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How celebrity parents discipline their kids

Time-outs, bribes, stern voices or nothing at all... Here's how some of our favourite celeb parents discipline their kids.

By Haley Overland

How celebrity parents discipline their kids

Photo: CHP/FameFlynet

How celebrities discipline their kids

Cate Blanchett

Academy award-winning actress Cate Blanchett is proudly strict with her boys, Dashiell, 11, Roman, 9, and Ignatius, 5. And she feels we could all tighten the reins a little.

"I don't enjoy being the bad cop but sometimes I have to be," Cate has said. "My husband and I worry about our generation trying to be friends with their children rather than parents of their children. If you're going to try and make your children like you, you're in dangerous waters I think."

"I think I'm pretty loving, but what I do know is that you have to let them talk and you have to listen," she adds. "I hope that when they're 15, they're still talking as freely to us as now." 

Click on for more discipline strategies of the stars! >>>

How celebrity parents discipline their kidsCate and rambunctious kiddos Roman and Ignatius, in Sydney, Australia, June 2013. Photo: Snapper/FameFlynet

David and Victoria Beckham

The Beckham boys, Brooklyn, 14, Romeo, 11, Cruz, 8, are famously well-mannered, and it's all thanks to their strict parents.

"Me and Victoria were brought up with strong discipline by our parents and to have respect for people and our boys have definitely got that," David has said. "They've been saying their please and thank-yous since they were two or three years old. They're very polite boys."

Victoria has also admitted to using a "punishment chair — when you've done something naughty you are supposed to sit down on it and think over your behaviour," and insists she and David are "very strict about the children doing their homework and going to bed on time. . . . I firmly believe that children need a basic routine."

Read more: Celebrities who have lots of kids>

How celebrity parents discipline their kidsDavid and daughter Harper, 2. Photo: CHP/FameFlynet

Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba takes the typical time-out technique to the next level.

"They’re constantly snatching things out of the other one’s hand," she tells People of daughters Honor, 5, and Haven, 2, "destroying something that the other one’s building."

"So now it’s ‘Stand in the corner and put your nose against the wall!'" she says. "My two-year-old can last 15 seconds before she’s like, 'Okay, I’m done!' and then I’m like, 'Wait, it’s not up to you!' My five-year-old can go for some time, like a minute or two."

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How celebrity parents discipline their kidsJessica and Haven. Photo: Stoianov/FameFlynet

Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey

In Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey's household, Dad's the disciplinarian — a self-described "stern father."

"My kids — it’s a blessing — they’re extremely disciplined," Nick tells People of twins Moroccan and Monroe, 2.5. "They try [acting] with other people because everyone gives them so much attention, but when it comes to my wife and I, we only have to say something once."

"We ask them to have a seat, they sit down, cross their legs and put their hands in their lap. I hope it lasts!" he says. 

Despite Mariah's famous pipes, Nick's voice has got the magic in their home. "I’ve got the loudest voice in the house," he boasts, "so they’ve always responded to that ever since they were newborns. They hear my voice and they freeze."

How celebrity parents discipline their kidsPhoto: Mariah Carey via Instagram

Gwyneth Paltrow

Just today, we learned Gwyneth Paltrow insists her kids converse with her in Spanish. She also says she makes them watch TV in only French or Spanish. "When I’m in Paris, I go to Boulevard Beaumarchais and buy all their cartoons," she has said. Apparently, this makes Apple, 9, quite "cross"! 

"Motherhood has taught me mindfulness," Gwyneth tells Good Housekeeping. "If you just parent on instinct, you'll screw your kid up for life. You have to be so mindful." Mais oui, bien sûr!

Still, she does throw cautious parenting to the wind sometimes. "I let Apple stay home [from] yesterday," she confesses. "I just needed to be with her. We went out to lunch, we went to the beauty salon, we were together."

How celebrity parents discipline their kidsGwyneth and Apple, July 2011. Photo: FameFlynet

Will and Jada Pinkett Smith

Discipline who? Will and Jada Pinkett Smith insist they don't discipline their kids at all. 

“We don’t do punishment,” Will has said. "The way that we deal with our kids is, they are responsible for their lives. Our concept is, as young as possible, give them as much control over their lives as possible and the concept of punishment — our experience has been — it has a little too much of a negative quality."

"He's done things," Will says of son Jaden, 15. "You can do anything you want as long as you can explain to me why that was the right thing to do for your life."

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How celebrity parents discipline their kidsWill, Jada, Jaden, Willow and Trey Smith, May 2013. Photo: AAR/FameFlynet

William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman

"They set the table and they clear the table," William H. Macy said back in 2010 of daughters Sophia and Grace (now 13 and 11). "They’re pretty good about it. They have to make their beds and pick up their rooms and do homework. At night, we start to give them more and more responsibility. We used to take them back and help them get their nightgowns on and brush their teeth and all that stuff, but now we say ‘go do it!'"

Of course, he and wife Felicity Huffman aren't above a little bribery either. "They love to read, so the carrot is reading," he says. "The stick is ‘hey, the longer it takes you to brush your teeth and get your nightgown on, the less reading time.'"

How celebrity parents discipline their kidsWilliam, Felicity and their daughters celebrating Hollywood Walk of Fame honours, March 2012. Photo: ER/FameFlynet

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt

When Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's brood grew to six, Angelina says Brad began to really crack the whip (so to speak, of course!). 

"I used to be the tougher parent but since the birth of the twins, Brad's had to play bad cop more often," Angelina has said. "It also depends on which of the children we are talking about. Brad has always had this incredible bond with Mad, who's very smart, and Brad loves teaching him about history and art and culture — it's an amazing thing to watch them together. I think I'm a little closer to the girls, maybe, but he's always making them laugh. The children are usually very well-behaved though."

How celebrity parents discipline their kidsPhoto: FameFlynet

Kate Winslet

For Kate Winslet, now pregnant with her third child, the key to having well-behaved kids is all in the structure and routine.

"To me, parenting is about consistency, among other things, and routine," Kate has said. "Children love routine. They like to know when they're going to have lunch, and in what order things will happen during their day." 

But is she a strict parent? "Not at all," says Kate. "But we have a structure, of course, or there'd be chaos. I'm not someone who lets their kids stay up until 10 p.m. Mine are in bed by 7.30 p.m. Kids need to sleep. If they don't, they don't function properly and don't get the most out of life. But my kids know the difference between right and wrong — they know jumping on the bed isn't allowed, for instance." 

Read more: Who's pregnant in Hollywood>

How celebrity parents discipline their kidsKate and Joe Mendes, May 2011. Photo: smtmn/FameFlynet

Julie Bowen

Talk about cracking the whip! Modern Family's Julie Bowen likens parenting to "running a small army." 

"Being your kids’ best friend is not always the best parenting choice," Julie says. "It’s not about everybody being happy all the time."

"It’s about setting limits," she explains. “In my house that makes my kids very unhappy, like tantrums-on-the-ground-twice-a-day unhappy. But the limits are set."

How celebrity parents discipline their kidsPhoto: FameFlynet

This article was originally published on Nov 22, 2013
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