Alicia Silverstone’s Unique Parenting Methods Have Got Everyone Talking

This article appeared in Instantlymodern and has been published here with permission.

Instagram // @aliciasilverstone

Back in the ‘90s, actress Alicia Silverstone rose to fame when she played Cher Horowitz in the teen movie Clueless. While she’s still acting and overall present in Hollywood, Alicia’s parenting is what’s getting her attention these days. 46-year-old Alicia is the mother to 11-year-old Bear Blu Jarecki, whose childhood has been anything but conventional.

Bear’s Parents

While Bear’s mother is a household name, his musician father Christopher Jarecki is far less known. Christopher and Alicia met outside a movie theater and dated for eight years before getting married.

Photo by Frank Trapper // Corbis via Getty Images

The couple welcomed Bear into the world in 2011 and, despite their marital issues, have both remained active parents in Bear’s life. Sadly, Alicia and Christopher got divorced in 2018, after 20 years together. The exes have joint custody of Bear and are determined to co-parent peacefully.

The Controversy

In 2012, Alicia’s parenting came under fire when she uploaded a video onto her website, The Kind Life, of herself feeding a then-10-month-old Bear. In the video, Alicia fed Bear pre-chewed food from her own mouth.

Twitter // @mastrap84

The move was controversial, to say the least, and the public started to question all of Alicia’s parenting methods. The actress doesn’t see anything wrong with it, though, as she’s said, “This has been going on for thousands of years — still going on all over the place — and it’s natural.”

Alicia’s Parenting Style

Alicia’s parenting style is often called attachment parenting, and it’s one of the many known techniques for raising children. Attachment parenting focuses on the bond between a parent and child, both emotionally and physically.

Instagram // @aliciasilverstone

For example — baby wearing, bed sharing, and the belief that crying is a form of communication rather than a tantrum or manipulation. Attachment parenting is based on the belief that a parent’s bond with their child will shape all of the child’s future relationships. Alicia, though, describes her parenting style differently…

A Natural Mom

Alicia describes herself as a “natural” mom. “I just do what’s natural. I’m a loving mama. I believe in love, I believe in nature and our society is scared of nature and scared of love.”

Instagram // @aliciasilverstone

When asked about her closeness to Bear, Alicia pointed out that’s how parenting is done in nature. “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.”

Alicia’s Household

Alicia’s home is eco-friendly, with solar panels and an organic vegetable garden. The family composts their own waste, takes their own bags to the supermarket, and refuses to purchase any single-use disposables. Alicia and Bear are both vegan and have had multiple rescue pets in their home over the years.

Facebook // Alicia Silverstone

“I try to lead by example. Bear sees me making choices all day long that benefit our planet […] He is a little eco-ambassador for our planet; compassionate, loving, curious, and aware.”

Medical Choices

Alicia isn’t a huge fan of modern medicine and prefers to let Bear’s body regulate itself. The actress claims that her son has never needed medical intervention of any kind, including antibiotics and vaccines.

Instagram // @aliciasilverstone

“I’m not saying I wouldn’t give it to him… I’m saying he doesn’t need it. This is a kid who’s been [sick] twice in his life. Twice. For, like, a few hours. He said, ‘Mommy I don’t feel good. I’m going to lie down.’ In his whole life, twice.”

Gender Fluid

Bear’s parents don’t expect him to conform to social norms, especially when it comes to gender. He’s been made fun of for his long hair in the past but chose to keep it and Alicia supported that decision.

Instagram // @aliciasilverstone

“Mama and Papa aren’t going to stop him from being him. He’s beautiful and we love his hair! We would never impose any social ideas about what hair on a boy or girl should look like. We should all try to embrace our children and who they choose to be without any judgment!”

Letting Go of Bear’s Locks

At nine years old, Bear decided that he was ready for a change and he cut his hair. At that point, Bear’s mane was down to his waist but he buzzed it all off. Alicia says it was a big adjustment for her and her son now looks like a “kid” instead of a “baby.”

Instagram // @aliciasilverstone

Although she needs to get used to it, the actress loves Bear’s new look. However, she does suspect that he’ll grow his hair long again soon. In the meantime, she’s keeping his unattached locks safe.

Bath Time

Bath time is a beloved time in the Silverstone household but the way Alicia and Bear enjoy this time is a point of disgust for some people. The mother and son bathe together — at least they did until Bear was nine-years-old, although it’s unknown whether or not they share a bath now.

Facebook // Alicia Silverstone

While many fans deemed the move inappropriate, others pointed out that this is the norm in various other cultures. Some fans simply couldn’t understand how the Silverstones’ bath time works logistically, as bathing with a young child hardly seems relaxing.


