The Controversial Parenting Methods of Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise Have Resulted in Wildly Different Relationships With Suri

Thu Mar 31 2022

Actress Katie Holmes is one of the most private celebrities out there. But she’s let a few things drop over the years about her parenting techniques, and they certainly stand in stark contrast to those of her ex-husband Tom Cruise. Tom, on the other hand, has had some very controversial parenting techniques for their daughter Suri that have sparked major debates.

We’re diving into the madness that must have been Suri’s childhood with Tom and Katie as her parents. As we’ll come to see, these two Hollywood heavyweights had contrasting approaches to how best to raise their little one, and arguably it’s having an effect on Suri today. Either way, we’ll let you be the final judge on which parent did a better job.

Katie Encouraged Suri’s Desire To Wear Makeup and Cosmetics From a Very Young Age

Suri was only around five years old when she was spotted at Sephora shopping for thousands of dollars worth of makeup. It was 2010, and people were in disbelief that such a small child was allowed to have such an epic makeup spending spree. Suri certainly wasn’t buying all those cosmetic products for her famous mom Katie Holmes.

Katie has come under fire for letting a five-year-old child wear makeup, let alone spend a huge amount of money on it. With all the pressure that young girls grow up with about their looks and appearance, many believe Katie’s cooperation with Suri’s premature makeup habits is doing her little girl a disservice.

Tom Fundamentally Believes That Children Should Be Treated Just Like Adults

Tom Cruise has been put on blast for his Scientological views. But one that many people may not know about it is how the Scientologist community views children. As far as the Church of Scientology is concerned, children should be thought of as “spiritual beings” who are “occupying young bodies” and should be “given all the love and respect granted to adults.”

As we’ll come to see further down in the article, it’s clear that Tom has applied his beliefs to his parenting techniques. On a Scientological blog called mikerindersblog, author Mike writes that “In Scientology, children are treated as ‘old thetans in small bodies’ – meaning they are capable of pretty much anything an adult is able to do, only limited by their physical size and ability.” But many feel that this is a detrimental approach to take with kids.

Katie Controversially Chose To Bottle-feed Suri for Much Longer Than Experts Suggest

When news hit the press that Katie had been bottle-feeding Suri until she was three years old, alarm bells started to ring. Suri was even photographed by the paparazzi feeding from a bottle when she was already a preschooler. For those of us who have had kids, we’re probably all too aware of the fact that experts strongly advise against it. Childcare experts and pediatricians are generally in agreement that babies she be weaned off of the bottle at around a year old, and definitely by 18 months.

The fact that Suri was still feeding on a bottle at three suggested that the family’s repeated traveling was coming at the expense of their daughter’s health. According to Dr. Charlotte Cowan for US Weekly, “When babies are challenged, their diet is upset, their sleep is upset.” Many believe that it was just easier for the parents to continue feeding her this way.

Tom Would Not See Fit To Take Suri to a Medical Professional, Even in an Emergency

Tom has belonged to the church of Scientology for several decades, with the public finding out about it in 1990 when his religious affiliation was leaked by a tabloid. Their controversial stance against the practice of psychiatry has led people to understand that Tom would also align with this position. And that could have a consequence on Suri’s health. But there’s more – Tom has publicly expressed his disdain for mental health professionals in several interviews over the years.

The Church of Scientology’s anti-psychiatry stance means that members of their organization who are caught going to therapy or receiving medication for a mental illness could easily find themselves expelled from the church and branded an enemy. That means that in the event of an emergency, there’s a high chance that Suri wouldn’t get the help needed. A respected medical health journal has gone so far as to publicly label Tom as “dangerous and irresponsible”.

Katie Always Bought Suri Designer Shoes Despite the Fact That She Outgrew Them Quickly

One particular point of contention for most people is Katie’s willingness to buy designer shoes for her growing daughter. Katie’s known to spoil Suri with high-end footwear from brands like Christian Louboutin and Marc Jacobs – and that’s not even taking into account the custom-made designs.

Even by the age of five, Suri is known to have had a shoe collection worth around $150,000. That’s an enormous sum, especially considering how quickly children of that age grow out of their shoe size. But even though Suri’s foot size has gone up over the years, so has her designer shoe collection. From the sound of it, Katie isn’t concerned about spoiling Suri rotten.

