Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar say they’re ‘strict as hell’ parents

Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Geller are one of the more stable couples in Hollywood. They’ve been married for 19 years with little to no drama surrounding either of them. They appear completely devoted to each other and have found a nice balance of home to career life that’s worked for them. You love to see it. Freddie and Sarah have two kids, Charlotte, 10, and Rocky, nine. They occasionally talk about their kids but it’s never invasive and they don’t post photos of them. All of this is an attempt to give the kids a stable home life, one that includes rules. According to Freddie, a lot of rules. By his own admission, he and Sarah are “strict as hell” with their kids to maintain a positive family dynamic.

Time to be tough! Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar don’t go easy on their kids.

“We are strict as hell,” the actor, 45, exclusively told Us Weekly on Wednesday, December 1, while promoting his Heluva Good! Dip partnership. “Look, I don’t believe in whooping kids. I’ve never whooped mine. My mom whooped me. They were, like, preventative whooping, so I know how to be strict.”

The Los Angeles native added that his Scooby-Doo costar, 44, “knows how to be strict” as well, saying that they have set “100 rules” for daughter Charlotte, 10, and son Rocky, 9.

“They know they can’t break [those rules],” the She’s All That star said. “Friendships come and go. I tell my kids all the time that family is forever. So we have rules and they’ve gotta follow [them].”

[From Us]

I agree with Freddie’s idea that rules help kids maintain a positive household. It depends on the rules, of course, but Freddie and Sarah strike me as reasonable people. Consistency is huge and Freddie is on to something with having guidelines and making sure the kids follow them. Sarah also spoke about being stern parents last year. She said that people have commented that her and Freddie’s “expectations are a little higher than most.” But then she cited nightly dinners and no phones at the table as examples. Those are great rules to follow, of course, but her kids were eight and nine at the time. I think that’s a little more common at that age. Both Freddie and Sarah said the kids are good about following the rules of the house so whatever they’re doing is working.

Now, while I applaud the Prinze-Geller household’s intent, I, too, called myself a strict parent. Then, last year, I was informed by my own son that were it not for their father, my children would ‘walk all over’ me. I don’t know where this accusation was when they were calling me the ‘Fun Eraser’ for making them follow the rules of the playground. But I fear he’s right because I really do find them charming as teens. Hopefully Freddie and Sarah will be able to stick to their guns better. At least one of them, I guess you only need one bad cop *laughs in good cop*.



Photo credit: Instagram

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33 Responses to “Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar say they’re ‘strict as hell’ parents”

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  1. Who ARE These People? says:

    There is no such thing as a “preventative whooping.”

    • nutella toast says:

      My parents thought there was. Not surprisingly, I don’t spank my son.

    • Wiglet Watcher says:

      Isn’t there? Catching them at the start of something worse? Seeing some behaviors before they escalate. I thought that is what they meant.

      • Who ARE These People? says:

        He meant hitting. There are other ways to intervene. We use cutesy words like whooping and spanking to describe physical violence used against children. The justifications are also many.

    • Emma says:

      Like, congratulations on not beating your helpless children? (My parents believed in whipping us, not “whooping,” literally whipping or hitting. I’m a little resentful of anyone who downplays how abusive that shit is.)

      • Merricat says:

        That may just be the term that was used in his experience, rather than an attempt to downplay anything.

      • Ainsley says:

        Exactly. My father, whom I no longer have contact with, used to love taking the belt to us. He would bend us over his knee and count out loud. For the slightest infractions. In front of other people. I don’t hit my kids.

    • Amanda Bennett says:

      I started flying “Unaccompanied Minor” at 5 years old. By the time I was 6, I would get a spanking when I landed, as an early attitude adjustment. According to my father, I was a little brat up until I’d get the spanking out of the way, so he decided to start visits that way.

  2. Noki says:

    Balance is key. Being too strict is a disservice to children also. I know as i have seen cousins who became a mess the moment they got control over their lives.

    • Bookie says:

      Agreed. I had Evangelical parents and went a little overboard for years once I got out of their uber-strict home. My children are older teenagers (17 and 19) and I give them a lot of freedom as long as they’re 100% honest with me and can come to me without fear of judgment or reprisals. So far so good.

      • Trillion says:

        same on all fronts, but my kid is 13. He’s got trust in the bank. We tell him he won’t get in trouble for anything as bad as he would for lying to us. So far so good. I can’t imagine hitting my child. (I was hit by teachers in grade school – cultish religious upbringing).

  3. Twin falls says:

    My kids are 7 and 14 and we don’t have phones out (7 year old does not have a phone) at dinner whether it’s at home or out to eat. Grown ups too. I don’t think that’s a super strict rule but probably a hard one to start if that’s not how you’ve always done it.

  4. Becks1 says:

    They really seem well-grounded and likeable. I think Sarah, in particular, is very good with social media, she posts just enough on IG to be likeable and relatable (her “quarantips” were hilarious) but still is very private. Like she posts pictures from her house on IG but the pics are never about her house, she is always the focus. She’s not like someone like Reese Witherspoon, who is also very good on IG but in a different way IMO.

    Anyway all that to say that they strike me as a solid couple and solid parents and it sounds like they are strict but not insanely so, they just may be strict in the realm of hollywood parents?

  5. Cessily says:

    They make me smile.. some couples just do that.

