Katie Holmes Says Suri Is ‘Strong-willed and Determined’

08/16/2010 at 08:00 AM ET
Courtesy New York

Speculation about Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise‘s marriage may be constant – “It must seem weird, I guess, having so many people watching,” she admits – but the actress responds by brushing the scrutiny to the side, she tells the new issue of New York.

Family, instead, is what the two are focusing on. When they’re both working on set, the couple will “just fly to see each other after we wrapped” and they’ve also decided to homeschool daughter Suri, 4.

“She has a teacher who is with her every day,” says Holmes. “We like the one-on-one education. I’m happy that my daughter is strong-willed and determined. You really have to go with what the child is wanting.”

Which is also why the parents give her free reign when it comes to fashion. Along with providing her dad with advice, Suri played the role of stylist when Holmes went to the Met Gala in 2008.

“I had this beautiful red gown and these royal-blue shoes that I wasn’t planning on wearing,” she recalls, “but Suri made me put them on and so I was like, ‘Okay, I trust you.’ ”

The budding fashionista is also vocal about her own wardrobe.

“I grew up the youngest of five, so there were a lot of hand-me-downs that I would sort of change up. And Suri and I do that now with her clothes. Or rather, she does it,” Holmes, 31, explains.

“She says, ‘I want this sleeve cut,’ and it’s like, ‘Okay, we’ll cut it.’ She picks out all of her own clothes and has since she was 1½.”

— Tim Nudd

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Maritan on

While I agree that you should do what the child wants, to a certain extent, I will not let my daughter dress me for a special occasion! I allow my oldest (who happens to be Suri’s age and very strong willed) to wear whatever she wants most of the time, but when it comes to a special party, her choices are very limited.
It sounds to me that Suri is a very indulged child. She is the one making all the decisions.
Cutting up clothes? I guess that’s ok when you have the money to buy more things.

Kayte on

Sounds like Miss Suri would benefit from a school setting where she is not the center of attention 24/7. Learning to share, compromise, and not always getting her way are important skills learned in a group setting if they are not taught at home. Choosing her own clothes and making some of her own decisions at 4 yrs old is healthy, but… “you really have to go with what the child is wanting” will likely come back to bite them in the behind at some point. A child can be strong-willed and determined without being completely indulged.

Georgina on

She’s not really ruining the clothes if all Suri wants is to change the sleeve. I used to do that all the time with my mum as a child, you just chop it off to the length you want and sew a new hem in, then it’s short sleeved or three quarter length, still a top/dress. I know I didn’t really like long sleeved dresses as a child, and in the 80s thats what a lot of them seemed to be, so we modified! Its quite sweet really that they spend that time together rather than Katie just getting someone to make exactly what Suri wants off the peg. (Although she seems to do that too!)

M on

@Kayte: I agree. To make Suri make all the choices in what she wants, will make her the worst compagnion in the world when she gets older. I do not hope this is one of those Scientology-church rules.
She should be learning about the world and how it doesn’t evolve around her. That’s healthy!
Making choices in wardrobe is not the issue (I would do that differently, but hey, it’s their lives), but the fact that she will not ever learn that everybody is equally important!

JMO on

Maybe Suri will grow up to be a fashion designer! Who knows!! I think it’s great to let your child experss themselves. It’s no different that Shiloh Jolie Pitt wanting to wear boys clothes! But I would have to say if I bought my child an outfit the last thing she’s going to do is think that it’s okay to ruin it by cutting it up. I don’t mind if she doesn’t want to wear something we’ll compromise (maybe even let her pick out the clothes in the store before buying them) but she will not decide it’s okay to cut off a sleeve!

And as far as being home schooled many celebs do this. I do hope though Suri does get some sort of child socialization other then hanging w/ her mom/dad and teenage siblings (and other adults) all day long. The child needs to be w/ kids her own age so she doesn’t grow up so fast being around adults.

tracy on

I have no clue why this family is so darned ‘popular’. Tom Cruise USED to be ‘thee guy’. But for now, I’ll pass on 95% of his movies. Katie, well she seems to have changed, but not for the better in my eyes. She is Tom’s little puppet. And Suri, I don’t want to talk bad about a child, so I won’t.