Tom Is Understood To Have Put Suri Through a Controversial Auditing Process

Several personal accounts from former kids brought up in a Scientological household confirm that life as a child of the church is extremely tough. As children get the same treatment as any other adult, they are subjected to auditing – founder L. Ron Hubbard claimed that it allows people to “get clear” by confessing to past regressions. The person being audited has the electrical currents in their body read by another person, who uses an E-meter to collect the information.

Basically, it makes it near-impossible to lie. The person being audited is questioned on their previous whereabouts and actions, and the person asking the questions is a Scientological official. It’s a stressful process and one in which more than a few people have found themselves coerced into admitting things that didn’t really happen. In 2016, reports circulated about Tom Cruise’s desire for Suri to undergo auditing, due to a “bad spirit” surrounding her.

Katie Put Suri to Sleep Late to Better Match Her Sleep Schedule

In an interview with Letterman, Katie revealed a few details about Suri’s sleep schedule. The actress stated that she and Tom, to who she was still married at the time, would put two-year-old Suri to bed at a late hour, as it suited their personal sleep schedule better. “She goes to sleep pretty late, because we go to sleep late,” Katie stated.

“Around 11.” Katie continued, before revealing that Suri would usually wake up the next morning around 9 am. But Katie almost admitted to her tendency to wake Suri up from a nap: “I stare and kind of kiss her and see if, maybe, she’ll wake up.” Considering how much traveling Suri was also exposed to, it seemed to some that Katie was failing to prioritize her little one’s rest.

Katie Has Always Indulged Suri With Lavish Shopping Sprees

Suri is known for living a lavish lifestyle and it’s been that way ever since she was an infant. When it comes to the season of giving, Katie and Tom spare no expense in giving their daughter everything a little girl could dream, and then some! Back in 2012, the papers reported that Suri received $48,000 worth of Christmas presents – and she was only six years old at the time.

It has been previously reported that Suri was gifted a $62,000 diamond-encrusted tiara while still just an infant, as well as a toy SUV worth about $12,000. Mom has also gifted her a $24,200 Victorian-style doll’s house, that came complete with running water and electricity. And in reference to the photo above, yes – Suri has two cute little dogs living at home with her.

Katie Let Suri Use a Pacifier for Longer Than Recommended, and It Sparked a Debate Among Parents

Katie didn’t get a great response from the public when these photos of a five-year-old Suri surfaced. She was still using a baby’s pacifier, and some parents took to the internet to express their concern. As one pediatrician, Ari Brown wrote: “By the time babies reach their first birthdays, they are definitely ready to lose the binky [pacifier] and move on.” They added, “It only gets harder to take away as your child gets older.”

But Katie has strong opinions about letting Suri make her own choices. In an interview with New York Magazine Katie revealed “She picks out all of her own clothes and has since she was 1 1/2.” According to Katie, “You really have to go with what the child is wanting.” However, when asked to comment about the pacifier at the time, both Katie and Tom refused to make a statement.

Tom Has Made It Almost Impossible for Suri To Ask Questions About Scientology

It is understood that Tom doesn’t allow Suri the chance to question Scientology. Back in 2012, Katie and Tom divorced – his ever-growing faith in the Church of Scientology was too much for Katie to handle. But Tom made a swift exit out of Suri’s life too, when the then-11-year-old started to question the faith she was being brought up in.

Ever since the divorce, the Mission: Impossible star has only been spotted out with his daughter a handful of times. It stands in stark contrast to Tom’s relationships with his other children, whom he had with actress Nicole Kidman. After his divorce from Nicole, Connor and Isabella chose to live with him and continue practicing Scientology under his roof. From the sound of it, Suri’s hesitation toward the church has resulted in a more distance from her dad.

Katie Let Suri Go Out on Her Own When She Was Just a Kindergartener

Katie has allowed Suri a lot more freedom than other kids her age. That’s largely due to the Suri’s access to staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Even when she was a little girl, she was allowed to leave the house without mom or dad if one of the bodyguards or nannies accompanied her, as we can see in the photo below.

It’s imaginable for most five-year-olds to think about going shopping without one of their parents. But with her mom’s hired help and access to her bank accounts, Suri was granted a lot more independence than her childhood peers. Katie certainly gave her a lot more freedom, but many people disagree with such an approach to kids at such a young age.

Katie Hired a Child Body-double for Suri To Throw Paparazzi Off-track

Not many adults can afford the luxury of a body double, let alone kids. It was reported in 2013 by the New York Daily News that paparazzi were conned into following Suri’s hired doppelganger on a regular basis. According to the Daily News, “She had the same black leggings and Ugg-type tan boots with pink soles as Suri.”

