Do Alicia Silverstone or Hilary Duff Owe Anyone an Explanation for Their Parenting Styles?

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When it comes to raising your child, parents make all sorts of decisions. Sometimes, those decisions may be "out of the box," in terms of accepted protocol, and Hollywood moms are no different. Take actress Alicia Silverstone, for instance. She set the Internet abuzz in a video posted last month that depicted the "Clueless" star chewing food in her mouth and then passing it to her son Bear's mouth for him to eat. The practice of pre-chewing shocked many who watched the videos, raising questions and eyebrows over whether this was a healthy practice for a baby.

Alicia recently defended the practice on "Entertainment Tonight." Said Silverstone, "... this has been going on for thousands of years - still going on all over the place - and it's natural." The veteran actress did acknowledge though that "it would make some people feel uncomfortable, possibly, because it's new to them."

Then there's Hilary Duff. The former Disney television and movie star gave birth to her first child in March, son Luca. She told People that despite her husband telling her not to, she kept Luca's umbilical stump cord after it fell off. She said she keeps it in a plastic bag in her makeup drawer. The "Lizzy McGuire" star said that at first she had to hide it from her husband, but that now it's well known where she's stashing the cord.

In the wake of the public commentary on these Hollywood mom revelations, it became clear that Silverstone was was probably right about her decision to pre-chew for her son. However, it forces us to ask the question whether either lady needs to explain herself. After all, in the case of Duff, it's been a tradition for many families to keep the umbilical cord stump in a baby book, and Silverstone's dietary decision for her baby doesn't pose a real threat to her son's health or well-being.

These two cases aren't really much like when Britney Spears was seen in 2006 rushing her son away from the press in her car without strapping him into a car seat first. Then there was the time that the late Michael Jackson dangled his son "Blanket" out of a hotel window. Alicia and Hilary are simply taking part in traditions that may not be mainstream anymore, but certainly pose no harm to their children.

The issue comes down to a couple of factors. First, it may be prudent for stars to not share everything they do with their kids, especially if it's a completely normal, if not mainstream practice like chewing your son's food for him. Secondly, maybe it's time for those of us in the general public to keep an open mind, and remember that each parent has to make their own choices for how they bring their children up, and that most of the time no one should be owed an apology or explanation.

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