Is college an investment for parents? Taraji Henson thinks so. She recently made her eldest son, Marcell, sit out his first semester of college to show him real life and the importance of hard work. “I need him to see how real it is out here. It builds character. I told him, ‘College is like an investment. I’m investing my money in your future, and if I feel like you’re a bad investment, I’m taking my money back,” said the actress.

Although the idea of a parent making their child miss the first semester of college seems harsh, Taraji wanted her son to connect with the real world. “Even though he is privileged, he doesn’t remember the bad times when we were eating Hamburger Helper (boxed food) and peanut butter and jelly, he remembers all the good times. I don’t want to raise this privileged kid, who’s out of touch, so I made him sit out the first semester and he has to get a job. He called his grandmother, he was like, ‘It’s hard out here, it’s hard to find a job.’ So I was like, ‘Yeah, I need you to know that.'”

Would you do the same if your child seemed to be living in a fairytale where all of his or her needs were handed to them on a silver platter? Or, are there other ways to help children connect with the real world and, in essence, transition into adulthood?




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  1. It is perfect time to make a few plans for the future and
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  2. I agree w/ Taraj and her decision to keep her son out the first semester. If I had listened to my first mind and did this I would not be out a a grip right now as we speak. My son went to SFA lasted a year (now mind you he is very very smart), but college is more than going to classes like High School, and he had NEVER been away from home more than a day. Got down there home sick & unsure. He came home after his first year talking about he think it would be best if he got a job then went back. I tried to tell him but you know when they get 18 and smell themsleves…….needless to say after working hard for little of nothing he is now ready to go back to school!! Now if I would have made him instead of him learning the easy way, life would be like a walk in the park!!

  3. Yes, I would and am keeping my child out of school for a semester as well. When I’d graduated from high school years ago – I sat out a whole year. I had to work full-time and save my money and after the year was up. When I had attended college then all I had to do was concentrate on school. So, yes, this is what I am planning on doing with my child once she graduates next year. We aren’t priveleged like most celebrities are but for our household and if I had to compare; for us and our household she acts like we are… NOT!! I think it is this generation regardless of financial blessings that feel as if they are ENTITLED and they just do not know!!

    Thanks for reading and bless all of you!

  4. I dont see what the big deal is its one semester he’ll be alright. I bet he go to college and make the most of it now that he sees what life’s really like. These celeb kids (and others kids too mine included) have life too easy sometimes. Better a reality check sooner than later because best believe that reality check will come.

  5. I had the misfortune of actually reading the article today about Taraji Henson postponing her son’s entrance into college so that he can a ”real job” and see how the real world operates. I personally think that Taraji’s reasoning and argument for doing this is completely ridiculous. I watched an interview that she did several years ago while she was out promoting a movie and during the course of the interview,she elected to delve into the issues of her past prior to her decision to pursue fame and fortune in Hollywood and the fact that she had her only child,her son Marcell as an unwed,unemployed,impoverished teenager attending college at the age of 19 and she also discussed how she regretted having a child at a young age and how she viewed it as an impediment to her freedom to party and hang with her friends while their lives continued uninterupted while Taraji’s life changed dramatically as a result of becoming a mother.

    Furthermore,what I found to be most striking and profound as to the comments that she made during the interview was the veiled admission that she made that while her son Marcell was 14 and that it would only be 3 more years until he graduated high school to which she viewed as a positive because of her intention to send him off to college so that she,Taraji could in her own words,”go and play and do” only to now reverse her decision to send him to college by one year so she can force him to get a job so that he,Marcell will have a better and greater understanding of life to which I view as absurd.