Similar to bath time, bedtime is also something Bear and Alicia do together. As of July 2022, the actress and her 11-year-old son still share a bed. Alicia stated, “Bear and I still sleep together. And I’ll be in trouble for saying that but I don’t really care.”

Instagram // @aliciasilverstone

Her assumptions were correct, as many fans called the practice flat-out wrong and borderline predatory. Others shared their own antidotes of sharing a bed with their parents or sleeping with their now children, to say they don’t find it strange.

Potty Training

Back when Bear was a baby, Alicia had some pretty unconventional thoughts about potty training. Silverstone is a fan of elimination communication, which is a technique that eliminates the need for diapers.

Instagram // @aliciasilverstone

Instead, the parent looks for cues from their child that the baby needs the potty, and the parent then holds them over the toilet. According to Alicia, this method works so well that Bear was completely potty trained by the time he was six months old!

No Stroller? No Problem!

Like many people who believe in attachment parenting, Alicia didn’t use a stroller for Bear when he was young, as she believed that being physically close to her was crucial for her son’s development.

Instagram // @aliciasilverstone

Instead, Alicia either carried Bear in her arms or wore him in a sling. Given her disdain for diapers, strollers, and cribs (the latter which she refers to as “neglect”), it’s no surprise that Alicia has said her parenting style is all about “getting back to basics and doing away with excess.”

No Need for Discipline

Alicia doesn’t believe in discipline. She claims that she doesn’t need to resort to it, as Bear’s moods are well-regulated thanks to his all-natural vegan diet. “There’s a calmness to him, a centered-ness that he’s not off the charts.”

Twitter // @AliciaSilv

“I don’t have to yell or scream or, like, discipline. None of that is necessary. All I have to do is say, ‘Oh, Bear, no thank you,’ and he goes, ‘Okay, mom.’ He’s got it. We just can talk like that because he’s not feeling crazy.”

A Tech-Free Home

It’s a bit ironic that Alicia is an actress but Bear rarely watches movies. That’s because the Silverstones have a largely tech-free home. Alicia and Bear may watch a movie occasionally as a treat but they prefer to spend quality time together rather than staring at screens.

Instagram // @aliciasilverstone

Bear and Alicia enjoy spending time outdoors, exercising, and playing with their dogs. Alicia happily states that despite not using electronics, “Bear and I have never experienced boredom.”

Bear’s Seal of Approval

Alicia is currently looking for love but anyone who’s interested in dating the actress will first have to get approval from someone else — Bear. Alicia keeps her son informed about all of her dates and wouldn’t consider seriously pursuing someone Bear isn’t happy with.

Facebook // Alicia Silverstone

As of 2021, Alicia has announced that she’s on several dating apps and she’s “super excited about being available and open to whatever’s next.” Although, she admits that aspects of finding love again are “confusing.”


Although Alicia and Christopher (Bear’s father) are no longer romantically involved, they still get along extremely well and enjoy co-parenting together. The actress has remarked, “Bear and his daddy and I flow really well together.”

Instagram // Alicia Silverstone

Alicia credits this, in part, to the fact that she and Christopher communicate daily and are still friends. She believes that Bear also benefits from the fact that his parents are polar opposites. “His dad lives very differently, so he gets to have the whole picture.”

A Free Thinker

Alicia has proven that she certainly isn’t afraid to go against the grain and she wants to teach Bear to think for himself, too. The actress often encourages her son to “question everything” and “don’t believe what they tell you.”

Instagram // @aliciasilverstone

Silverstone practices what she preaches, by ensuring that Bear sees her “not necessarily doing what the masses are doing and really questioning things, really thinking about things and looking at things through a magnifying glass.”

Activism Runs in the Family

Alicia is a vegan activist and it seems that the older Bear gets, the more he follows in his mother’s footsteps. The Silverstone family credits their vegan lifestyle with Bear’s excellent physical health, his good behavior, and Alicia’s fertility.

Instagram // @aliciasilverstone

Alicia has spoken about her son’s well-being by saying, “He’s such an example of health. This is a child who is plant-based.” Alicia has been vegan since 1998 and Bear has been vegan his whole life.

Cribs = Neglect

As mentioned before, Alicia equates putting a child in a crib to neglect. She also believes that kids should sleep in the same bed as their parents for as long as they want. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Alicia has some pretty harsh words for cribs.

Instagram // @aliciasilverstone

She says that parents who subject their children to “a barred-in box completely alone” miss an opportunity to bond. “Sharing a bed with Baby means you can tune in better to her needs, which in turn builds security and trust.”