They added, “And while she tried to hide her face, her auburn hair was long and brown like Suri’s… only she wasn’t Suri.” Allegedly, the real Suri was often trailing behind the doppelganger in a black SUV. In the photo on the left we can see the supposed doppelganger, while Suri is on the right. Both children are pictured on the same day wearing the same clothes, except Suri wore pink leggings whereas the other child was wearing black ones.

Katie Dressed Suri in Designer Fashion Even During Her Early Years

Ever since Suri was a tiny tot, Katie has been encouraging her to explore her sense of style and has let her buy and choose her own clothes. Just because they’re kids’ clothes doesn’t mean that they’re any less expensive than adult ones, especially when you shop at luxury retailers like Suri. And whenever Katie pops into one of her designer favorites, she makes sure Suri gets something as well.

How much is Suri’s wardrobe valued? The Hollywood kid was estimated to own approximately $3.2 million worth of clothes and shoes back in 2018, so presumably, her collection has only grown since then. Considering how she isn’t even an adult yet, many feel as though her over-abundance throughout her childhood will leave her without a sense of value in adulthood.

Tom Brought Suri Scientologist Caretakers Instead of Normal Nannies

With Tom’s dedication to the Church of Scientology, ensuring that Suri had Scientologist caretakers sounded like a good plan. In the end, Suri had not just one, but two nannies who were loyal Scientology members. There came a certain time in Suri’s life when she was almost always accompanied by Tom’s assistant or else his sister.

Allegedly, it wasn’t long before Katie put a stop to it. But that wasn’t before Tom’s mom Mary Lee Mapother was also given nanny duties. But Katie was so unhappy with the Scientology nannies that she even specified in their papers that she would have a say about which particular caretakers would be around Suri during visits to her father.

Katie Restricted How Much Tom Could See Suri, and He Hasn’t Been Pictured With Her Since 2012

The public is hard at work speculating as to why Tom hasn’t been seen publicly with Suri since 2012. Many believe that since his divorce from Katie in the same year, she has prevented him from having access to his youngest child. It’s led many to think of Katie as a bad parent, restricting Tom’s access to his biological daughter. But in 2013, Tom shared a piece of information that shed light on the situation.

Tom admitted that he hadn’t seen Suri for 100 days, but it wasn’t because of any court order following his divorce. He claimed that his filming schedule made it “impossible” to find time, and said that she was doing just fine with her mom. According to him, he was “very good” at communicating with Suri over the phone. That being said, he also admitted to missing Suri’s first day of school simply because she didn’t ask him to come…

Katie Has Been Letting Suri Wear High Heels Since She Was Only Three Years Old

The public was shocked when images started surfacing of a three-year-old Suri wearing high heels. And it wasn’t a one-time, special occasion kind of a thing. Kitten heels and open-toed pumps wearing becoming a frequent occurrence for Suri, and Katie received a ton of backlash for her decision to let Suri dress older than her years. According to New York Magazine, Suri was influencing a young generation.

They stated: “Suri has spawned an army of mini-trendsetters who are demanding pint-sized stilettos.” In response to the backlash, Katie defended her decision to let Suri wear heels, at one point claiming that a particular pair of gold stilettos “Are actually ballroom dancing shoes for kids.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, Katie’s positioned on heels for kids has continued to rub people the wrong way. The world just might not be ready for it, Katie.

Tom Failed to Prioritize Suri Throughout Her Life and Has Left Behind a Big Dad-shaped Hole

The King of Queens actress Leah Remini revealed what life was really like for children with Scientologist parents in Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. According to her, the idea of the family unit is somewhat left behind, and strong bonds between parents and children is discouraged.

Because of this, many Scientologist children grew up feeling emotionally distant from their moms and dads, and there have been several first-hand accounts from former kids in the community that suggest they didn’t get the support they needed. Following Katie and Tom’s divorce, Suri certainly lost contact with Tom, as we’ll come to find out.

Tom Went So Far as to Purchase an Ultrasound Machine for the Home To Check on Suri Before She Was Born

Tom definitely comes across as the controlling type of parent. Even before Suri was born, he bought his own ultrasounds machine to monitor Suri from the comfort of his home with Katie. Because they can cost as much as $200,000, it’s not an option most people have. Neither would they need the option if they aren’t trained health professionals who know what to look for. The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine had a lot to say about Tom’s splurge.