Ella on

Ever heard about EDUCATION? Of course it is very easy to let your child do whatever he/she wants, it gets tough when you have to forbid something, guide your child etc.

She has picked all her clothes since 11/2? Oh please, give me a break! What is the sense behind all this?

I think that everything Katie has said about Suri’s upbringing is strongly influenced by scientology.

alice jane on

I think it’s great to let a child express themselves, to let them make some of their own decisions, and yes, to indulge their wants SOMETIMES. But in my opinion, Tom and Katie are not preparing Suri for the real world. Sooner or later she’s going to realize that she can’t have her own way all the time, and that she can’t tell others what to do or wear all the time, and it’s going to come as a shock to her if she’s used to getting her way her entire life.

hayley on

hmmmmmm it makes me a little cross when i see this site and others has removed it not put in part of the interview, theres a lovely bit where she says

‘”[Suri’s] so creative and she’s so bright and so special,” Katie told New York Magazine. “Whatever she wants to do, I know she’s going to be amazing at it. I’ve already started my applause, and I will be applauding for the rest of my life.”

thats so lovely it made my eyes tear because thats just how i feel about my little angel, i can see i have a budding dancer on my hands who is allso very very strong willed and its part of her character i choose to embrace and encourage , i love that she at nearly 2 she shoes me the outfit she wants to wear and shoes she likes.

home schools i think really work for some children and some they don’t so before we do the norm and start hateing on this family just take a second and re read what she is saying, she loves her daughter and just wants the best for her.

dee on

Why do people always bring Scientology into the discussions about this family? I don’t know much about what they practice, but if they were Jewish, Lutheran, or whatever and Katie gave the same quotes no one would mention it.

jen on


i read that bit on another site and really liked that she said that.

Elle on

I think Katie has always appeared to be someone that needs guidance so in her eyes I’m sure Tom was exactly what she needed. It seems like she is doing for Suri what she never had for herself. Being the youngest of 5 it sounds like she didn’t get much of her own things. But so far Suri is an only child and seems to rule the home. Perhaps she is reliving her childhood through her daughter. I guess to each their own…but letting a child make all of their own decisions at such a young age seems like weak parenting to me.

rb on

Scientology dictates that children are adults in a small body and should not be told what to do.

Desiree on

I find the love Katie seems to have with her daughter amazing. I see so many of the comments and is seems as though people only want to judge Katie and Tom for the religion they practice or the amount they indulge their child. Frankly, it’s not our place to say. We all indulge our children, some more than others. If you and I had the same means as Tom and Katie, who’s to say we wouldn’t indulge an only child in the same manner? While I am a firm believer that it is more than okay to say no, I admit that had I more means, I may not say no as much. We all live within our incomes and when you have it to spend, it can be tough to say no. Please remember that they are people and this is a little girl. Indulged, spoiled, entitled…whatever you want to call it, it’s not our place to judge. I think Katie is a beautiful woman and I’d like to believe that she is just as beautiful on the inside (since I don’t know her) and that Suri…she’s going to break some hearts!

Kayte on

Who’s to say? I promise you that I could be the wealthiest woman in the world and I would still not indulge my child with everything she wants nor allow her to do whatever she wants. That is not love. Parents show their love by spending time with their children, teaching them the skills to get along with others and to make good decisions. That does not cost a cent. Always indulging children teaches them that the world revolves around them and other people are not as important as they are.

Desiree on


My point was simply that it is not our place to judge how these people raise their children. my daughter is very familiar with the word no and has also developed a sense of knowing that it’s okay to hear it. She has never complained or begged or thrown a fit because I said no. They have a lot of money and fame and the means to do anything on Earth that they wish. I would not raise my child the way they are raising theirs but again, it’s not my place to judge. I 100% agree that time and caring is really what a child needs but it also seems to me that they spend time with their children. I don’t know them, only what we read here but Suri certainly does not appear to be lacking for love and attention. Hopefully, she receives this attention and love in droves! Is she over-indulged and provided with too many choices for such a small child? My first impression is yes. I believe that I would do it differently. However, allowing this child to express herself through fashion is really not hurting anyone. I would hope that even with hoards of money, I would be able to live the same type of life I live now. I want my daughter to grow up knowing that we can’t have everything we want all the time. We have to work hard and earn it. If we can’t afford it, we just can’t afford it.

