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Well you know Good Enough Mother doesn’t like to judge, especially as this parenting thing is literally the hardest job in the world with stakes so high they would have you balled up in a corner sucking your thumb if you really thought about the ramifications. But there are some examples of bad parenting that have us all shaking our heads. So below and not in any particular order, welcome these 9 to the Good Enough Mother Hall of Shame.




  • John Phillips: There-are-no-words. Disgusting doesn’t seem strong enough to describe the long-term, consensual sexual relationship between The Mama’s and The Papas leader John Phillips and his daughter, Mackenzie. You’ll recall she was the troubled child actress on One Day at a Time.  Well know we know why she was so screwed up. She told Oprah that on the eve of her wedding at age 19, she passed out on her father’s bed, only to awaken from the blackout as he was having sex with her. Mackenzie’s life turned out to be a troubled one with divorces and drug arrests. Lately it seems as though she may be on a solid path and she looks healthy and strong. Time will tell if she has fully exorcised the demons of her past.
  • Joe Simpson: While there was no sexual relationship between Joe Simpson and his daughter Jessica, how could she possibly NOT have felt violated when her father went on and on and ON about her anatomy? In an interview with, the former Baptist minister turned manager, talked about Jessica’s “sex appeal” in detail that would make a stripper blush!  He said, “If you put her in a T-shirt or you put her in a bustier, she’s sexy in both. She’s got double D’s! You can’t cover those suckers up!” Free advice from GEM… SHADDUP already!

  • Alec Baldwin: You don’t call your kids names. Period. End of discussion. We all remember that phone call where he angrily called his daughter Ireland, a “rude, thoughtless, little pig”.  The self-esteem of kids that age is still being formed and somewhat fragile. Being called names from a schoolmate is bad enough. From a parent? Inexcusable.
  • Michael and Dina Lohan: Here’s a Good Enough Mother message for these two. GROW UP! Your daughter Lindsay is spinning out of control. Of course, you didn’t notice because, Dina you were too busy calling the cops on those folks at Carvel who dared deny you a free ice cream cake and Michael,  you were too busy calling a news conference to talk about who-knows-what.  Get your collective butt to LA and take care of your kid.

  • Billy Ray Cyrus: Oh my heart achy breakys when I see what is going on with Miley. Yes, she is leaving the Disney fold.  Yes, she is trying to grow up in the spotlight and yes, that is difficult. But it can be done, with the steady and guiding hand of a parent who cares less about fame and more about them.  (Taylor Swift, Dakota Fanning anyone?) I’m not saying Billy Ray Cyrus doesn’t care, but as a father, isn’t it a bit much to watch your 17-year-old (17!!) wearing next to nothing, gyrating around on stage in a bodysuit and tattered fishnets, kissing girls and singing about not being able to be tamed? Y’all better step in and quick. Even famous kids need boundaries. (see example above)
  • Joe Jackson: From the moments back in Gary, IN when he was making his minor sons play in smoky nightclubs, to recently when he blamed his wife for Michael Jackson’s death, this man has shown incredibly poor judgment. Joe Jackson said that after Michael died, his wife Katherine, could not stop crying and that he was incapable of consoling her. He went on to say that he was angry with her because, on more than one occasion, he had told her that something was not right with their son.  Needless to say, he has since retracted those callous remarks.  Joe must have been absent in grade school when we all learned the lesson that words can hurt and saying you’re sorry doesn’t always remove the sting. Next time, think first.

  • Britney Spears: Who could forget the famous incident where she was photographed driving with her infant son on her lap? After you have a baby and you leave the hospital, they make sure you have a car seat. Then they tell you how to make sure said car seat is properly installed in your vehicle. It is up to you to use it. She wasn’t using it or her brain during this particularly cringe-worthy moment. Maybe the public castigation she received following the photo taught her the error of her ways because she hasn’t done it since.
  • David Hasselhoff: There comes a time when our children become our parents, basically when we are old and incapacitated. That time should not come when we are drunk and eating a hamburger off a hotel room floor. The Hoff’s daughter taped her father as he slurred and tried to get more of the burger in his mouth than on the carpet. It’s heart wrenching to hear as she  takes on the role of the parent in the relationship.   You would think as a parent, that image of yourself would be seared in your memory and the sheer embarrassment of it would be enough to drive you to get help. But alcoholism is a devil of a disease and in the Hoff’s case this instance was seemingly not enough to drive him to get help.  He was hospitalized again last year, reportedly for the 5th time, with alcohol poisoning.

  • Jon and Kate Gosselin:  I don’t even know where to start with these two. They are so busy trying to be famous they have, at least figuratively, kicked to the curb the ones that got them there. It is stomach turning to hear Kate prattle on about how she is doing it all for the kids. Does anyone REALLY believe that? Her ex-husband, Jon is not helping matters, bringing home the girlfriend of the week and parading her in front of the kids. And do you really think it’s a good idea to publicly document your kids every moment, like their meltdowns or issues with constipation? Kids get teased and classmates can be quite cruel. For once, stop your endless bickering on TV and handle your problems the way real adults do, without cameras. You would be amazed at what that would do “for your kids.”

Do you agree with these? Did we leave anyone out? If there was a 10th celeb parenting behaving badly, who would it be? Start weighing in…


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