Justin Timberlake Worked From the Age of 11, and Now Does Everything He Can to Make Sure His Sons Have a Real Childhood
Justin Timberlake once said in an interview that he didn’t have a normal childhood. And it’s true, he started working at a very young age. At first, it was Star Search and The Mickey Mouse Club. Later, as a teenager, he joined the legendary boy band NSYNC. For his difficult childhood, the star in no way blames his mother, who took him to all available auditions. On the contrary, he thanks her. Still, Timberlake does everything he can to make sure that his children don’t suffer the same fate.
“I did not have a normal childhood.”
In 1992, Justin Timberlake was only 11 years old and had already started his music career. The boy appeared on Star Search, though he didn’t win. But he gained experience and soon got invited to The Mickey Mouse Club. It was a real star factory. Just think about it, alongside Justin, young Christina Aguilera, Ryan Gosling, and Britney Spears also worked on the project.
“I think we can all agree that I did not have a normal childhood,” says Timberlake. The star recalls that by the age of 15, he already had an army of fans, which put an end to the possibility of leading an ordinary life like that of his peers: “I have some faint images from my childhood, but no, I can’t really remember not being famous.”
Instead of going out with friends after school, he was working. Acting lessons, music lessons, dance lessons. Later he studied editing and camerawork. Also, it was normal for him to spend long periods of time away from his mother. At one time, for example, he lived with Ryan Gosling and his family when Timberlake’s mother needed to go to Canada for work.
“I was about 15 or 16 years old. We’d just given a concert in Germany at a festival on this huge field. And we were in the tour bus afterward, driving on a dirt road, and I looked out the window and saw all these young, impressionable females running after the bus.” You must admit, that such an experience is, to say the least, quite unusual for a teenager and certainly couldn’t help but have an impact on his mental health.
Consequences of an unusual childhood
Timberlake is a mama’s boy, in the best sense of the expression. His parents got divorced when he was very young, and the boy was raised by his mother. She promised him that she would support his ambition to be an artist, and she wasn’t lying. Lynn took her son to all the possible auditions, went with him to the filming of various programs, and when Justin became a real star, she proudly accompanied him on the red carpet.
The singer understands that the upbringing he received in his highly unusual childhood is unique. According to him, his mom did everything she could to make him happy, and yet early fame and a busy schedule inflicted trauma on the not-yet-developed psyche of the teenager.
Timberlake only fully realized this once he had children of his own: “You go through your life with your own traumas, big and small, and think, ’It’s not that bad, I have a lot to be thankful for, my parents did the best they could. But then you have a child of your own, and suddenly it opens all the floodgates, and you’re like, ’No, no, no! That childhood trauma really messed me up!’”
A normal childhood for his sons
In April 2015, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel had their first child. The inexperienced father immersed himself fully in his new role. He said that he had never been more excited. The singer shared all the responsibilities of caring for the baby with his wife, not excluding sleepless nights.
At the time, magazines awarded Justin the title of the hottest dad in the world. And, in July 2020, the star got another chance to confirm this title. He and his wife welcomed a second son into the family.
Keeping in mind his difficult childhood in the limelight, Justin is doing everything he can to prevent the same from happening to his children. Together with Jessica, they’ve made a firm decision to keep their little ones out of the public eye for as long as possible. The couple understands that it will not be easy for their sons since they were born to famous parents. They’re already destined to be the center of attention.
Moreover, Timberlake and Biel’s every move is covered by the press, which means it affects their children. And so, in 2019, the singer found himself in the middle of a scandal — he was suspected of being unfaithful to his wife. The star ended up having to justify himself.
However, primarily not to the public, but to his son: “This is not the example I want to set for my son. I apologize to my amazing wife and family for putting them through such an embarrassing situation, and I am focused on being the best husband and father I can be.”
In one of his interviews, Timberlake was asked how he would feel if his child decided to follow in his footsteps. He replied, “You know, I haven’t been able to answer that question in my mind. If he wanted it bad enough, I suppose I could teach him a lot about what not to do.”