Lessons Learned Famous Parents - The Koch Family
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Lessons Learned Famous Parents

How is it even possible that Kevin Federline comes off as being the better parent to his children than Britney? How about notorious hooker-hound Charlie Sheen? He's downright "Father Knows Best" stacked up against little Miss-Pimpin'-Out-the-Kids-for-My-New-Reality-Show Denise Richards. Are such children destined to live lives of rampant overexposure and chronic drug abuse all culminating in an early death? Is fame to blame or is it just their crappy parents?

Do Perfect Parents Exist?

And what about the other side - the picture-perfect celebrity parents? Everyone knows Angie and Brad bend over backwards in service to their tribe. As a couple they commit to making sure at least one of them is always home while the other is not. They travel together, play together, and even save the Earth together. Thanks to the tattoos and a few alternative-lifestyle forays, Angelina's not exactly June Cleaver. But the attitude she displays toward her children appears downright responsible and mature. How frustrating is that to absorb when you fed your kid Cheetos for her last breakfast?

So what do you do? Can famous parents, good or bad, somehow help you to be a better parent?

Find a Good-Bad Example

Let's say your children gang up and shave the neighbor's cat butt-naked. You lose your cool, scream like a crazy woman, and then douse the whole lot of them with the garden hose. As you leave your damp offspring shivering and crying in the yard you head inside, mix up a mid-day margarita, and put up your feet and relax, secure in the knowledge that your parenting methods - as shocking as they may be - aren't anywhere near as bad as that "monster" Alec Baldwin or perma-stoned rapper Snoop Dogg. A good-bad example can work wonders for our self esteem.

Then you have the super parents. They spout off their quotes left and right about how much they care, how good they are, and how much they provide for their little ones, but everyone knows they don't do it alone. They have teams of nannies and assistants to ensure they never lose too much sleep or ever leave the house with baby blech on their shoulder. Perfect parenting is an illusion - making it right at home in Hollywood.

One can suggest Tom Cruise is bananas, but when my own neighbor makes his kid practice competitive bocce until 3 a.m. six nights a week you start to realize Hollywood doesn't exactly own the franchise on crazy. Tommy-boy is just more visible than the bocce bozo next door. Besides, when you get right down to it, we all more or less think everyone else is nuts.

Where Do We Go from Here?

Knowing that there are celebs out there who aren't exactly winning parent of the year awards doesn't let anyone off the hook. A bad parent is a bad parent, famous or not. So if there's anything to be gained from the rollercoaster of insanity that Hollywood families present, it's a sound note of caution. Watch carefully all that you see. Remember you don't know the whole story, and focus instead on committing yourself to becoming a better parent in your own right each and every single day. It's the only thing you can really do.

We can all agree that dangling a baby off the balcony over a street in Berlin is not something we should do with a child. To waste our time lecturing that bizarre man-child Michael Jackson on what he should be doing is stupid. He went over the ledge a long time ago. Better to instead make a few mental notes about babies and balconies and focus instead on your own day-to-day adventures in the wide world of mom-and-dad-dom. Your kids will be glad you paid attention to them instead of to the tabloids.

What's do you consider the worst celeb parenting moment?


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