Before Heath Ledger’s untimely death in 2007, Michelle Williams was already a single mother. The former couple met in 2004 and the following year, Michelle gave birth to their daughter, Matilda. It wasn't until 2007, months before Heath’s fatal drug overdose, that they broke up. Now, Michelle has her own set of parenting rules she lives by in order to care for their daughter on her own.
And although in 2018 she was briefly married to songwriter Phil Elverum, the pair are now split and Michelle is once again a single parent working on caring for her daughter. These might not be the tips for everyone, but these are some of the parenting rules Michelle Williams follows today.
10 Remember That Your Kids Deserve Their Privacy Too
When you’re famous, one of the biggest challenges is keeping your private life just that while remaining somewhat in the spotlight. Michelle, on the other hand, has managed to keep her daughter out of the public eye as much as possible. And although not all parents have the same balance to deal with, it teaches other parents an important lesson about giving children privacy they deserve as individuals. No, they aren’t adults, but they are people too. As they get older, they also deserve privacy to some degree and Michelle gets that.
9 Allow Your Kids To Make Their Own Paths
In 2018, Michelle spoke to People about raising Matilda on her own. She said that although Heath is gone, she still raises her daughter to be herself and to be unafraid to follow her own path. Other parents who learn to allow their kids to follow their own paths will be able to help them gain some independence.
By giving kids the chance to pave their own ways, parents can allow their kids to make their own decisions and, in some cases, learn from their mistakes. But Michelle seems to understand that giving your children that freedom is necessary to their healthy development.
8 Don’t Be Afraid To Let Your Kids Work For What They Have
Most people likely believe that children of celebrities automatically live charmed lives. Michelle hasn't allowed her own child to be spoiled by their lifestyle, though. And, as she told USA Today, she makes it a point to ensure that her daughter struggles at least to some degree so that she can appreciate what she has in life.
"It sounds counter-intuitive but I hope nothing in life comes too easily for my daughter," Michelle said. "I would decimate someone who hurt her. But I hope she struggles for what she wants. I hope she forges her way with grit and experience and finds heart and courage."
7 Say "Yes" To That Dog Your Kids Are Begging You For
Instead of relying on technology or even social media to entertain and entice her daughter, Michelle believes that animals can have an even more positive effect on kids’ mental state. And she has proven that time and again by allowing Matilda to have tons of pets in their home.
So instead of automatically denying your little ones that second puppy or third cat, it might be a good idea to embrace that side of them. Who knows? It could even tear them away from YouTube videos for a little while and that’s a win for everyone.
6 Make Careful Choices About Dating As A Single Parent
Before Heath’s death, Michelle was already single and working on her career and taking care of Matilda. But afterward, she still made it a point to be careful about who she let into their life. In 2016, she told HuffPost that her main focus was giving her daughter a "wonderful, peaceful life."
Other single parents can take a cue from Michelle by also being careful about the partners they introduce to their children and bring around. Younger children can get confused by the uncertainty and older kids might have a hard time trusting new people if they are coming in and out of their life frequently.
5 Say "No" To Electronics
These days, it’s harder and harder to limit what kids watch on their electronic devices and how much they watch. Sure, you can institute screen time allowances, but there really is no guarantee kids will follow the rules. In Michelle’s case, however, cell phones are essentially banned in her home.
At least, she has tried to hold off on allowing Matilda to have her own phone for as long as possible. It’s a fair rule to make, especially since kids can become too attached and even obsessed with their personal electronic devices. Maybe not every parent can commit to that, but it can be beneficial for any kid.
4 Master The Art Of Multitasking
Working parents understand all too well the struggle of creating the perfect balance between work and home life. Michelle has said that even she has a hard time balancing parenthood when she is in the throes of working on a new project.
But to be able to master the art of multitasking means having the best of both worlds. It is never easy of course, but it’s a necessary rule for a lot of working parents, whether they are single or have a partner by their side.
3 Find A Parent Friend For Solidarity
A lot of parents find comfort in making mom or dad friends to ride the complicated wave of parenthood with and Michelle is no different. As a single mom, her goal of having a fellow single parent as a friend makes things a little easier at school functions and overall.
If you are a single parent or a stay-at-home mom or dad who finds yourself doing things on your own more often than not, finding a parent friend can make things a little easier in a lot of social situations. And, in a way, it can make things easier on you at the end of a long hard day too.
2 Treat Your Kids Like Equals When You Can
Clearly, kids should be approached in a different way than adults and, yes, parents. But Michelle understands that kids should be treated as equals in some ways whenever possible and appropriate. She told NPR that she keeps Matilda in the know when it comes to serious life issues.
Michelle makes it a point to create the kind of close relationship with her daughter which allows for an intimate kind of relationship to keep them close and make Matilda a part of Michelle’s life in more ways than some other single parents might be aware is necessary.
1 Remember That Children Thrive On A Routine And Stability
Even if your kids tell you they would rather stay up late and play hooky from school, it’s not what they need. Despite living the life of a celebrity, Michelle also makes sure that her daughter is given the stability that a routine provides.
All kids need a routine in order to thrive and it’s a rule that should be followed regardless of your own circumstances. It might not always be possible to keep your child’s routine from being disrupted in extenuating circumstances, but if you can help it, it’s important to keep your kids on a set schedule.
There are a handful of parenting rules Michelle Williams follows in order to allow her daughter to grow and develop successfully. But even if only a few of them work for you, they can be the difference between raising a closed off child who may not open up to you enough and a kid who is unafraid to have a more open and honest relationship with you as their parent.