‘Happy Days’ Star Henry Winkler Explains Why He Kept ‘Strict’ Household for His Kids
It’s no secret that kids who grow up in show business come out messed up. Likewise, children of actors and other high-profile celebs tend to go down the same road. Oftentimes, those kids are victims of the twin pollutants of privilege and money. Additionally, their parents might be too busy to truly oversee their lives like they should. Henry Winkler got into the entertainment business at a young age. So, he likely watched other young stars throw their lives away. He didn’t want that for his children.
Additionally, Henry Winkler’s parents set a solid example for him. More specifically, they showed him what kind of parent he didn’t want to be. He grew up with undiagnosed dyslexia. As a result, his parents called him stupid. His dad went so far as to give him a German nickname that translates to “Dumb Dog.” In short, they were not kind. This, along with what he saw happen to other famous youths most likely informed his later parenting choices.
Earlier this year, Henry Winkler sat down with Jon from Old Goats to talk about his life and career. During that interview, Winkler talked a little about how he raised his kids.
About Winkler’s kids, Jon from Old Goats asked, “But didn’t they have two strikes against them: one, growing up in the over-privileged part of Los Angeles, and two, their father is very famous. So why aren’t your kids f***ed up?”
Henry Winkler Ran a Tight Ship
Henry Winkler said he kept his kids out of trouble by running a strict household. “There was no show business in the house and we were strict. There were rules in our house.” So, it turns out that The Fonz wasn’t the “cool dad” on the block. Instead, he was more focused on being a good dad.
Winkler went on to say that if his kids wanted to go to a party, he’d call the host’s parents. He’d ask “You’re going to be home right? Is there drinking?” before letting his kids go. If the parents weren’t going to be home or they planned to allow drinking, Winkler kept his kids at home.
At the time, Henry Winkler said he was sure his kids hated that. About that, he said, “What I found is that children always say ‘Oh my God, you’re the only person who ever calls. You’re terrible!’ But, inside they’re going ‘Thank God.’”
Today, Henry Winkler’s kids are grown and they have given him six wonderful grandchildren. So, it looks like running a tight ship worked out for everyone involved. Our hats are off to Mr. Winkler and all the other loving, supportive, involved parents out there. They’re making sure the old world keeps spinning with a good group of kids to take it over.