Mick Jagger, father of eight, explains why parenting is ‘not like riding a bike’

Father of eight Mick Jagger has shared some of the lessons he’s learned about parenting.

The 80-year-old singer addressed how his approach to fatherhood has changed over the years during a recent interview with The Guardian. His eight children range from ages 52 to six years old, as he welcomed his youngest son, Deveraux, with his current girlfriend, Melanie Hamrick, in 2016.

Speaking to The Guardian, Jagger confessed that even when he welcomed his eighth child, he still had a bit to learn about fatherhood. “You get a bit out of practice – it’s not like riding a bike,” he said. “The more children you have, the more laissez-faire you get about them, to be honest. And it depends on the child.”

The Rolling Stones frontman reflected on how he’s enjoyed seeing his children develop new passions as they’ve grown up. However, he also acknowledged that there were a few moments in his children’s lives that he missed out on due to his busy career.

“They have their own personalities and you can mould them to a certain extent, but you see their likes and dislikes and encourage them to do things they gravitate towards,” he said. “It’s fun to have children, at any age. But if you’re working and always away, you don’t get to enjoy it quite as much.”

Jagger also explained why his approach to parenting is different with his youngest son, in comparison to his other children. “I wasn’t working so much, so I was able to spend more time. And then we had the lockdown – he’s only six, and two of those years I did almost nothing [with the band],” he said.

In addition to Deveraux, Jagger has seven children from previous relationships. In 1970, Jagger welcomed his first child, Karis, 52, with actor Marsha Hunt. The next year, his ex-wife Bianca Jagger gave birth to their daughter Jade, 51. He shares daughters Elizabeth, 39, and Georgia May, 31, and sons James, 38, and Gabriel, 25, with actor Jerry Hall. In 1999, he and model Luciana Gimenez Morad welcomed their son Lucas, 24.

This isn’t the first time that Jagger has spoken candidly about his family. Last month, he hinted that the Rolling Stones’ post-1971 catalogue would be donated to charity rather than sold for a profit to his children. “The children don’t need $500m [£412m] to live well. Come on,” Jagger told The Wall Street Journal.

“You may do some good in the world,” the “Old Habits Die Hard” singer added, suggesting that the catalogue may end up going to charity.

Earlier this year, his partner opened up about raising their six-year-old in the midst of her busy schedule. After debuting her first novel, titled First Position, Hamrick described some of the “magical” trips she’s taken with her partner and son, including a safari in Botswana and South Africa. She told The Times in June: “Mick had been joking with me, ‘We’re going camping.’ I was like, ‘I don’t want to go camping. I’m not a camper.’ We got there and I was like, ‘This isn’t camping.’”

She described how her family prefers to live at different residences at a time, before acknowledging how important travelling is to her and Jagger.

“Just full nomad. We want to travel as long as we can until school gets us,” she said. The former dancer also noted that her child has a tutor who travels with them, as the six-year-old is enrolled in a school in Los Angeles and “goes [to school] a little bit when we’re in France”.