Welcome to So Mini WaysYahoo Life’s parenting series on the joys and challenges of child-rearing.
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 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.”
Another area where Gellar stays in control is with her family’s health. This flu season, Gellar is teaming up with Rite Aid and encouraging families to get the flu shot. Gellar herself showed off her #FluFlex, a fun way for people to get their flu shot and post with pride that they’ve done their part to fight the flu. It’s a spin on the “vaxxie,” the social media trend that emerged when the COVID-19 pandemic began.
“It’s not hard to suggest that people get the flu shot,” she says. “Everybody now knows that the flu shot is the most effective way to prevent the flu. I think we’re beyond the point of the flu shot being actually controversial.”
Of course, the Cruel Intentions star recognizes that some people will debate her on the topic.
“At the end of the day, the internet is a rabbit hole, and if I want to go down a rabbit hole and find out if the sky is purple, I’m sure I could find a place where the sky is purple,” she notes. “The flu shot really is a no-brainer for our family. As a parent, it’s my job to keep our family safe. And to keep our grandparents safe, our extended family safe — and the best way I can do that is to get my kids vaccinated against the flu.”
One reason Gellar is so conscientious is the fact that her whole family has asthma.
“I’ve been asthmatic since I was a child, and my husband has mild asthma, as well. Our daughter has it mild, but our son has fairly severe asthma. Thanks to medical professionals, it’s something we keep really under control,” says Gellar, who added that the family recently got “walloped pretty hard” with COVID. “But the flu becomes much more serious for us, because it’s harder for our lungs to fight that illness. We get sicker.”
Gellar and Prinze celebrated an exciting milestone back in September: their 20th wedding anniversary. On the anniversary, Gellar called out Howard Stern for comments the radio icon made over two decades ago, in which he bet Prinze that his marriage wouldn’t last 10 years. In an Instagram Story, Gellar reminded Stern of the bet and wrote, “I think you owe us.”
But Gellar says she hasn’t heard a peep from Stern.
“I’ve heard nothing. The ball is in his court,” she says. “It just made me laugh.”
As a parent and spouse, Gellar isn’t one for regrets.
“I don’t think you can actually look back and say, ‘I wish there were things I knew.’ Life was different, and you’re a different person at different ages,” she says. “I think the most important thing is to try to grow together and communicate, and put the work in. That goes for relationships, friendships, parenting. It’s work. You have to be willing to do that.”
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