Alicia Silverstone says she is ‘following nature’ by still sleeping next to her 11-year-old son Bear
Alicia Silverstone has revealed that she still sleeps next to her 11-year-old son Bear Blu, insisting that their co-sleeping arrangement is a more ‘natural’ way of doing things.
The 45-year-old opened up about her unique dynamic with her only child during a wide-ranging interview on The Ellen Fisher Podcast, during which she claimed that she is simply ‘following nature’ by sleeping alongside her tween son, who she shares with ex-husband Christopher Jarecki, whom she split from in 2018.
‘Bear and I still sleep together,’ the actress explained during the July 19 episode, comparing her co-sleeping arrangement to humans trying to survive in any kind of ‘wild setting’.
‘If you were in any kind of wild setting where there are wild animals, if you put you baby over there your baby is going to get eaten,’ she said while pointing away from herself. ‘So it’s not ideal for the baby to be over there.’
Ten years after sparking furious controversy by revealing she fed her son by pre-chewing his food and passing it from her mouth to his, the Clueless star, who follows the attachment style of parenting, also spoke out about how she rarely used diapers while potty-training her son from the age of six months and noted that she has never raised her voice with him.
Mothering style: Alicia Silverstone, 45, opened up about motherhood and about how she raises her 11-year-old son Bear, who she shares with her ex-husband Christopher Jarecki
The mother-of-one (seen in 2020) said that she still sleeps with her tween son, claiming that she is simply ‘following nature’ by sharing a bed with him
She proceeded to sum up her parenting style by calling herself ‘a natural mama’ and ‘a loving mama’, claiming that ‘our society is scared of nature and scared of love’
Is ‘attachment parenting’ healthy? Inside the controversial practice followed by Silverstone
The practice of attachment parenting focuses on eight ‘principles’, which begin while a woman is still pregnant with her child.
Attachment parenting is intended to ensure an incredibly close bond between a child and their parent through practices like breastfeeding, co-sleeping, joint bathing, and natural childbirth.
While some insist that the technique nurtures a healthier, happier relationship between parent and child, critics have warned that attachment parenting can cause children to be overdependent, while increasing the stress placed on their parents.
Co-sleeping has also been called out as one of the more potentially-dangerous aspects of the practice, with critics warning that bed-sharing with a baby can increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
The San Francisco native then joked that she would likely ‘be in trouble’ with mom-shamers, but added that at this point in her life ‘I don’t really care.’
She proceeded to sum up her style of parenting by calling herself ‘a natural mama’ and ‘a loving mama’, focusing on gentle communication and cutting out things like TV from the family home.
‘I believe in love, I believe in nature and our society is scared of nature and scared of love,’ she said in response to any criticism.
‘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.’
‘I’m just wanted to do what was healthiest for him at every turn so every choice I make is either built on instinct or deep research.’
Remembering back when Bear was a newborn and toddler, Alicia revealed that she rarely used diapers during the potty-training phase, and instead ‘watch[ed] his cues’ to figure out when it was time for a bathroom trip.
‘It’s so awesome. It’s so easy,’ she said in reference to his bodily cues, adding, ‘When I was done feeding him, he would go to the bathroom in the toilet. When he woke up from a nap, he went to the bathroom.’
The actress and author confessed there was a period of time when she watched him when he was naked to look for those cues.
‘The cues part for me was really fun because I thought that he was flirting with me because he would do this little smile. That’s when he had to pee,’ she explained.
During an interview on The Ellen Fisher Podcast, Silverstone also opened up about her vegan diet, which her son has also followed since he was a baby
Silverstone, who follows the attachment style of parenting, said she rarely used diapers when potty training Bear, instead using physical ‘cues’ to know when he needed the bathroom
Going her own way: Inside Alicia Silverstone’s VERY controversial parenting practices
2012: Actress sparked furious controversy after sharing a video of herself feeding her then-11-month-old son like a baby bird, revealing that she was pre-chewing his food and passing it to him from her mouth to his
2014: Silverstone said in her book that she was anti-vaccination and instead relied on a vegan diet to keep her son healthy, claiming he had ‘never been sick’
2014: Her book, The Kind Mama, also laid bare her decision not to circumcise her son, despite Silverstone being raised as a Jew, writing: ‘If little boys were supposed to have their penises “fixed,” did that mean we were saying that God made the body imperfect?’
2020: In an interview with the New York Times, Silverstone admitted that she an her son still took baths together
It turns out even her ex-husband dismissed some of her mothers initially as ‘hippie s**t’, but he ultimately changed his tune and has come to appreciate her attachment parenting process.
‘He loved it. He was like “this works!” she said of Jarecki’s change of heart on those natural cues.
The doting mom also added of her gentle approach to parenting that she has never yelled at her son, instead trying to respect him in their conversations.
