Jennifer Garner uses ‘benign neglect’ to parent her children: Other unique celebrity child-rearing techniques

Jennifer Garner got some attention while talking about parenting on a recent appearance on “Today.”

The actress, who shares daughters Violet, 17, Seraphina, 14, and son Samuel, 11, with ex-husband Ben Affleck, was asked on the show about her parenting style, and she answered, “I just really enjoy my kids. I don’t know that I have some overarching philosophy. I just think they’re such cool people and I want to hear everything, and I want to be around.”

She added, “But I also think it’s OK if they suffer from a little bit of benign neglect.”

A photo of Jennifer Garner with her kids

Jennifer Garner shares Seraphina, Violet and Samuel with Ben Affleck. (Getty Images)

While the phrasing is a bit eye-catching, she elaborated with “Their lives are their own. I’m not trying to live their life, and I don’t mind that they see that I love mine.”

After learning about Garner’s technique of “benign neglect,” Fox News Digital is taking a look at more unique celebrity parenting styles.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver with their kids

From left to right, Christina Schwarzenegger, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver and Katherine Schwarzenegger. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Variety/Penske Media via Getty Images)

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a father of five adult children, sharing Katherine, Christina, Patrick and Christopher with ex-wife Maria Shriver. During his marriage, he had an affair with the family’s housekeeper that resulted in the birth of his fifth child, Joseph Baena.

In an interview with People in September, the action star admitted that he used tough love on his kids, even saying that he parented like a “drill instructor.”

He described this with a story about his daughter Katherine and her own daughter, Lyla, saying, “Katherine comes over with Lyla, and she says, ‘Lyla, I told you already not to put the shoes there. Keep your shoes on, or you put them away, but you don’t leave them there by the stand in front of the fireplace because you know what Daddy did? When I left my shoes there twice? The third time, he burned them in front of me and I cried.'”

Arnold Schwarzenegger in a light tan suit and white shirt looks over the fence at a baseball game with his children Katherine and Patrick when they were young

Arnold Schwarzenegger is pictured with his daughter Katherine and son Patrick in 2006. (Jason Merritt/FilmMagic/Getty Images)

Another story involved Patrick, who he said had a habit of not making his bed.

“I opened up the door to the balcony, picked up the mattress and threw it down with the bedsheets, the pillows, everything,” Schwarzenegger recalled. “I said, ‘Don’t ever make someone come in and clean your room, clean your shower or make your bed.’ I said, ‘Because I taught you how to make the bed.'”

He also said that Patrick liked to take long showers, so he told them he needed to keep the showers to five minutes at most. When that did not work, he made it so that the shower would automatically cut off the hot water after five minutes.

A photo of Patrick Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger and his son Patrick Schwarzenegger during the GQ Men of the year Award 2017 at Komische Oper in Berlin. (Gisela Schober/Getty Images for GQ)

“And so when he got the shower on and he was whistling and singing in there and thinking Daddy’s not around, all the sudden the ice-cold shower came on. And all of a sudden, we heard downstairs, the scream,” he said.

Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard

Actors Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard have two daughters, 10-year-old Lincoln and 8-year-old Delta. Over the years, they have been extremely open about their experiences in raising their children.

Dax Shepard in a sherpa jean jacket sits next to Kristen Bell in a custard colored jacket

Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell have two daughters, Lincoln and Delta. (Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

Over the summer, Bell made an appearance on “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” and during a conversation, Clarkson admitted that her own daughter took a sip of champagne when she was young. To that, Bell revealed that her own kids order non-alcoholic beer at restaurants.

Acknowledging that it “sounds insane,” she went on to explain the context, which is that Shepard is a recovering alcoholic who enjoyed the non-alcoholic beverage and would sometimes drink one as the family went for walks when their first child was a baby.

“So, he’d pop one open, he’d have her on his chest, and we’d walk and like look at the sunset,” she explained, “So, as a baby she was like pawing at it, and sometimes she would like suck on the rim of it. So, I think it feels to her like something special, something daddy, something family.”

Kristen Bell in a burnt orange sweater looks towards Dax Shepard with a hand to his mouth while sitting on a couch during an interview

Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard raised eyebrows after she revealed their daughters drink non-alcoholic beer. (Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

She continued, “So we’ve been at restaurants and she’ll be like, ‘Do you have any non-alcoholic beer?’ And I’m like, ‘Maybe we just keep that for home, for home time.’”

Despite thinking that requesting the drink in public may not be appropriate, the “Frozen” star did add, “You can judge me if you want, I’m not doing anything wrong. Like, that’s your problem.”

Alicia Silverstone

Alicia Silverstone has often made news over her interesting parenting techniques. The most recent example of this happened last year when she confessed that she still shares a bed with her son, Bear, who was 11 at the time.

alicia silverstone and her son Bear

Alicia Silverstone and her son, Bear Blu, attend a basketball game between the Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets at Arena on Nov. 17, 2023 in Los Angeles. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

“Bear and I still sleep together,” she said on “The Ellen Fisher Podcast.”

The actress added, “I’ll be in trouble for saying that, but I really don’t care.”

Arguing that she is just “following nature,” she explained, “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. It’s not ideal for the baby to be over there.”

For the majority of Bear’s life, she has been raising eyebrows with her choices about how to raise him. A notable example happened in 2012, when her son was an infant. Then, she revealed on her blog, The Kind Life, that she fed him food from her own mouth.

Alicia Silverstone at the Oscars after party

Alicia Silverstone had Bear with ex Christopher Jarecki. (Getty Images)

“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!” she wrote. “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.”

Mayim Bialik

Mayim Bialik, actress turned “Jeopardy!” host, has two teenage sons, Miles and Frederick, with ex-husband Michael Cohen. Like Silverstone, Bialik has a history of speaking about her parenting style.

A photo of Mayim Bialik

Mayim Bialik is currently known as one of the hosts of “Jeopardy!.” (Casey Durkin/ABC via Getty Images)

In 2014, she spoke about the backlash she received for breastfeeding her son, who was 3 years old at the time, on a subway. She said on HuffPost Live, “I received a tremendous amount of backlash. What I like to point out is that was the best way for that subway ride to be pleasant for everyone. It was the end of a very long day.”

“That was not a weak moment of parenting but a conscious decision of, ‘I have the best way to make this child happy and content right now,'” she added.

Mayim Bialik in a white suit

Mayim Bialik shares her two sons with ex Michael Stone. (Monica Schipper)

In the same interview, she said she has never given her children any medication.

“Between our two boys, ages six and three-and-a-half, we have dealt with just about every ailment, sickness and flu out there,” Bialik said. “However, neither of our sons has ever been on antibiotics, nor do we give them Tylenol, Motrin, antihistamines or cough syrup. I’ve learned from talking to other moms that almost everything you have right now in your home and your heart is enough to deal with most everything. I’m not arguing to be negligent”

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