Freddie Prinze Jr. understands the ups and downs of raising kids.
The actor and his wife, Sarah Michelle Gellar, are parents to Charlotte and Rocky. Since becoming a dad in 2009, he’s shared about being present, dealing with picky eaters, getting kids to do chores and more.
In honor of his birthday, here are eight parenting quotes from Prinze.
On Becoming A Full-Time Parent
“When my daughter was born that was pretty much it for me, and I became a full-time father. It’s not a job. It’s what I love to do.”
On Cooking With His Children
“When they’re distracted and cracking eggs and focused, they don’t know you’re trying to milk them for information. That’s one of my tricks to get them to talk.”
On His Kids’ Potential Acting Careers
“When they’re 18, they can do whatever they want. I’m not trying to make money off my kids. Sarah and I, our bills are paid. Our kids don’t need to act. If they want to act, there’s local theaters that they can perform in. There are school theaters that they can do. It’s easy for kids to scratch that itch if they’re wanting to be famous. That’s something that I think you need to shut down early as a parent. Not shut down, but just explain to them fame isn’t a job.”
On Not Allowing Picky Eating
“My daughter is an angel because we’re strict. Ask my daughter how many times she has to taste something before she has to stop. Ten times. How many times after that? Ten more. There is no negotiation ... I wish good luck for those struggling. I see that look on my kids’ faces but patience is power. Kids can’t have it, but we can have it. We can win that battle. It’s just really, really hard.”
On His Kids’ Personalities
“Charlotte’s more me emotionally. She’s kind of reserved and quiet at first, until she gets a sense of the room. And then depending on the vibe in that room, is going to depend on how much she opens up. That’s me. And Rocky’s more like Sarah. He likes things a certain way. He’s more particular. He’s more outgoing. He’s willing to talk to people he doesn’t know. Whereas me and Charlotte are like, ‘What’s this son of a gun looking at? What’s he want?’ We don’t trust anybody.”
On Getting Children To Clean
“With my son, it’s easy. It’s a squirt bottle I put Palmolive dish soap and water in. If he sees a stain, he squirts it and I wipe it. Clean-up is easy with my daughter because she is caring and creative. I ask her to do it, and she does it.”
On Stepping Back From Acting
“Yeah, I didn’t miss it at all when I walked away. And the business had changed so much, nothing filmed in L.A. anymore, but maybe four or five projects a year ... I had kids and not having a dad, it was always more important to me to be a present father.”
On Empowering His Kids
“I want them to be self-confident. I want them to know that they can take care of themselves. So those are the main things I try to instill in them. My daughter has been taking jiu-jitsu since she was 3 years old. She can choke me out already. Martial arts bring a lot of confidence. I hope that I can instill that in my kids. That would be the main thing.”