One might think that an attachment parenting style would lead to a child being dependent on their parent but Alicia insists that Bear is actually more independent than a lot of his peers. “The whole idea is that you love and attach so much so that they’re free enough to be and leave.”

Instagram // @aliciasilverstone

She continued, “It’s heartbreaking, but you have to. My kid’s so fiercely independent because he is right [in my heart] all the time. He’s so great.”

Alicia’s Parenting Book

In 2014, Alicia released a parenting book titled The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning.

Photo by Axelle Bauer-Griffin // FilmMagic // Getty Images

Silverstone says that she wrote this book in order to “make a guide for women so they could have that experience that they deserved to have.” However, The Kind Mama got extremely mixed reviews and has been extensively analyzed by childcare experts.

The Backlash

Many of Alicia’s critics complain that her book is mostly anecdotal and unscientific. They argue that a lot of The Kind Mama’s advice is dangerous for a child’s physical and emotional well-being.

Instagram // @aliciasilverstone

However, Alicia points out that she never pretended to be an expert, her book simply contains the parenting techniques that work for her. “Everything that’s in the book is there to show you why you might want to consider it, always just to give you information. […] If you don’t choose that, that’s totally fine.”

Proud of Her Choices

Despite the backlash, Alicia is proud of her parenting choices and the book she’s written. She says that women on the street often approach her to thank her for the parenting advice that changed their lives.

Photo by Gary Miller // Getty Images

The actress believes that motherhood and activism have given her purpose and she’s making a positive change in the world. As for the critics, Silverstone says, “Anyone who has issues with it can have them; it doesn’t affect me.”

Kisses on the Lips

People tend to be very opinionated as to whether or not parents should kiss their children on the lips. Given how much importance Alicia puts on physical bonding, it’s unsurprising that she has no problem showing Bear affection with a quick peck on the lips.

Instagram // @aliciasilverstone

The actress even joked that Bear was a bit confused after watching Clueless for the first time and he thought that he was supposed to French kiss his mom, as was done in the movie.

The Rules of Social Media

Being a celebrity parent, Alicia obviously can’t control what photos the paparazzi take of Bear or where they’ll get posted. That being said, she does try to respect her son’s privacy when it comes to her own social media account.

Instagram // @aliciasilverstone

Alicia doesn’t upload anything involving Bear onto the internet unless he agrees to it first. So far, it seems that the 11-year-old is happy to share his life with his mother’s fans.

Mom to the Rescue

Many parents of young children believe in the ‘cry it out’ or self-soothing method. This means letting one’s baby cry until they’re finished or comfort themselves, rather than running to console them. The idea is to teach the child independence.

Instagram // @aliciasilverstone

Alicia disagrees with this method, though, and instead was always there whenever Bear was upset. Silverstone believes that anything other than being present for a crying child disrupts the trust babies have that their parents will take care of them.

Alicia Knows to Be Selfish

While being a mother is a selfless job, Alicia firmly believes that she needs some time to focus on her needs in order to be a better mom to Bear.

Instagram // @aliciasilverstone

The actress makes sure that she gets some time to herself each day, that she’s eating well, and sleeping enough. Alicia believes that not only does this allow her to be more emotionally healthy for Bear, but it also teaches him not to neglect his own self-care.

But Doesn’t Want to Miss Anything

Although she knows the importance of having time for herself, Alicia also doesn’t want to miss any aspect of Bear’s childhood. Silverstone tries to spend as much time with her son as possible and to always be mentally and emotionally present when they’re together.

Instagram // @aliciasilverstone

Alicia explains, “It’s not some kind of spoiled thing. It’s just that when you love someone, you want to take them in and soak them in. And many of us didn’t get that.”

Will Bear Get Siblings?

It seems that having more kids isn’t in the cards for Alicia. However, that’s not for lack of want. The 46-year-old explained, “I wanted to have more [kids], but then my relationship got messed up, and it wasn’t a great time to bring one in.”

Facebook // Alicia Silverstone

“I didn’t want to have one right away because I was so in love with my Bear […] so it wasn’t until he was like three that I was ready to make another baby and then I didn’t have a partner.”

Alicia’s View on Motherhood

Alicia knows that her parenting methods have sparked controversy, but she doesn’t seem to care. “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.”

Instagram // @aliciasilverstone

Silverstone is at peace with the knowledge that her family is happy and healthy. And she loves being a mother! As she’s said, “Being a mom is the most precious, most unbelievable experience in this world.”