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Parenting lessons from Brad Pitt and other celebrity moms and dads

Published: Thursday, July 30 2015 2:57 p.m. MDT

From left, Brad Pitt is Gerry Lane, Abigail Hargrove is Rachel Lane and Mireille Enos is Karin Lane in From left, Brad Pitt is Gerry Lane, Abigail Hargrove is Rachel Lane and Mireille Enos is Karin Lane in "World War Z." (Jaap Buitendijk)

Recently, TV personality and new mom Kim Kardashian's image has been splashed across the covers of gossip magazines and websites, criticized for everything from her body weight to Twitter activity to the unique name she and partner Kanye West gave their daughter: North West.

Society's relationship with celebrity parents could be described as love-hate at best. But do we learn a thing or two from these oft-criticized moms and dads?

Following are a few lessons from observing celebrity parents.

Watch your language

Most people wouldn't often associate an apocalyptic zombie film with strong morals, but thanks to actor and father Brad Pitt, the cast and crew of "World War Z" had to watch their language.

Four-letter words were worth their weight in cash.

"Mireille Enos — who plays Brad's wife in the movie — told People magazine: 'He started a swearing jar. If anybody swore around the kids, they had to put a pound in the jar. Those kids went home rich,' '' an article on MSN stated.

Even though young actresses Sterling Jerins and Abigail Hargrove were only portraying Pitt's daughters, the zombie apocalypse star's fatherly instincts kicked in. Pitt's adopted son Maddox also had a cameo in the film, according to MSN.

Don't be so self-absorbed

An article from the American Psychology Association indicates that in general, celebrities are more narcissistic than the average person.

A 2006 study by University of Southern California psychiatry professor Drew Pinsky and psychologist Mark Young measured celebrity narcissism. Their study took results from a sample of 200 well-known personalities, including actors, musicians and comedians.

Using the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, the results indicated that compared to an average person, celebrities were "significantly more" narcissistic.

"The study also showed that reality television stars were among the most narcissistic of all celebrities," the article said.

According to an article in PsychAlive, narcissistic parents tend to live through and overly connect with their children.

"While (parents) may seem to support their children’s accomplishments, they often feel competitive with their children," the article reads. "They would like their child’s successes to reflect on them and attract attention to them, but at the same time, they do not want to be overshadowed by their kids."

Take pride in being a parent

Amid a tidal wave of controversy over her parenting style, the mom of reality TV icon Honey Boo Boo, June Shannon, has been recognized for her love of being a mother.

Online publication The Stir, a lifestyles website, wanted to give Shannon a chance to speak out after being called the worst mother in America.

"You may not be a fan of their down-home, redneck ways, but you can't deny one thing — the mom to Honey Boo Boo, Pumpkin, Chickadee and Chubbs has raised four happy, confident girls," the article stated. "That is no easy feat in this day and age."

In an interview with The Stir, Shannon — one of the stars of TLC's reality series "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" — said that her biggest talent is being a mother, even if it's been hard at times. Shannon had her first child at age 17.

Her advice to other parents — it's simple, really.

"Be there for your kids, love them unconditionally," she said.

Don't pretend to know everything

Instead, take a lesson from "After Earth" stars Will and Jaden Smith.

Will Smith talked parenting during an interview with Good Morning America last month, which was reported by the Daily Mail.

"'Every time I look at the picture, I was looking like, 'What am I going to do with this thing?' You know. And it's like, parenting is hit or miss," Smith said after host Robin Roberts showed a picture of the actor with a confused look cradling his son when he was first born.

Smith said the experience of being a father was an experimental one.

"So for me, it's a deep uncertainty that I carry around, with my kids. I just try to teach them everything that I know and love them as hard as I can love them. And hope for the best," he said.

During the interview, the father-son duo entertained the crowd with their banter, antics and obvious love for one another.

Another celebrity father recently admitted his qualms about being a good dad for his little girl.

In a new ad promoted by Samsung, Jay-Z admits that his background didn't leave him as equipped as he would like upon entering the realm of fatherhood.

"It deals with (the fact that) my pop left when I was young. He didn't teach me how to be a man nor how to raise a child — or treat a woman," the Huffington Post reported. "The two things I need, I don't have ... and I have a daughter. It's (about) the paranoia of not being a great dad."

But despite his concerns, the rapper, who is married to industry sensation Beyonce, said as parents, they marvel at their daughter Blue Ivy every day, the article said.

Emmilie Buchanan is an intern for the Deseret News with Mormon Times. She recently graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho. Contact her by email: ebuchanan@deseretnews.com or on Twitter: @emmiliebuchanan

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