Maya on

God, ppl write whole essays here. Just wanted to comment that Scientology is not a Religion, it’s a cult. So don’t start comparing it to Judaism or Christianity.

Bugs on

I don’t know. Both Katie and Angelina are pretty annoying in trying to convince the world that their kids have mighty powers.

dee on


What major religion didn’t start out as a cult? I know if I heard of a guy with 12 dudes following him around and claiming to be the son of God, it would give me pause. Do you think millions of Christians and Jews just happened instantaneously?

A Mom's Love on

I believe that all though I do not have the wealth that the Cruises have, I allow my daughter much in material and emotions to be herself from very young age. What I am happy to share and have every confident that the Cruise’s will experience also is a connection that Suri will listen to them and be obedient when they direct her as parents have to. In this world women bow to peer pressure to be liked by others I think they are ensuring that Suri has backbone and is a leader not a follower. As long as Suri is polite to others and nice she will get along with kids her age. That is if the children are taught to be nice and polite too!

Kayte on

I think the part about Scientology being created by a guy that wrote science-fiction in the 50’s is what gives most people pause. And the fact that once they suck people in they don’t let them leave of their own accord. Sure sounds like a cult.

Jill on

Scientology is every much a religion as all of the others here in the US Maya. It is not a cult.

ILuvPerfectParents on

I love this pic of Katie on the cover.

CF98 on

You know before you people wish and hope Suri becomes another dreaded Hollywood statistic ever stop to think of how Tom’s other two kids were raised. Chances are the same way and they both have appeared to turn out rather well themselves no?

Suri seems like a sweet child and its their child as long as its happy and healthy I really don’t know what more people expect.

Luna on

Kayte- I don’t know if we’re on the same wavenlength or what but I agree 110% with everything you said. You took the words right out of my mouth.

Suri sounds like because she’s strong-willed and an only child, she SHOULD be sent to school, rather than homeschooled. If she wasn’t the only opinion to consider and the center of the universe, she’d be much better off. Spoiling your kid doesn’t make them better. I feel that Tom and Katie love her, but Suri would benefit from a little more of them telling her no. Isabella and Conor were raised with Nicole Kidman. Their parents divorced when they were young. And they had a sibling from a young age. On so many levels this differs with Suri. Conor and Isabella are older, and don’t live in the same house. Her parents are together (although Tom and Nicole were together when Isabella and Conor were four but that’s beside the point). I think them letting Suri express herself is GREAT! But I think their needs to be limits. Otherwise the child is in control. And that’s just not gonna work.

Shannon on

Very strange parenting style…but if it works for them, great.

Sage on

Just because someone is an only child doesn’t mean they are going to turn out spoiled.

Also we don’t know how these two discipline their daughter. We only get bits and pieces into their lives and of course they are going to praise her because that;s what people want to read out. Not what katie does when she misbehaves etc…

The thing is this isn’t Tom’s first rodeo when it comes to parenting and his other children are lovely, so I’m pretty sure he knows what he is doing.

Alisa on

Scientology IS a religion. A religion is a man-made set of rules. Christianity, however, is not a religion.

emilyc on

I think that Katie was refering to Suri’s schooling when she said that you have to go with what the child wants. A lot of people believe in child-led learning and many children thrive on this type of schooling. I for one beleive in it, and also believe that children naturally want to be “good” and will grow to be kind and respectful even if they are, god forbid, allowed to do some things that they want to. Within reason, of course. But really, cutting off some sleeves, who is that going to hurt? IMHO people need to stop wanting to control thier children and realize that kids are little people, who, yes need guidance, but also need to be left to thier own free will too!
Oh, and btw Suri is not an only child and I’m sure she gets lot’s of exposure to people…..homeshchooling does not a spoiled child make!

Amanda on

Alyssa, could you elaborate on your statement, please? I’m simply curious, having studied religion and its social aspects extensively while in undergraduate school. From my understanding of what comprises a religion and a cult, and from what I have experienced firsthand with both Scientoligy and Christianity, it seems to me that Scientology is without a doubt the cult in this case. How is Christianity not a religion? Pease know that I’m not on one side or the other…I’m agnostic, so I’m not likely to be offended. I’m just really intrigued and fascinated by your perspective and would love to know more.

