The 'Clueless' actor, who is also a vegan, says she is simply following what nature has taught us all along.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on July 22, 2022. It has since been updated.
Alicia Silverstone has revealed that she still shares a bed with her preteen son, Bear. Silverstone shares a very close bond with her son and it's evident in her Instagram posts as well. While there has been a mixed response from some quarters to her style of parenting, the majority are lauding her and are supportive of her for leading the way in being more expressive and sharing a close bond with her kid. The "Clueless" actor says she is simply following what nature has taught us all along. “I’m a natural mama, and I’m a loving mama. I believe in love, I believe in nature, and our society is scared of nature and love,” she said on The Ellen Fisher Podcast.
Silverstone addressed the comments of people trying to mom-shame her for parenting her 11-year-old, whom she shares with ex-husband Christopher Jarecki, in her own style. Ellen Fisher introduced Alicia as someone who “is happy for people to think what they want about how she’s raising her child, even if it raises eyebrows because her alternative parenting techniques work for her family. Which included co-sleeping, elimination communication, her son Bear’s long hair, teaching him to question everything he’s told, raising him vegan, and not punishing him.”
The actor has been criticized for her “attachment parenting” style, but she explains that it helps them become independent as they get older. “Every choice I make is either based on instinct or deep research,” she said, before adding that she doesn't want to raise her kid in any other way. “I just think it’s delicious. I think being a mom is the most precious, most unbelievable experience in this world, and it’s not for everyone, and anyone who doesn’t want to do it shouldn’t do it, but for me, it’s so divine, and I wanted to savor every moment of his life,” she said.
When asked about her alternative parenting style, she responded, “The things I’m doing I’m not inventing. I didn’t invent any of it. It’s just me following nature. Bear and I still sleep together. 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 your baby to be over there.” The actor added, "Well if I were sleeping outside in a tent, I wouldn’t put him in a separate tent.”
Alicia Silverstone is no stranger to going against the grain. She's been mocked for taking a different path for a long time, but it has once never deterred her from being herself. She was also one of the first Hollywood celebrities to go vegan and she did it way before it became a mainstream concept. As a parent, some of the choices that drew barbs from critics include chewing food for Bear, potty training as an infant, letting her son have long hair and co-sleeping, among other things. She also introduced Bear only much later to sugar and other processed foods as he was very “macrobiotic.” Silverstone believes she has given him a really good foundation and he can tell the difference now as he explores food independently and makes his own choices.
Many supported Silverstone's parenting choices and said they wished they were this close with their children."You don't belong in the American culture of parenting Alicia. If you ever wonder about your parenting ways, just remember there is at least one country in this world with mothers who do exactly what you're doing. And unpleasant behavioral issues are almost unheard of. I've lived both here in the US and there, and my gosh, I chose to do my mothering the same as in my culture. No issues at all. The standards here are the way they are because most women don't know any better. Not their fault though," wrote one user.
Experts say there's no issue with Silverstone co-sleeping with her son. "I have always told parents that sharing a bed with your child is a personal decision, not a medical decision," said Dr. Rebecca Fisk, a pediatrician at Lenox Hill Hospital at Northwell Health in New York, reported Yahoo News. Elizabeth Matheis, a licensed clinical psychologist, says everyone has their parenting style. "We all come from different backgrounds and the rules, or parenting guidelines, vary greatly — it's what works for you and your family," said Elizabeth Matheis, a clinical psychologist at Psychological and Educational Consulting, LLC, in Livingston, New Jersey.