    I do not honestly believe nor think that the true reason that Taraji Henson is doing this is under the auspices and motivation to educate her son or to assist him in becoming a better man,yet it is a clear,classic and unvarnished illustration as to whom Taraji Henson truly is and to the revelation of her true character and that is of a conniving,self-righteous,manipulative,arrogant,dictatorial,domineering,insecure,angry,regretful,confused,and guilt-ridden woman who deeply resents the fact of how the choice she chose to make resulted in her being placed in the position of motherhood at a young age and how her decision obliterrated the chance of her living the life of her dreams before she became and wanted to become a mother which is precisely why she is now venting her life’s frustrations out on her son by micromanaging his life for her own personal and dispicable amusement without any concern for Marcell’s life,thoughts,opinions,beliefs,welfare,dreams nor views as to where he,NOT Taraji thinks and feels the direction of his life should go considering the indisputable fact that he Marcell will have to live it and not his mother.

    Lastly,I feel that this is yet another indication of how the American Family structure is now in total collapse when parents feel that they now have the absolute and unmitigated right to threaten and intimidate their children into endeavors that are possibly against the child’s wishes and will for their own life to simply suit their parents satisfaction and selfish ends.

    • @ AmericanRebel: You my friend are making something out of nothing. First of all Taraji didn’t get pregnant at 19 she was 24 & in college. She also finished & graduated from Howard University, even at times she would bring Marcell to school with her. Before her career she worked two jobs to support her son & then her family raised $700 dollars for her to go to LA to pursue her dream of acting. There she worked & got a few jobs acting on shows like Smart Guy & Sister Sister. She was focused because she had a son, who she says she’s glad she did have because he kept her grounded & focused. Had she not had Marcell she probably wouldn’t have been as focused to do acting. Her keeping him out one semester isn’t going to hurt him, nor is it her way of controlling him. It’s teaching him a life lesson. That in the real world NOTHING is handed to you, if you want it you have to work hard to get it. Taraji worked hard to get where she’s at & it made her a better person, that’s what she’s trying to teach her son.

      • I profoundly disagree with your assertion. There is a great difference in teaching a child a life lesson and essentially using threats,intimidation and blackmail to get the individual to do what you want for your self-centered and narcissistic reasons as Taraji is doing in her grand plan to get her son out of the house not under the auspices of educational and life advancement but to resume her carefree teen years that she views that she missed by virtue of becoming a mother at a young age which was 19 if you watch the interview that she did 4 years ago while she was promoting a movie.

        I also find it quite puzzling and deplorable as to why with the child now being presumably 18 years old that only now after all this time during his childhood has passed that she Taraji wants to so desperately teach her son a life lesson when she had nearly 2 decades to do it prior to now?

        Secondly,I do not understand why she has the ridiculous and regrettable sentiment that she possesses that she Taraji has to make her son feel somehow ashamed of growing up in an upscale neighborhood in a successful and financially stable family with his mother being a celebrity as if she feels that it would somehow be far better for him to grow up in the projects besieged and surrounded by guns,gangs,the ghetto and crime with the statement that she does not want him to be a spoiled,priveleged,out of touch brat when she could and should have taught him to appreciate what he has in his life in terms of his surroundings with the dual lessons that should have been taught and learned by the mother and the child that everyone is not fortunate to grow up and live in a posh address and have great wealth and to have compassion for those less affulent than he and his mother and that in addition that with hard work,determination,tenacity,desire,drive,and the daring to dream and having the knowledge and the certitude of what you want in life and the perserverance and the indestructible belief that you eventually in time acheive your dreams would in my view be considerably more practical,proper,and greater lessons to learn that than Taraji micromanaging her son,Marcell’s life through the use of her wallet and her unecessary dictatorial attitude.

        • Like I said before she didn’t have Marcell at 19. Do the math pal, she just turned 42, Marcell is 18 that’s a 24 yr difference. So your argument of “reliving her teen years” due to the fact that she was a young mother can go right out the window. You’re looking too deep, you’re trying to make her out to be a bad person for making HER son sit one semester out, in short you’re making something out of nothing. Have a great day.

  6. So, true. My son just graduated from high school and I made him take a couple of classes at a community college. In addition, he has to work. He didn’t really have a plan and I didn’t want him wasting hard earned money if he figured out this isn’t what he wants. I went to school with a lot of people who didn’t make it past the first year.