Lisa on

“Oh, and btw Suri is not an only child”

Thank you, emilyc. I saw all of these “only child” comments and couldn’t help wondering if everyone forgot about Suri’s older siblings.

Tami on

@Bugs, you must not spend much time hanging outside a school gate with regular moms discussing their regular kids if you think Katie and Angelina are the only two women in the world thinking their little ones are something special 😉 To me, this is a discussion about parenting philosophy, not a bragging session about how special Suri and Shiloh are. All children would presumably have some vague opinion on how they’re dressed, but it’s the parenting style that differs in whether they’re allowed to indulge it. In that sense this discussion isn’t really about Suri and Shiloh at all.

Terri on

Katie looks great. I like when she dresses her age. Sometimes she dresses too old.

I like that Katie allows Suri to dress herself. I think that self-expression is important. So is guidance and teaching children to compromise.

I love that comment about her already applauding. So sweet.

Lau on

I have zero problem with Suri wearing whatever she wants. It’s just clothes after all. If she’s not hot or cold or naked, then what’s the big deal?

What I do have a problem with here is homeschooling. I believe it should only be used for kids that for whatever reason are unable to attend a regular school. It’s not just about socializing with other kids. She could very well hang out with kids every day after school, but it’s not the same. Life isn’t about one-on-one attention all the time, and I feel like that’s all that Suri (and every homeschooled kid) will be getting.

If -as someone above said- Scientology is about how kids are adults in a child’s body, then wouldn’t you want an adult getting closer to the real world, instead of farther away?

Just my two cents here.

CelebBabyLover on

Luna- Uh, Bella and Connor DO live in the same house as Suri most of the time. From what’s been said by Tom and Nicole, it sounds like Bella and Connor live mostly with Tom, and visit Nicole. So most of the time, they DO live with Suri. 🙂

Anyway, I’m not at all surprised they’re homeschooling Suri, since Bella and Connor are also homeschooled. Also, I wonder if Tom and Katie will ever have any more kids?

hayley on

“I have a very strong-willed 4-year-old girl who tells me what she wants to wear and I let her be who she is,” Jolie explains, before revealing she all-too happily obliged Shiloh’s tearful plea for short hair

From the angelina post where alomost every one is jumping over themselves to agree and tell her what a great parent she is, so answer me this, why is ok for angie to let her child dress like a boy and cut her hair off but no ok for katie to dress her child like a girl…………

double standerds much

and Scientology won’t hurt you , you can’t catch it and as with all religions if it makes some one happy and gives them hope, and faith then butt out, what on earth is it to you .

Kat_momof3 on

see, letting your child pick her own clothes is one thing… but they should always be weather appropriate, which is not the case with Suri. Also, a 3-5yr old child cannot “MAKE” their mother wear something.

Luna on

CelebBabyLover- Oops didn’t know that. But still, what you expect from teenagers as far as maturity, things they do, chores etc, is far far different from what you expect from a four-year-old. It’s almost like she just has two more adults living with her. Conor is fifteen and Isabella is seventeen correct? So they’re both going to be legal adults in three years or less. At which time Suri will be seven. I just feel that it would do her good to be with more young children

Hea on

I believe in allowing children to make their own choices but I also believe in giving them options. Limited options to chose from.

lizzielui on

Luna, how do any of us know how often Suri is around other kids? How many playmates or extra curricular classes and outings she has with other kids on any given day? Again, Bella and Connor were both home schooled the same as Suri and appear to be well adjusted and doing just fine.

Kayte on

If you don’t think Scientology can hurt you, you haven’t done enough research.

hayley on


yes i have, lots of religons have strong views on things, jehovah witness, catholics , islam ….they ae the same thing and at the end of the day it has nothig to do with you, me or any one else how they raise their child nor which religion they want to worship,

i am a catholic, does it hurt any one else? no, does Scientology effect me and my every day life ….no and it makes them happy just because you don’t agree with something does not mean its wrong.

jeez its not like they are stonein women or cutting their noses off like some other’religions’ i could mention. maybe we should worry about that as its a real problem.

