Kourtney Kardashian and Other Celebrity Parents Who Struggle with Disciplining Their Children

Kourtney Kardashian has been under fire since a recent episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians revealed that the reality star does not agree with spanking children as a form of discipline. The mother of three has been applauded for her parenting skills in the past, but things took a turn once the world saw that the reality star refused to physically punish her children. 

Kourtney Kardashian and kids
Kourtney Kardashian and daughter Penelope 2018 | BG022/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Fans may disagree with Kourtney’s decision but she is not the first celebrity parent to speak out about her more modern choices in parenting. Many of Kourtney’s celeb peers share similar sentiments about disciplining their children and have not been afraid of being open with their methods.

Kourtney Kardashian & Scott Disick

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Focus on what you love and what fulfills you.

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The eldest of the Kardashian kids shares three children with her ex-boyfriend, Scott Disick. The former couple welcomed their first son, Mason Dash Disick, in 2010. Since then, Kourtney and Scott added to more children to their family. They ended their relationship shortly after the birth of their third child but make co-parenting number one in their relationship. 

Kourtney received social media backlash after an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians showed what fans perceived as a lackadaisical approach to discipline. The episode featured clips of her children ignoring Kourtney’s instructions and hitting their mom. Things came to a head during a family dinner turned screaming match between Scott and Kris’ boyfriend, Corey Gamble. When Kourtney explained that their daughter’s nanny quit after being scratched by the 6-year-old, Gamble responded that spanking is necessary, setting Scott off!

Social media agreed with Gamble but Kourtney defended she and Scott’s decision to not spank their children. Fans scolded Kourtney on Twitter and demanded that she introduce more stern techniques, including spankings. Kourtney responded to one Twitter fan by saying, “So you think physical harm is the only action? That’s sad. Of course, there are many consequences which we dealt with, I am very proud of my kids and being a parent isn’t always easy, but we do have consequences that don’t involve physical harm.”

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Will Smith & Jada Pinkett Smith

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Birthday boy ❤️

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Will and Jada Pinkett Smith have non-traditional methods of parenting and have been open with their viewpoints and parenting strategies for years. They believe in allowing kids freedom of expression and keeping the lines of communication open. 

In an interview with NY Metro to promote his 2013 film After Earth, which also starred his son Jaden, Will spoke on his unconventional ways of disciplining his children.

‘We don’t do punishment. 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. So when they do things — and you know, Jaden, he’s done things — 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… We don’t have rules. We come up with agreements. Kids are little people, and we’re in life to guide them. Trying to rule someone is always an illusion, and it’s no different with children.” 

NY Metro

Jada agrees with Will’s techniques and believes that not having such a tight string around their children allows them to make independent choices and not rebel. Fans have been critical of their choices when it comes to raising their family but that hasn’t stopped the Smiths from structuring their family as they choose.  It seems to have worked as all of the Smith children have avoided the pitfalls of fame, unlike many other celebrity kids. 

Jessica Alba & Cash Warren

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Jessica  Alba and Cash Warren have built a quaint life for their family. The actress has built a $1 billion empire selling natural consumer products as the CEO of Honest Company. Alba’s film producer husband is known for his work on films like Fantastic Four. The two are parents of three and have been married for 11 years.

Juggling successful businesses and having and raising three kids can be tough. To keep their children in order, Alba believes in the power of “time out.” She spoke with The Bump in 2018 about her difficulty to get her children to commit to doing chores, not fighting one another or listening in general. She uses “time out” as her way of discipline, saying: 

“I think the hardest thing is to stick to it because it’s sad but it’s necessary to get children to understand the consequences and rewards. Only kids who know how to listen are allowed playtime. I keep the time outs short, to about 10 minutes.”

The Bump

Nick Cannon & Mariah Carey

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Studio time is always a fun time!

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Though they are no longer married, Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey maintain a close relationship and open dialogue to co-parent their children. Their twins, Morocco and Monroe, are much more privileged than most. With so much access, they take extreme measures of communication to ensure their children are well behaved. Nick spoke with People Magazine on how he and Mariah work together to discipline their twins:

“My kids—it’s a blessing—they’re extremely disciplined. They try [misbehaving] with other people because everyone gives them so much attention, but when it comes to [Mariah] 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!” 

People Magazine

Snooki & Jionni LaValle

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Snooki has come along way since she was partying it up in the Jersey Shore. She’s now a married mother of three and makes her job as a mother her first priority. As much time as she pours individual attention and love into her children, she spends an equal amount of time having to discipline her children when they get out of hand. Parent Magazine reported on an interview reality star did with People about how she avoids spanking her children and how she handles her kids’ tantrums. 

“I literally just walk into the kitchen, ignore them… and then they come over and they say, ‘I’m okay now.’ I’m at the stage of parenthood right now where I just need to stop entertaining them. The more you pay attention to that [kind of behavior], the worse it gets. I grew up with spanks and it terrified me.” 

People Magazine

Vanessa & Nick Lachey

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Happy HAPPY 4th of July!!! ❤️

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Vanessa & Nick Lachey have busy careers but they insist that their family comes first. In a 2017 People Magazine interview, the couple spoke about raising their beautiful family in Hollywood. They believe in setting strict boundaries when it comes to monitoring their kids. 

“I don’t think we turn away and say, ‘Hey! Let the kids do whatever they want,'” Nick said. “But we also don’t want to be helicopter parents where we’re constantly berating and berating, and after a while, I think it just falls on deaf ears.” 

Vanessa says the couple is strict about good manners. “You have to say please. You have to say thank you. Look someone in the eye when you talk to them. Make sure that you keep your hands to yourself,” she explained. 

If their kids ever act out, both say that a stern look from dad gets them back in check!

Tyler Perry & Gelila Bekele 

Tyler Perry Gelila Bekele
Gelila Bekele and Tyler Perry 2011 | Gary Gershoff/WireImage

Tyler Perry is a beast when it comes to creating films, and apparently when it comes to his ideas on discipline as well. Unlike many celebrity parents who refrain from spanking, Tyler believes a good whopping will help a child in the long run. Speaking to BET in 2014, “Me, I’m into a** whooping.” Whether he has yet to deliver on his promise remains to be seen as he became a first-time father in 2015. According to a 2017 People Magazine interview, his life completely resolves his son. It doesn’t look like there will be any spankings in the Perry household anytime soon!

Every parent has their own forms of disciplining their children. What works for some families may not work for others. It’s important to respect each parents’ decision.