachy stuff like this.

    • Oh, no, I know. It’s totally because of the STUPID and dangerous advice. Can they just stop with it now?

      I don’t mind Gwyneth Paltrow because, while her ideas can be annoying and a bit sanctimommy, at least she doesn’t suggest that it’s the only right way to do things.

  2. Lol! No kidding why do we even read it!? To entertain ourselves or muse over the dream life of live in housekeepers, nannies, and chefs! Great post! 🙂
    Natasha Rodriguez Mom 2 5321 recently posted…Meatless MondayMy Profile

  3. Very good points, I think we need to stop and really read the advice, not just accept it as truthful because a celebrity said it. They are selling their advice because of their celebrity status (in most cases) not because it is factual. I agree about the vaccine thing as well, there are actually no concrete studies that link autism to vaccines. In most cases where parents blame the vaccines there was another underlying issue. I think it is very dangerous to not get your child vaccinated. On that same token, I also think that too many vaccines aren’t good as well. As parents we should research and be aware of every vaccine and the the disease being vaccinated for that our child will be exposed too and make informed decisions on which vaccines to choose.

  4. We had a bad case of measels in our area and many kids were very sick-makes me a bit irritated when people won’t protect their kids. I worked in the medical field for years and the benefits far outweigh the cons. I went everywhere with my stroller too! it kept my sanity!
    Erinn S recently posted…Fun flavors with Dannon Danimals SuperStars Greek Yogurt for KidsMy Profile

  5. For the most part, I ignore celebrity parenting advice — and most unwanted advice in general. However, when the “advice” is not based on fact and can end up hurting people (like anti-vax celebs), then those celebrities need to shut up. Unless you have a degree in science (or, frankly, understand even basic science concepts), then don’t be making medical advice. Whether you use a stroller or not is a personal decision with very minor ramifications. Vaxing or not vaxing is a whole different story.
    Heather Johnson recently posted…Comfort Shield Terry Waterproof Mattress Protector ReviewMy Profile

  6. Must be the celebrity hype! I do have a hard time reading a parenting book from someone who probably has more help than I ever will and I feel like they are just expanding their empire!
    Amber recently posted…Tourist in my own city!My Profile

  7. This was an awesome read!! It is so so true – I think a lot of people get so excited when they see it is someone famous, they don’t really form their own opinion and do their own research. Great write up!
    Danielle recently posted…Motherhood POWER WeekMy Profile

  8. Rachel N says:

    Honestly, I could care less about what everyone in Hollywood is doing. I would never read a parenting book by a celebrity unless they had some sort of education. The only exception is I did read Michelle Duggar’s book, mostly because I find the show interesting and I figure someone with 19 kids must have a bit of wisdom:)

  9. Anastasia says:

    Michelle is for those days when I’ve just had it! 19 children & yet has the world EVER heard her raise her voice at them? Again, can’t agree completely but at least I feel less like a basket case afterwards!

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