Kayte on

I never said it hurt me personally, as I am not a Scientologist. I was pointing out that Scientology is more of a cult than a religion. There have been many cases documented of the Scientology or Sea Org factions completely isolating members from non-Scientology family members, brain washing, and physically harming members who want to leave. This doesn’t sound like a cult to you? Yes, some actual religions harm their members as well. Pedophile Catholic priests molesting boys and extremist Islamists stoning people to death come to mind. Just because this doesn’t affect me personally doesn’t mean I shouldn’t speak of it. I’m not trying to change how Suri is raised, as that is not my call. But it doesn’t mean I can’t comment on it when the subject comes up.

erika on

i think they are great parents. i have far less money than they do (we are comfortable, but not rich) and much of how i parent my oldest (newly age 4) seems to be similar to their philosophies for suri. i think suri’s a lucky little girl- and how great would the world be if everyone had parents who cared for them and loved them so much?

hayley on


And i’m saying don’t judge a person by their religion, if it gives them hope and faith then who is any one to say its wrong, strange or weird.

there are faults with ALL types of faith it just these families get picked on. no one ever going to bring up that so and so is a catholic!! double standerd.

Kayte on

Not judging a religion, not judging a person–pointing out a cult. And cults are indeed bad. (Definition: a quasi-religious organization using devious psychological techniques to gain and control adherents.)
We obviously are not going to (nor need to) convince each other of anything, so we’ll agree to disagree. Yes?
Back to the post at hand–In my opinion, Katie is beautiful, Suri is cute as a button, and no one can tell the Cruises how to live or raise their children.
Discussion is healthy.
The End.

CelebBabyLover on

hayley- What a beautiful way to put it, and I agree completely! If you don’t like Scientology, then don’t become a Scientoligist. It’s as simple as that!

lizzilui- Right on! In fact, we have seen pictures of Suri going to various types of classes (ballet classes, music classes, art classes, etc.), and once there were even pictures of her and Katie leaving some sort of children’s center in New York City.

Also, Katie has even spoken about those classes once or twice. Odds are there are other kids in those classes that Suri has attended. 🙂 And she probably has playdates at all….but behind the closed doors of her home or her playmates’ homes, where we obviusly can’t see them taking place.

I also think it’s really important to remember that the cameras really do capture just a tiny fraction of a celeb’s life.

hayley on

CelebBabyLover , thank you x

Kayte ….OK

Back to my point, i’m glad this family has a faith *because calling it a cult is passing a judgement on it by judgeing it to not be a real faith/religion * that gives them something good in their lives and i hope it makes them happy. live and let live , x 😀 D

Karey on

At the end of the day, I have to believe that Suri’s parents are doing what they think is right and best for her. Isn’t that what all good parents do? I make mistakes with my children, but I always have their best interests at heart. Education and child-rearing are not one-size-fits-all endeavors. While Tom and Katie have never been my favorite parenting role models, it is clear that they love and adore their daughter. Everything after that is their own business . . . I know I wouldn’t want people critiquing every word I uttered.

Stella Bella on

I think CBB failed to report that comment about Katie applauding Suri all her life because it really does make Suri come off as indulged, in a bad way. My MIL is that type of fawning mother, and I don’t think it did her children any favors. My husband is in school right now, in a tough major, and he has struggled in the past couple years because he did not develop a strong work ethic when he was younger (ie, he has slacked and been lazy when he should have been working his tushie off). A few days ago he commented to me that he wants me to be proud of him, and I told him, bluntly, that if he wanted that, he would have to work for it- I’m not like his mom, I’m not going to be impressed just because he exists. There was some shock on his face as this registered… There’s almost a whole generation that thinks that everything they do is wonderful, regardless of effort or results, and this isn’t a good thing. Hopefully Suri is not as indulged as she appears to be.

Eryn on

To Alisa and Amanda:

What I got from Alisa’s comment “Christianity is not a religion” was that God has always been (He is the I AM because He just is). This is what I believe, as a Christ-follower. HE was the one who created the 10 commandments, which were sent to Moses. And then He came down again to Earth in the form of His Son Jesus. Yes, he came down as a man, to live among us and show us how to live a better life (because God loves us), and God wants us to have a RELATIONSHIP with Him, not a religion. He wants us to pray to Him and give Him our fears, doubts and to have peace. Jesus was God in the flesh. The Messiah. Therefore, Judaism/Christianity is not a man-made religion.