The institute condemned Tom’s decision, going so far as to say he was basically abusing the medical equipment. Managing Director and President Lennard Greenbaum publicly stated: “Tom Cruise’s recent purchase of an ultrasound machine for personal use at home is both inappropriate and in violation of FDA rules addressing the sale of medical equipment.” It seems as though Tom’s controlling nature got the better of him.

Katie Holmes Also Converted to Scientology and Put Herself Through the Auditing Process

In recent years, Katie’s choices suggest that she’s trying to protect Suri from the Church of Scientology. But that has given Suri very mixed messages about the religious movement, as Katie was once onboard herself. She had actually converted to Scientology during her marriage to the Jack Reacher actor.

Katie had previously been raised Catholic. In a weird interview about her Scientology journey back when she was still seeing Tom, Katie told W magazine that “I just started auditing… and I’m taking some courses, and I really like it. I feel it’s really helping.” But her fondness for the movement eventually wore off, and likely left Suri feeling confused.

Tom and Katie Let Baby Suri Cry It Out When They Were Preoccupied at Their Star-studded Wedding

When Katie and Tom got married, they went all out. Nothing was going to stop them from having the Hollywood wedding that everyone expected from them, not even seven-month-old Suri. According to their then-friend and guest at their wedding, actress Leah Remini, Suri’s cries and screams were heard in another room all throughout the dinner.

In her book Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, Leah also claims that Suri wasn’t being cared for properly in the way that a seven-month-old needed. According to her, the people tasked with taking care of baby Suri just left her to cry on the floor and shush her until she stopped. Neither Tom nor Katie are said to have concerned themselves with the little one.

Tom Is Being Trained Into Thinking That Suri Isn’t Really His Daughter

In 2021, a former Scientologist called Sam Domingo claimed that Tom has been trained into thinking that Suri isn’t really his daughter. He stated that Tom “likely believes that his daughter, Suri, whom he shares with ex Katie Holmes, is nothing more than just a ‘being’ who he will see again in another lifetime.”

Sam continued: “The church has this idea that children, for example, are just thetans or spirits in the small body,” Domingo continued. “If a kid dies, it doesn’t really matter to them. You can get pregnant and you can have another one, and that spirit you lost can come back in a new body.” Considering Tom’s previous comments about not having time to Suri for extended periods of time during a busy filming schedule, it’s not impossible to imagine.

Tom and Kate Might Have Given Suri a Very Weird Role at Their Wedding if Their Friend’s Account Is Anything To Go By

Apparently, there were more questionable moments at Tom and Katie’s wedding. Seven-month-old Suri was given a role at her parents’ wedding, but because of the privacy surrounding the event, the public never really got an answer. We would only get a clue a few years down the line in Leah Remini’s telling account.

According to Leah, Suri appeared to have a much stranger role than just the expected role of a flower girl. She recalled walking into the bathroom, only to find Suri sitting on the floor while her trusted caretakers hovered over her, shouting her name over and over again. Not only that, but Leah remembers the caretakers looking at Suri as though she was the “reincarnation of L. Ron Hubbard”, i.e. the founder of Scientology. We really wonder what was going on.

Katie Whisked Suri Away to Paris for Her 14th Birthday and Brought Some of Her Friends Along

For Suri’s 14th birthday, Katie whisked her and some of her friends away to Paris for a weekend. According to a Parisian tabloid newspaper, Katie treated the teens to a rooftop dinner at a restaurant near the Eiffel Tower. They even mentioned that the group ate caviar, ordered non-alcoholic mojitos, and indulged in caramel fondant at the end.

It’s many people’s dream to spend an extravagant birthday weekend in Paris, but many people online were furious to see so much money spent on a teenager’s birthday. To some, it’s evidence that Katie doesn’t know when to set boundaries when it comes to Suri, and is doing her a disservice by spoiling her.

Katie Makes Sure To Keep Suri Close by When She’s Working On a New Project

Katie’s film co-star in The Secret: Dare to Dream, Jerry O’Connell, spoke in an interview about the mom and daughter keeping close to one another on set. Jerry stated: “Watching the time Katie took with her daughter when we were at work, you know, it was really inspiring. It made me realize, like, I don’t stay in contact enough with my children [when at] work, you know?

Not everyone agrees with Katie’s parenting choices, but co-star Jerry O’Connell is a huge fan. “Just a few takeaways I got from working with Katie Holmes — obviously [she’s] a great actress, obviously beautiful. But a great mom, a really great mom. Actually, like, an inspiring parent.”