Alicia Silverstone Still Sleeps with Her 11-Year-Old Son – Is That Really So Controversial?
Alicia Silverstone is making news (again) for a parenting choice the mom shamers don’t approve of.
Actress Alicia Silverstone burst onto the scene at age 16 in the music video for the 1993 Aerosmith song “Cryin’.” She followed that exposure up with her career-making turn as spoiled teen Cher Horowitz in 1995’s Clueless, a film also featuring our forever crush Paul Rudd. The popularity of Silverstone’s role in Clueless led to her signing an $8 million, two-picture deal with Columbia Pictures at the tender age of 20, the Los Angeles Times reported.
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This made Silverstone one of the highest-paid actresses of the time. She appeared in many films over the 1990s and 2000s including her turn as Batgirl in Batman & Robin, Excess Baggage, and the television show Miss Match. She is also the author of two vegan cookbooks, 2009’s The Kind Diet and 2014’s The Kind Mama.
In 2005, she married her longtime boyfriend Christopher Jarecki in Lake Tahoe. The couple met outside a movie theater in 1997 and dated for eight years prior to tying the knot. The couple lived in a house Silverstone bought in Los Angeles in 1996. They welcomed their son, Bear Blu Jarecki on May 5, 2011. Since then, Silverstone has been criticized by fans and the media for a number of her more eccentric takes on parenting.
Alicia Silverstone’s Parenting Style
Alicia Silverstone’s choices in parenting her son Bear Blu first got media attention on March 23, 2012, when she uploaded a video to her website revealing that she chewed her son’s food for him and then delivered it to him mouth-to-mouth.
She captioned the video: “I just had a delicious breakfast of miso soup, collards and radish steamed and drizzled with flax oil, cast iron mochi with nori wrapped outside, and some grated daikon. Yum! I fed Bear the mochi and a tiny bit of veggies from the soup from my mouth to his. It’s his favorite…and mine. He literally crawls across the room to attack my mouth if I’m eating.” She revealed the video was taken months earlier and by the time the video was posted Bear Blu was “grabbing my mouth to get the food.”
Alicia Silverstone didn’t invent this style of feeding her son. This practice is called premastication. We live in modern times with baby food made commercially and sold in grocery stores. For parents who prefer a fresher approach, food processors allow us to make our own baby food. Parents before these modern inventions had to find a way to get food for their children who do not yet have teeth. After all, some women can’t breastfeed, and some babies don’t take to breastfeeding.
Premastication provided iron, increased immunity, and improved digestion for infants, The Christian Science Monitor reported. In 2010, the Maternal & Child Health journal made an argument that this practice is crucial to infant health and was only abandoned fairly recently.
Is it weird? That depends on your point of view. Is it harmful? Absolutely not. It’s just one of the millions of choices parents make in raising their kids that, as long as it isn’t harmful to the child, is the parents’ choice to make.
Alicia Silverstone Sleeps With Her Son
Bear Blu Jarecki is 11 years old as of this writing and Alicia Silverstone shares him with her ex-husband Christopher Jarecki (the couple divorced in 2018). In an episode of The Ellen Fisher Podcast, Silverstone revealed that she sleeps in the same bed with her preteen son. She said, “I’m a natural mama, and I’m a loving mama.”
She also joked that she might get in trouble for admitting that and said she doesn’t really care what mom shamers think.
She said, “The things I’m doing, I’m not inventing. I didn’t invent any of it. I would love to take credit for all of it, but it’s not me, unfortunately; it’s just me following nature. And yeah, sleeping with your children, I mean, if you were in any kind of wild setting, where there are animals, if you put your baby over there, your baby is going to get eaten. So, it’s not ideal for the baby to be over there.”
Good Morning America spoke to Dr. Craig Canapari, director of The Yale Pediatric Sleep Center, who said, “In older children, there’s certainly no health risks associated with co-sleeping. In many cultures, it’s quite common for there to be a family bed in certain parts of the world, either by necessity or because just culturally that’s how families sleep.” Canapari also said there’s no evidence that Silverstone sleeping with her son would lead to “any sort of behavioral challenges or make a child more likely to being anxious or have difficulty separating.”
Alicia Silverstone’s Attachment Parenting Style
Alicia Silverstone practices what is known as attachment parenting. WebMD defines attachment parenting as a practice that “…focuses on the nurturing connection that parents can develop with their children. That nurturing connection is viewed as the ideal way to raise secure, independent, and empathetic children.”
Attachment parenting was first introduced by Drs. William and Martha Sears, who advocated for frequent holding and carrying of infants, long-term breastfeeding, intuitive and responsive reactions to clues from the child, and co-sleeping, among other practices.
Attachment parenting advocates believe that a secure and trusting attachment of children to parents during childhood created better, more secure relationships between parents and children as adults.
Mom and Parent Shaming Is Out of Hand
Social media has created a beast. People judge other people for everything but especially for how they raise and parent their kids. That is a lot of wasted energy. Alicia Silverstone isn’t the only celebrity that is tired of the mom shamers. Model Ashley Graham told Kristen Bell in an Elle interview that she wanted to “cancel” mom shaming, saying, “I remember how I felt when everybody told me what to do and sent me their unsolicited advice and their lists. If there’s a question to be asked, ask it. But other than that, keep your trap shut and just let that mother figure it out. The mommy-shaming on social media is out of control.”
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Whether a parent wants to breastfeed their child longer than necessary, chew up their kid’s food for them, not use diapers, or whatever the perceived issue is, these are all choices parents are allowed to make for themselves and their children. The only time other people should get involved is if it is harming the child or impacting them negatively — not when someone else doesn’t agree with the practice. Remember what we all learned in our childhoods: MYOB – Mind your own business.