As for Kate and Tom’s daughter, Suri, it would be nice for her to have a sibling closer to her in age, but it is not mandatory for her well-being. I have a cousin who was raised as an only child, she also had much older half-siblings, and she turned out just fine. We get along great. I also think that homeschooling is a choice that is up to the parents and what they want for their daughter. I’m sure that she gets lots of play dates with all the other kids around.

Gray on

I think that the way Tom and Katie have raised Suri is fine, and that she has grown into a lovely little girl. Everyone is saying she will be spoilt because she is an ‘only child’ but she has two older siblings in Bella and Connor and they have both turned out fantastic, so why wouldnt Suri? Also, it would be extremely hard for Tom and Katie to send Suri to school because of all of the travelling they do. So I think its better that she has a tutor with her all the time. You would all complain if you found out she was going to a regular school and had to live with a nanny while Tom and Katie were away shooting or if she was going to regular school and getting pulled out to go with her parents. It seems that many of you judge a family that you know very little about. How would any of you like it if someone who barely knew you started making assumptions about your parenting and your children?

As for the clothes Suri wears, I think she looks adorable. Who cares if she wants to cut a sleeve off a dress? Its just a sleeve.

Everyone should back off, leave them alone!

CelebBabyLover on

Eryn- “As for Kate and Tom’s daughter, Suri, it would be nice for her to have a sibling closer to her in age, but it is not mandatory for her well-being.” Thanks for pointing that out! My mother is an only child, and she turned out just fine! In fact, she didn’t really turn out any differently than my dad, who has two siblings, did!

Both grew up to be well-balanced, caring, responsible adults. 🙂

CelebBabyLover on

As for Suri being an only child…..If you think about it, she is and she isn’t at the same time. She isn’t in the sense that she has two older half-siblings…..But she is in the sense that those siblings are much older than her, and also in the sense that she she is Katie’s only child as well as the only child that Tom and Katie have had together.

Gray on

Also, I forgot to say, we have seen pictures of Suri with other children her age, for example on the set of ‘The Kennedys’ and when they were in Australia too. So many people are so quick to judge on something they don’t know very much about.

M on

I a way, Suri IS an only child. I say this, being one of two way younger children than my parents had before me and the youngest sibling were born. It IS different and the way I read it, Suri is the center of anyones attentions. I can recall that Bella wanted to live with her mother because she got freaked out with Tom and Katie. As far as I know, that’s over now, but it sure as hell shows a big difference!
Like rj said: it is the religion that makes these people educate Suri the way she is being taught.
For any mother who comments on Katie’s warm wishes towards her daughter: off course, you’re all mothers, so you’re proud of your child. You should be. ANy individual is unique and should be treated that way.
It’s just that I’ve als red that they want to explore her talents as well. That’s where my toes curl up. It’s not like someone suggested, that Katie wants her daugther to have a better childhood. They’re gonna stretch her from start of. I wonder if SUri will ever be able to accept ‘no’ when she ages.
I’m not saying home education is bad. I know it works out for a lot of people. I’m saying it’s too much in one.
She’s being educated she can do whatever the hell she wants, has a saying in anything and when she’s strongwilled, her choice is the law. I’m telling you: keep up the good work and your child will never be a pleasant person. Something you also will not ever forgive yourself for!

JM on

oh brother, i cannot believe there are adults here saying that christianity is any more rational than scientology. if you want to be religious fine, live and let live i believe very strongly in that, but take a step back and think for a second if what you are saying is actually making sense. you “believe” that a god wrote the 10 commandments and did all that other bibley stuff, sorry mate, no different to believing in the stories related to scientology. both have zero proof and hare irrational belief systems. i’m sorry, but like i said i am very live and let live about this, it just annoys me when i see religious people with a double standard. either you CAN believe in things for which there is no evidence (and which are pretty much fairytales) or you can’t. you just can’t have it both ways.

come on people let’s be adults and not insult each other’s (and our own) intelligent by pretending it is otherwise.