  7. I totally agree w/Taraji….parents should teach lessons as they arise/when necessary so perhaps he was a grateful, humble child in his younger years & didn’t need this type of reality check. Now its required & I prefer to have my child sit out a semester, get their act together than to waste my money footing off in college when I know they’re not ready. I think this isn expensive lesson @ a cheap price!

  8. Although I do not have kids, I can still understand the taking a semester off part. I took a yr off after I graduated from HS, However I think all that stuff she is talking about should have been instilled in her child long before he hit college. I have a lot of life skills just at 22 and thats because my mom raised me that way. She should have already prepared him for the real world.

  9. I agree with what she is doing and its her child so she knows what is best for her child. Its not like she’s telling him not to go to college, its just one semester. He will learn a very valuable lesson and that is the exact reason why my 16 year is working right now. I started working when I was 14 and have been working every since. Kids need to understand what it is to live like an adult and experience the real world. It is tough out here, and she does not want her son thinking everything is just gonna be handed to him. None of us know what is going on with her son, so its hard to judge. He may be one of those spoiled kids that needs a life lesson. I agree with her decision.

  10. I agree with Tarji because she said sending her son to college with her money is an investment and if she thinks it’s a bad investment than she takes her money back. Based on the super small amount of details she provided, it seems like her son has forgotten where he came from and thinks that everything he wants should be handed to him and instead of sheltering him-she is showing him that the world will not treat him the way that she would by giving him what he wants just to make him happy and just because she has the money to. It is very possible that had he went directly to college with the mentality that he may have, he would have taken it for granted but by her putting him in the work force and seeing how the real world is that when he starts college next semester, he will fully understand, take it serious and do his best because he will know that he will need that, hard-work, and probably still his mother help to get a job-depending on what he majors in.

  11. I understand what she’s doing and I agee with her. I went to college on a scholarship and the rest being paid for by my momma, working more than one job to put more than one child through college. I worked prior to college but that was only to buy clothes and things like that. I flunked out after 2 semesters, I wasted that scholarship and my mom’s money thinking I knew better, after bouncing around at a few jobs for a few years, I understood what an opportunity I wasted and eventually had to pay my own tuition to go back to school.

  12. I don’t have any kids, but I disagree with Taraji! If he got into college then she should’ve let him attend and finish! Once Marcell graduates he’ll see how hard it is out her to get a job, even with a hs diploma or college degree!

  13. Have to agree with the census, this is a lesson that should have been taught as the child was growing up. Marcell can still take out student loans. Seriously, what is the purpose of this now?

  14. I understand what she is doing, but why wait until he is in college to teach a lesson about life.She could have made him get a part-time summer job and go to school at the same time. He pay half and she pay half.

    • I agree with aries. There may have been a better way of handling this. It’s kind of like she cut her nose to spite her face in this situation because going to college is an investment in getting knowledge which would have only benefited her son. Perhaps she could have cut up his credit card or limited his spending or even have him volunteer somewhere so that he would learn the lesson.

    • I had to work while I was in high school, so that is how I learned the value of things. Plus my mom didn’t give me everything I wanted, so I learned not to beg for anything at a young age. I gratefully accepted what I was given. Taraji seems like she wants to call the shots, but the shots should have been called.

    • It sounds like she saw some behavioural things she didn’t like and now trying to correct. It will be harder to teach lessons of gratitude and responsibility at 17/18 years old but not impossible.
      My son is 2 1/2 years and we don’t live a privileged lifestyle in terms of money. I’m a stay at home wife/mom but I do think my son lives a privileged lifestyle in terms of having me to care for him 24/7 and having the luxury of teaching him our values without alot of outside influence (for the moment).
      At 2 1/2 years, he has “chores” (which will increase as he gets older) and when he gets a little older he will do volunteer work with me which I hope will help him to understand how fortunate he is to have the life he lives.
      Parenting is not easy. I can’t imagine raising a son as a single working mom. I wish them the best.

  15. Everyone has different parenting ways. I have no kids so I can’t go giving out parenting advice. If I had kids and was a celebrity I would defintely have my child try to see go out in the real world and get a real job to see how hard things are. I think that is great that she is teaching her son that.

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