If you thought Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator was terrifying, his role as a father is even more frightening.
The former governor and ex-professional bodybuilder is now accusing parents of being too easy on their children… And his own parenting style just goes to show how serious he is!
Keep reading on to find out exactly what he has to say…
Kids should “struggle”
Speaking with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who’s known to be a tough guy both on screen and in real life, said that people today give up way too quickly.
Arnold Schwarzenegger with two of his sons, Patrick and Christopher. Credit / Gregg DeGuire / WireImage / Getty.
“Anybody that tries to baby themselves, and pamper themselves and protect themselves – ‘Oh, I don’t want to feel bad, I don’t really want to go through any discomfort’ – It’s over!” Schwarzenegger continued: “You’re never going to get there. It’s just the way it is. You have to be able to struggle.”
The actor insists kids need to feel the “struggle” and experience “pain, misery and discomfort” to succeed in life, and has been urging parents to “not over baby.”
Earlier, the 76-year-old actor – who was on Jimmy Kimmel Live! promoting his new self-help book, Be Useful: Seven Tools for Life – admitted he was a very strict parent.
When Kimmel asked if he was a tough parent, the 7x winner of Mr. Olympia replied: “Well, it depends what your definition is. For I think the way I grew up, I was lenient. But I think for American standards probably strict.”
Teaching his children hard lessons
The Austrian actor is a father of five. With ex-wife Maria Shriver, he has daughters Katherine, 33, and Christina, 31, and sons Patrick, 30, and Christopher, 26. He is also dad to 26-year-old Joseph with Mildred Baena.
Schwarzenegger explained how he disciplined his children with a couple of examples involving one of his sons, and his daughter.
(L-R) Christina Schwarzenegger, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver, and Katherine Schwarzenegger. Credit / Emma McIntyre / Getty.
The first was when a nine-year-old Patrick solicited the help of his nanny to make his bed, which the father says “was not allowed.”
“So, I came in one time and the bed was made so immaculately, that I looked at it and I said, ‘Patrick, did you do that?’ And he said, ‘No, I didn’t.’” The Predator star continued: “I grabbed the mattress, opened up the doors, and threw it off the balcony down into the swimming pool! It gives an example.”
Patrick was responsible for getting the mattress, and the pillows from the pool: “I threw everything out there!”
The True Lies star then told the story of Katherine and how she refused to put her shoes away.
Her bitter lesson came with a pair of burned shoes.
Schwarzenegger said: “Katherine comes over with (her 3-year-old daughter) Lyla and she says, ‘Lyla, I told you already not to put the shoes there. Keep your shoes on or you put them away, but you don’t leave them there by the stand in front of the fireplace because you know what Daddy did? When I left my shoes there twice? The third time, he burned them in front of me and I cried.’”
Lyla Marie is the big sister to Eloise Christina, 17 months, who was born to Katherine and Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt.
Proud of his influential parenting style, The Running Man star adds: “Now she uses the same methods which she cried over and that she complained about.”
The man shared that a child has to learn how to “to accept pain, misery and discomfort, all the things that you don’t like.”
“So many young kids these days shy away from that, but you have to be attracted to that…Don’t start creating a generation of wimps and weak people… Let’s not over-baby people. Let’s go and teach kids to be tough, to do sports, to study and struggle and go through these kinds of painful moments sometimes.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger “f***ed up”
In the same interview with Stern, Schwarzenegger also admitted he “f***ed up” when he had an affair Mildred Baena, the family’s housekeeper, which led to their divorce in 2021.
Arnold Schwarzenegger with then-wife Maria Shriver in 2003. Credit / Pascal Le Segretain / Getty.
Speaking of his relationship with Shriver, the star of Kindergarten Cop said: “We never left the [first] chapter. Because remember, it’s not like we had a feud. We didn’t have a fight. It’s just my f***** up, right? We always made it very clear that the kids should not suffer because of that.
“And she has her things, her relationship, I have mine…Even though it’s a different relationship, there’s no reason for me to feel anything other than love for her” said the star, who’s now in a relationship with Heather Mulligan.
He told Stern: “That was, without any doubt, the biggest setback and the biggest failure. You can’t point the finger at anyone else.”
What he doesn’t consider a failure, are his now adult children who are applying his lessons in their own homes.
“It’s the funniest thing when Katherine comes over, she loves bragging to other people about how bossy I was, how tough I was when she grew up and how she didn’t get away with anything.” Explaining that his unique tactics to parenting are legendary in the family, the actor continued: “Funny enough, those kinds of things are what they bring up all the time with tremendous laughter and tell other people as a joke.”
It’s always fun to get a glimpse into life of a celebrity and Arnold Schwarzenegger is hilarious but also quite frightening! His lessons are lasting a lifetime and spreading across generations and we’re sure that no child in the family will ever leave shoes lying around!
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