19 Funny And Thoughtful Parenting Quotes From Jerry Seinfeld

The comedian has two sons and a daughter with his wife, Jessica Seinfeld.
Seinfeld has a daughter, Sascha, and two sons, Julian and Shepherd.
NBC via Getty Images
Seinfeld has a daughter, Sascha, and two sons, Julian and Shepherd.

Jerry Seinfeld is famous for his hilarious musings on everyday life. So it’s no surprise that he’s said some truly funny and insightful things about parenthood.

The comedian and his wife, Jessica, have a daughter, Sascha, and two sons, Julian and Shepherd. Since becoming a dad in 2000, Seinfeld has opened up about the good, bad and ugly sides of fatherhood.

In honor of his birthday, here are 19 relatable quotes about parenting from Seinfeld.

On Bedtime

“The bedtime routine for my kids is like this Royal Coronation Jubilee Centennial of rinsing and plaque and dental appliances and the stuffed animal semi-circle of emotional support. And I’ve gotta read eight different moron books. You know what my bedtime story was when I was a kid? Darkness!”

On The Wonder Of Kids

“Being a dad is, you know, it’s a surfboard on a rainbow: You’re getting all you can handle of life. What I like about having kids is when they’re on the toilet and you knock on the door, they just go, ‘Come in.’ Nobody else does that — nobody just invites you in when they’re on the toilet, defecating.”

On Children Growing Up

“People talk about how kids, how they grow up too fast. I feel like I can only take a year of each year: No more you as a 9-year-old, get me a 10-year-old.”

On The Importance Of Failure

“We refuse to let our children have problems. Problem-solving is the most important skill to develop for success in life, and we for some reason can’t stand it if our kids have a situation that they need to ‘fix.’ Let them struggle—it’s a gift.”

On Trying To Make His Kids Laugh

″[T]hey can be a tough audience. I had this joke the other day that I tried on them that I thought was really funny which was: ‘Here’s a statement never heard in the history of New York City: Hey why don’t we get a new awning?’ They just looked at me and they went, ‘Dad, that’s not funny at all.’ They were wrong. I tried it at a nightclub and it got a huge laugh.”

Sascha, Jerry and Jessica Seinfeld at a Good+ Foundation event in 2018.
Andrew Toth via Getty Images
Sascha, Jerry and Jessica Seinfeld at a Good+ Foundation event in 2018.

On Figuring Out Parenthood

“There really needs to be better instructions. For relationships and for parenting. There’s a lot of very basic things that you could tell any guy who’s getting married. I would say it wasn’t until I was married 10 years that I really could put out a nice short manual that I would clip to your sleeve. Here’s what you do, here’s what you don’t do. Wifeology needs to be taught. And Dadism needs to be taught.”

On Unconditional Bonds

“There’s this freedom of fatherhood. Somehow the more annoying I am or the more disturbing I am to my child, they’re still my child and I’m still their dad. You’re not going to sever this relationship over a bad joke. Whereas you can with a friend or a partner. If you show that you have a horrible sense of humor, that relationship is suddenly in jeopardy. But not with your kid. There’s something fun about the resilience of that relationship. It’s going to survive this.”

On Leading By Example

“Kids are not going to do what you tell them to do or think like you tell them to think. Kids are watching how you deal with that waiter or that handyman, and they are probably more likely to imitate you.”

On What It Means To Be A Great Dad

“It’s about: ‘I’m going to take care of you in a way you’re not even going to understand till I’m probably dead.’ That to me is what being a great dad is. Just dealing with everything you have to deal with, to hang in there. You’re not going to understand your father till way, way deep in your life. You’re not going to understand what he did, the value of what he did.”

On How Parenthood Changes You

″[Fatherhood has changed] almost everything I do ― trying to stay healthy, how I use my time and plan my schedule, I think: ‘If this takes me away from them, it better be very important.’ I don’t travel that much when I do standup. I only go for the night or two nights at most, not for weeks at a time. That’s why I’m less likely to do another movie.”

The Seinfeld family at an event in Central Park in 2009.
Gary Gershoff via Getty Images
The Seinfeld family at an event in Central Park in 2009.

On Good Activities For Kids

“I’ll tell you one of the great activities is skateboarding. To learn to do a skateboard trick, how many times you’ve got to get something wrong until you get it right. And you hurt yourself. And you learn to do that trick, now you’ve got a life lesson. Whenever I see those skateboard kids, I think, ‘Those kids will be all right.’”

On Kid Humor

“We have fun playing games that we make up. ... It’s a comedy goldmine.”

On Signs Of Good Parenting

“When the kids are laughing that dad doesn’t know what is going on, you’ve arrived. If kids think dad is cool, something has gone terribly wrong.”

On What Surprised Him About Fatherhood

“How completely worldview-changing some of these small moments can be. Like, my son is learning to play the Superman theme song on the piano as a present for my birthday. Catching him doing that, that completely changes your life. He knows I love Superman, so he decided he’s going to do that as a present. Tonight I think is the performance. We’re celebrating my birthday tonight.”

On Moments That Matter

“I don’t need any special days. I mean they’re all special. We spend a lot of time together and I enjoy every second of it. Again, I’m a believer in the ordinary and the mundane. These guys that talk about ‘quality time’ – I always find that a little sad when they say, ‘We have quality time.’ I don’t want quality time. I want the garbage time. That’s what I like. You just see them in their room reading a comic book and you get to kind of watch that for a minute, or [having] a bowl of Cheerios at 11 o’clock at night when they’re not even supposed to be up. The garbage, that’s what I love.”

On #DadLife

“Being a dad is the greatest pain in the ass in the world you could possibly be involved in. That is the ultimate dad-ness, full dad-ness.”

The Seinfeld family at GOOD+ Foundation's 2017 NY Bash at Victorian Gardens in Central Park.
Kevin Mazur via Getty Images
The Seinfeld family at GOOD+ Foundation's 2017 NY Bash at Victorian Gardens in Central Park.

On Raising Funny Children

“I think I [passed down the funny gene] with my daughter. In the car the other day she said, ‘You know, Dad, I really like making people laugh.’ That was like the greatest thing I ever could have heard.”

On Connecting With Kids

“I’m not that involved in their school stuff. I’m not involved in their social stuff. I am just always around them and I’m very good at drawing them out, you know? I think some fathers struggle with, ‘My kid doesn’t want to talk to me,’ or, ‘I can’t get them to engage with me in conversations,’ especially as they get into the teen years. I’m always able to get that conversation going. If you start asking them: ‘What’s going on? What’d you do today?’ Nothing – they’re not going to give you anything from that. You need to get in there and I’m good at that. You know, ‘Did you laugh today? What did you laugh at today?’ I’ll ask them a better question than, ‘What happened at school today?’”

On The Joy Of Parenthood

“I love it. I love having a family and kids and all the madness. There is no aspect of it I don’t like. Even when it’s horrible, I love it. I didn’t realize how tired of single life I was and how ready I was for married life.”

Go To Homepage

Before You Go