‘I’ve never had a need to raise my voice. I never yell at him and I say sorry a lot,’ she explained, adding that if she is busy and feeling overwhelmed she will ask Bear to write down everything he wants to speak about to come back to at a later date.
The star also revealed she always wanted more than one child, but the timing wasn’t right.
‘Being a mom is the most precious, most unbelievable experience in this world and it’s not for everyone and anybody who doesn’t want to do it shouldn’t do it, but for me it’s so divine,’ she said.
‘That’s why I want to savor every moment of his life. I wanted to have more but then my relationship got messed up and it wasn’t a great time to bring one in but I didn’t want to have another one right away because I was so in love with my Bear that I wanted to squeeze every moment out of him.
‘It wasn’t until he was like three that I was ready to make another baby but I didn’t have partners so that’s why I don’t have four babies.’
It is not the first time that Silverstone has opened up about her unconventional parenting practices; in 2012, she sparked furious controversy when she revealed that she was feeding her then-11-month-old son by pre-chewing his food and passing it from her own mouth directly into his.
At the time, the actress – who shared a video of the process on YouTube – defended the strange feeding technique, insisting that it was ‘a weaning process’ and noting that ‘people have been feeding their kids that way for thousands of years’.
‘I think it’s adorable and it makes me laugh every time he does it,’ she said in response to the backlash over her parenting technique.
Silverstone admitted her ex-husband initially dismissed some of her parenting practices as ‘hippie s**t’, but said he has since changed his tune and has come to appreciate the process
In 2012, Silverstone sparked furious controversy when she revealed that she fed her then-11-month-old son by pre-chewing his food and passing it from her mouth directly into his
At the time, she defended the practice as a ‘weaning process’, noting that ‘people have been feeding their kids that way for thousands of years’
‘He attacks my mouth and I think it’s adorable. He also knows how to use his hands and he also eats regular food so when babies are weaning, he still breastfeeds. Some people think that’s disgusting too which is insane.
‘It’s just a thing that has been going on for thousands of years and I didn’t think I was inventing anything but in our culture…’
In 2014, she courted controversy when she revealed in her book, The Kind Mama, that she was anti-vaccination, and instead relied upon a vegan diet to keep her son healthy – claiming at the time that he had ‘never been sick’ as a result of his plant-based food regimen.
‘I’m not against Western medicine,’ she wrote. ‘The problem is we’re using it as a first step for everything, even when it’s not needed.’
The actress continued: ‘There is increasing anecdotal evidence from doctors who have gotten distressed phones calls from parents claiming their child was “never the same” after receiving a vaccine.
‘And I personally have friends whose babies were drastically affected in this way.’
She also stirred controversy in her book when she revealed that she had chosen not to circumcise her son, despite being raised as a Jew.
‘I was raised Jewish, so the second my parents found out that they had a male grandchild, they wanted to know when we’d be having a bris [circumcision ceremony],’ she wrote.
Silverstone, who was raised Jewish, also revealed in her 2014 book The Kind Mama that she had chosen not to circumcise her son, writing: ‘My thinking was: If little boys were supposed to have their penises “fixed,” did that mean we were saying that God made the body imperfect?’
The actress split from her musician ex-husband (seen with Bear in June) in 2018, however the pair continue to co-parent their son together
Celebrities that support ‘attachment parenting’
‘When I said we weren’t having one, my dad got a bit worked up. But my thinking was: If little boys were supposed to have their penises “fixed,” did that mean we were saying that God made the body imperfect?’
In 2020, she told the New York Times that she and her then-nine-year-old son still took baths together, saying: ‘My son and I take baths together, and when he’s not with me, I take a bath and that really feels nourishing and comforting.’
Silverstone has shared her passions for natural living ever since she gained widespread recognition following her roles in The Crush (1993) and Clueless (1995), even if it was met with ridicule and laughter, which was sometimes the case.
The Real Heal with Alicia Silverstone host also revealed some of the health benefits she’s seen in her own body after going vegan – a diet that she has also raised her son with since he was old enough to eat food.
‘I think at the end of the day the proof is in the pudding,’ she said of her meat-free diet of fruits and vegetables.
‘What happened to me when I went vegan, when I stopped just yelling to people about it, was that my skin changed, my hair changed, my nails changed. I got off my asthma inhaler, I stopped taking allergy shots twice a week, and my body slimmed up.’
She continued, ‘All my cystic acne went away, the whites of my eyes got really white. You couldn’t not bend my nails anymore, and they were so brittle before. And I stopped needing to go to the doctor. I stopped needing medication, I stopped needing anything, and that was so powerful.’
Silverstone went on to share that she didn’t know she would have all these benefits because she initially stopped eating animal products for the animals.
The actress noted that her son ‘didn’t have sugar for so long’, explaining that she tried to focus Bear on a ‘macrobiotic’ diet that was free from ‘junk’.
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