According to People, renowned actor and former California governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has shared his distinctive parenting style, which he considers unusual but effective in raising responsible and disciplined children. In an interview with PEOPLE magazine while promoting his motivational book “Be Useful: Seven Tools for Life,” Schwarzenegger discussed the approach he took in imparting life lessons to his four children—Christopher (26), Patrick (30), Christina (31), and Katherine (33), whom he shares with his ex-wife, Maria Shriver.
Schwarzenegger humorously recounted some anecdotes from his parenting experiences. For instance, he mentioned that his daughter Katherine often recalls the time he burned her shoes in front of her because she repeatedly left them by the fireplace, despite being instructed not to do so. Katherine now uses similar methods with her own daughter, continuing the generational cycle of parenting techniques.
“I opened up the door to the balcony, picked up the mattress and threw it down with the bedsheets, the pillows, everything. I said, don’t ever make someone come in and clean your room, clean your shower or make your bed,” he shares. “I said, ‘Because I taught you how to make the bed.’ “
He also recalls contention with Patrick over his long, hot showers, telling his son, “It’s over, no more showers. Five minutes, one shower, and then that’s it and we’re turning it off.
In Munich, they have the showers that have those timers that people put money into and then after the money ran out, the cold water came out. I said, ‘I’m going to get one like that,’ and that’s exactly what I got,” Schwarzenegger shares. “And so when he got the shower on and he was whistling and singing in there and thinking Daddy’s not around, all the sudden the ice-cold shower came on. And all of a sudden, we heard downstairs, the scream.”
Another story involved Schwarzenegger tossing his son Patrick’s mattress out of a window when the young boy failed to make his bed at the age of 9. Frustrated, Schwarzenegger wanted to instill a sense of responsibility and self-reliance in his son, emphasizing that he had already taught him how to make his bed.
Schwarzenegger also mentioned his efforts to limit Patrick’s long, hot showers to just five minutes, aiming to instill discipline.
While these parenting methods may have seemed strict at the time, Schwarzenegger believes they were effective in teaching his children important life skills and values, such as cleanliness and responsibility. He highlighted that he had grown up with limited resources and had learned to take care of his possessions, which influenced his parenting style.
Over time, the stories of Schwarzenegger’s parenting tactics have become legendary in his family and are now shared with laughter and as jokes. Despite the initial strong reactions from his children, these experiences have contributed to shaping them into responsible and disciplined adults.
Schwarzenegger emphasized that his approach was not about being a “drill instructor” but about imparting valuable life lessons. He noted that his children, particularly Katherine and her husband, Chris Pratt, maintain an immaculate house, reflecting the discipline and organization instilled in them during their upbringing.