Inside Madonnas relationship with son Rocco from custody battle to sly digs

Madonna' s eldest children Lourdes Leon and Rocco Ritchie certainly taught her a lot when it came parenting, with the singer adopting four others over the years.

Rocco, who turns 21 today, is the child of Madonna and Guy Ritchie and was born in 2000 with an older sister, Lourdes Leon, Madonna's first-born.

Over the years, the 62-year-old pop sensation has faced challenges with her youngsters, particularly with Rocco as a custody battle took over many of his teenage years.

After losing custody of her son, Madonna hit back in true Madge fashion as she shared a picture of herself wearing a black hoody with the word b*tch emblazoned over it in red ink and a crown written over her blonde curls, with the words "Because sometimes soccer Mom's need to be a…"

She followed it up with the same picture but with Queen, which read: "And be treated like a…" sending fans wild as it came just hours after the verdict of the nine-month custody battle.

As Rocco became a teenager, Madonna's relationship with her son started to shift, but what has happened in their family life over the years? As he turns 21, Daily Star Online dives into their challenged family life.

Strict Parenting

Madonna has always said that she is a strict parent, something which Rocco agreed with once he appeared on Ellen when he was just 12-years-old.

He recalled that she is a good mother, but she's "very strict", while Madonna later said that while she loves it, it's "exhausting".

She revealed that she had help over the years, saying on The Howard Stern Show in 2015: "I do have help, but they don't raise my kids. They don't teach them morals, you know, they're not stand-ins."

In 2008 Madonna and Guy Ritchie divorced so time was split between them, but Madonna remained the strict parent, though she didn't speak too much about his upbringing and kept a lot of his childhood private.

Tour Partners

Madonna took Rocco on tour with her as many doors and opportunities were opened for him as he danced on her MDNA Tour and headed back into the music scene with her in 2015 on her Rebel Heart Tour.

However, cracks were showing and their relationship shifted soon after that tour.

Prior to her performance she told Entertainment Weekly in 2015 that her son wasn't "interested in performing" with her on stage, adding, "Your mum is not cool when you're 14."

Custody Battle

Months later, news spread of a custody battle as Madonna headed to court in December 2015 when it was revealed that Rocco had been living in London alongside his dad and wanted to stay.

Rocco was due to return to the US so they could legally make the decision, but he chose to stay in London, leaving Madonna spending Christmas with her three children Lourdes, David and Mercy.

Her son stayed in London and Madonna and Guy settled things between them privately.

It was reported that the pair reunited at Madonna's London home in 2016 and although they live in different countries, it seems the pair do still have a good relationship.

Sly Dig

Although Madonna and Rocco appear to be in a good place, it hasn't stopped her making digs about her earlier parenting styles and the estranged relationships it has caused.

Madonna, who has younger children Mercy, David and twins Ester and Stelle, all of whom she adopted, seems to have taken on a different parenting style with them.

Speaking to British Vogue in 2019, Madonna said that giving her children phones ruined their relationship, saying at the time: "It ended my relationship with them, really. Not completely, but it became a very big part of their lives.

"They became too inundated with imagery and started to compare themselves with other people, and that's really bad for self growth."

She admitted that she banned David from having one as an early teen due to the impact it had with her older children.

Birthday Love

On Rocco's 20th birthday Madonna made it clear that the pair were still in a good place with their relationship.

The singer shared a series of photos alongside the caption: "Happy birthday Rocco. How did 20 years go by so fast? I love you more than you will ever know."

The photos saw her complimenting his personal style and comparing the two side-by-side with snaps of them at the same age as Madonna gave a nod to his fashion sense.

She also shared snaps with Rocco on stage with her and called him a Roc-star as she shared loving images of her eldest son.

This year is a big birthday for Rocco as he hits his 21st year, the son of the famous singer is still based in London, so he can hold a restriction-less birthday celebration as he reaches the milestone.

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