Sarah Michelle Gellar compares social media usage by kids to getting a face tattoo

Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze, Jr. have two kids, Charlotte, 13 and Rocky, 10. For the most part, they’ve kept the kids out of the spotlight, choosing to speak about their parenting instead. Both Freddie and Sarah have spoken about the fact that they consider themselves to be stricter parents than most. They really target the kids’ phones when it comes to rules, like limiting time and not allowing phones at the table. Sarah recently told Yahoo’s So Mini Ways parenting series that she also restricts the kids on social media and doesn’t allow them to have their own accounts, primarily because once it’s on social media, it’s out there forever. Sarah likened posting online to getting a face tattoo, saying what her kids want now, they’ll regret later.

As a mom of two children, Sarah Michelle Gellar runs a tight ship.

The Do Revenge star, 45, says she and husband Freddie Prinze Jr. don’t allow their children, 13-year-old Charlotte and 10-year-old Rocky, to have their own social media accounts.

“Our rules are probably stricter than most. Our kids don’t have social media,” Gellar tells Yahoo Life’s So Mini Ways. “They’re allowed to look sometimes when it’s our phones. Sometimes, our kids will be like ‘you guys are the strictest household!’ But I say, ‘yes, but everyone still wants to come here!'”

To emphasize the permanence of what’s posted on social media, Gellar told her kids that it’s the equivalent of getting a Paw Patrol tattoo on your face at age 5.

“Because at that age, there’s nothing better than Paw Patrol. And now you’re 10 and [13], and you still have these tattoos on your face and it’s not even who you are anymore,” explains Gellar, who rose to stardom on All My Children and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. “That’s a very hard concept for young kids to grasp.”

Still, she has no qualms about enforcing the rules with her busy family.

“I believe kids need to know what their limitations are, and they actually thrive in that environment. We’re not mean, we’re not unnecessarily strict, but we have rules,” the actress says. “And the same way I abide by my code of rules, I expect the same from our children.”

[From Yahoo]

Sarah and Freddie’s sense that they’re strict is likely relative to raising kids in Hollywood. Social media is used differently in their circle. Many people, including Sarah and Freddie, use it as a part of the livelihood. So they’re more liberal when it comes to their kids because it’s so prevalent in the home already. In that environment, I’m sure Sarah looks like the strict mom not letting her kid have a TikTok. By contrast, their rules are pretty normal for my kids and their friends, and I’m not considered strict. But everyone follows my rules when they are in my home, just like my kids follows their friends’ parents’ rules in their homes. But that’s suburbia, not moneyed Hollywood.

I like Sarah’s face tattoo analogy, actually, because of the reasons she cites. And those are the kinds of calls parents need to make for kids before they get free reign of unlimited content. Because a child grows and matures so much in those years. And Sarah and Freddie aren’t isolating their kids from their Hollywood world, just introducing it slowly. Sarah recently brought Charlotte to her Do Revenge premiere, which was incredibly rare to see a Prinze child on the Red Carpet. Charlotte looked adorable in a hot pink double-breasted suit and tennis shoes, too. So maybe Sarah and Freddie are Hollywood Strict, but they seem to have it figured out for their family.

Side-note: this clip of Sarah getting emotional watching Selma Blair compete on Dancing With the Stars will also make you emotional. *sniff*

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8 Responses to “Sarah Michelle Gellar compares social media usage by kids to getting a face tattoo”

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  1. Arizona says:

    I think they’re just strict! certainly a lot stricter than most parents I know. we’re also the “strict” household though, and I really don’t think we’re very strict at all.

  2. SAS says:

    “Well, everyone still wants to come here!” looooll such a mum thing to say.

    They seem so down to earth! And honestly, as a non-parent but someone who works with messed up children, unsupervised online time can be incredibly damaging in an incredibly short period of time. It’s wild that we haven’t socially or legally caught up to how horrific some online experiences can be. They’re doing a good job trying to minimise the risk of that for as long as possible.

  3. Concern Fae says:

    No kids, but allowing kids to have accounts in Moms phone is pretty normal. I’m Insta friends with several of my nieces and friends kids. Helps limit it for me to strictly knitting and nature pics. LOL.

  4. Aud says:

    I really like the face tattoo analogy. My daughter will be getting her first cell phone in a couple of years (she’ll be walking home from school and we don’t have a landline, our house is a block from the school but I’m panicking already) and I think I’ll use that to explain some of the risks of being online to her.

  5. Casey says:

    Social Media is poison! I deleted my Insta and don’t go on fb at all. Much happier for it!

  6. nb says:

    I grew up in the 90’s and I started on Facebook my second year of college when it was new. I am so happy I had a childhood that was free of the pressures of social media. If I had kids I think I would treat it the same as Sarah Michelle – it really can be so toxic. Even as an adult it can be since it leads you to want to compare your life to other people’s. I worry about the pressure to be ‘popular’ and ‘perfect’ social media places on kids and teens, and also that it gives creeps access to them that they wouldn’t otherwise have. I had AIM chat starting when I was 13 and even back then older men would message me trying to get me to talk about sex or the color of my underwear or ask me for photos, even after (sometimes especially after) I told them I was underage. It’s got to be 100x worse now.

    • EnglishBreakfastTea says:

      Totally agree with you, @nb. ’90s kid here too and social media didn’t take off until I was in my late 20s. Very happy I never had any of that and SMG and her husband are taking the right approach.

      I have dummy accounts so I can access (mainly foodie) content on IG and Twitter but I see friends and people I know IRL my age (early 40s) who can’t handle social media. The worst cases are people still trying to be competitive about looking hot in their selfies and showing off their amazing luxury holidays.

      Social media is bad for mental health, end of. For kids who haven’t solidified their sense of self, it’s utterly destructive.

      Luckily I don’t have children (due to climate change mainly) but I’d ban them from using it, just like SMG!

  7. EnglishBreakfastTea says:

    Also, in addition to my comment immediately above, I’ll add this: It’s very, very weird you can keep following people who have long departed from your life online. I remember a time when the internet didn’t exist and people could disappear from your life.

    If I wanted to (and I did do this on occasion), I can find out what colleagues from 10, 15 years ago are doing. With people’s IG through IG, etc, you can track people’s entire lives if they have open profiles. I think it’s healthy not to search-engine and track people through their accounts unless you’re immediately acquainted and they’re still active in your life and you use social media. I just don’t search-engine people unless I’m trying to get in touch with them.

    Also note people put a lot of energy into their online existences. If they would only spend that time actually living. Sorry if it sounds judgey but social media really isn’t healthy.