    • FeedMeChips says:

      Right. Hollywood couples come and go, but I’m really rooting for them.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        Yes, they make me smile immensely too!! I am a boomer and I remember when his father committed suicide. Everyone was heartbroken and all I remember my mother and I talking about was how young his son was at the time. We felt gutted for him, as he was immensely talented!! It was such a shock.

        But they do seem well balanced and seem to be making their marriage work and are very much protective of each other!!! I don’t look at her IG but they seem well balanced. Plus, their version of strict may be different from someone else’s. And yes, I came from a household of getting whipped, but since my father was an equestrian champion, he used a horse whip!! He had 3 in the closet for each of us. I didn’t hit my children but I did shake my daughter so hard, she was about 8 or 9, that I left bruises on her arms and I was so upset and begged her for forgiveness. She was an extremely stubborn child, as she had refused for the thousandth time for not getting up on a school day. I never shook her again, but I would ground her.

  6. Athena says:

    I loved his dad, I remember just crying and crying when he died. Never met him, just watched him on the tv. Happy his son is doing well.

  7. ClaireB says:

    Love SMG and am happy for her that her marriage seems stable and good for both of them. I wish her face wasn’t frozen, though. Same smile with no lines anywhere in each pic!

  8. Lily says:

    Idk if it’s just these pics but he looks like he’s had a face-lift done.

  9. Jillian says:

    I went to a private catholic university: my parents were not strict nor were we religious, but there were PLENTY of kids in my freshman dorm that came from very strict environments. And more than a 3rd of my dorm floor failed out the first semester, went absolutely wild with their first taste of freedom. You do your children a huge disservice when you act like a dictator

  10. kimmy says:

    I love them so much!

  11. MF1 says:

    The Fun Eraser!!! Hecate, your son is hilarious!

  12. salmonpuff says:

    I’m guessing their idea of strict is informed by where they live. We are strict parents for our area in that we set expectations for our kids, have ground rules, and demand respect and courtesy from them (and we do the same for ourselves in return!). That isn’t the case for a lot of their friends whose parents ascribe to a more “I’m your pal” type of parenting.

    Our kids are teens now, though, so they have more freedoms and more responsibilities. Uber strict parents who don’t train their kids to handle their lives as they move out on their own — teaching them budgeting, how to make appointments, how to maneuver bureaucracies, how to navigate tricky situations, how to recognize their own limits, etc. — are setting their kids up for failure.

  13. Shawna says:

    More of them, less of Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard!

  14. TheHufflepuffLizLemon says:

    I am known as Buzz Killington at my house, which is fine with me. I embrace it. My first priority is to help him think critically and move through the world with his mental, physical, emotional, and financial health intact. THEN we have fun. I practice gentle parenting to the best of my ability (emotional regulation, explanations, choices, lack of judgement of others, logical consequences vs. punitive punishment), and my son is starting to display some of the thinking and approaches and calmness that make me so happy.

    However, he was OVER my “think critically about your media consumption” last night when he just wanted to enjoy Captain Marvel and I was pointing out product placement. 🙂 I guess balance is key.

  15. MerlinsMom1018 says:

    We had set rules when our girls were growing up (2 are in their 40’s the youngest is 37) and one of those were supper at the table no matter what. We never had cell phones, etc…to distract and the tv was always off. As they became teenagers, if they weren’t involved with band, drama club, sports they wanted to keep the family supper intact as much as possible. It gave them a sense of, I don’t know, continuity? the only sure thing in their day that wouldn’t be upended? Sundays were really the only time we could consistently count on.
    Our other carved in tungsten, unbreakable, don’t even think otherwise rule was telling the truth. Yes if you screw up you’re gonna find yourself in trouble, but nowhere near as much trouble if you lie and we find out. (For all you youngsters out there, we DO eventually find out). We had some fiery times but to this day they’re great people and are the same with their kids

  16. girl_ninja says:

    All I know is that his wife commented, egged on and liked all of Gary Janetti trash Instagram posts about Madam Duchess Meghan of Sussex so f**k Sarah and her raggedy a**. But may that little family have happiness and health.

    • Gigi says:

      Yup. My fangirling over her bc of Buffy immediately ended once I saw her likes and comments.

      The worst part about SMG’s enjoyment of that account is that she and Meghan have a mutual bff in Benita Litt. I have always wondered how SMG squared that and found it so distasteful that she only stopped following Gary bc George Floyd’s death and the subsequent BLM protests made it demode to be casually racist towards Meghan.

      • girl_ninja says:

        She is such a disappointment. She took part in making fun of Hubb Community Kitchen Cookbook that GJ trash-ass laid on Duchess Meghan and come to find out that “Buffy” has a cookbook out too. She’s a damn disgrace.

  17. TIFFANY says:

    I think Freddie is charmingly exaggerating about the rules. They talk about their kids enough to where it doesn’t feel invasive. I am sure there are rules and discipline, but not at a level of pure authoritative.

    He and Sarah went through some things with their own parents and were almost a decade into their marriage before their daughter was born. They probably talked about what their plans for kids alot before having them..

  18. Sofia in TX says:

    I used to regularly look at Gary Janneti’s Insta, and I noticed that Sarah Michelle Gellar regularly liked and commented on his more egregious (racist, classist) “jokes.” I’ve given her the side-eye since (disclaimer: I’m not a Meghan stan).

  19. Normades says:

    I had a friend tell me in parenting it’s so much easier to say “yes” than “no”. Have nothing to say about them, but this is so true