It’s been a while since Seinfeld was on the air, but that hasn’t stopped Jerry Seinfeld from continuing with his professional gigs as a comedian, both on stage and off.
Although the show ran from 1989 to 1998, plenty of people still know who Jerry is and clamor for autographs when he’s out and about. Of course, he’s not the only famous one in the family anymore—his wife Jessica has made a name for herself with a handful of cookbooks and plenty of philanthropic work.
Throughout their professional success, though, Jerry and Jessica have also successfully raised three children. The pair were married in 1999 and remains wed today. Sascha, their daughter, was born in 2000 and sons Julian and Shepherd were born in 2003 and 2005, respectively.
Fortunately for the Seinfeld family, when their kids were young, paparazzi weren’t as keen on tracking them down as modern photogs are about, say, the Jolie-Pitt or Kardashian kids. And yet, the children have lived anything but an average life, thanks to both their dad’s fame and their mom’s motivations in life.
Here are 20 things to know about how Jerry raises his kids (alongside his wife, of course)!
Although his character on the long-running TV show was a bit over the top sometimes, Jerry told an interviewer that he never loses his temper with his kids. People reported that he claims to be a level headed parent, even if his kids aren’t exactly doing what they’re supposed to be doing. So while Jerry on Seinfeld flipped out over the smallest things, Jerry the dad is a pretty chill dude. Of course, it’s actually part of his parenting philosophy not to overreact to things his kids do. Not only does he intentionally stay cool and collected, he also has a unique approach to parenting overall.
Us Magazine quoted Jerry as saying that he doesn’t “over-parent,” a sentiment his wife Jessica echoes as well. The pair note that they’re fairly hands-off with their kids, which eliminates a lot of the arguments and fighting that come with raising teens. But it seems as if the more the kids grow, the more Jerry and Jessica let them do their own thing. Whether that means not hovering while they complete homework or giving them space to figure life out on their own, Jerry’s cool with not investing a lot of energy in parenting. Sounds refreshing, and quite similar to the mindset that Will and Jada Smith have about raising their Hollywood offspring.
Part of being a more hands-off parent means that Jerry doesn’t pry too much into his kids’ lives. After all, they’re teens (and one’s an official adult) these days, so that means they’ve got to be responsible for themselves. To that end, People quoted Jerry as saying that he’s “not that involved with their school stuff” and he’s also “not involved in their social stuff.” While that may make fans of the comedian assume he’s just not “there” for his kids at all, that actually isn’t the case, he maintains. Although Jerry doesn’t expect his kids to spill their guts to him, he does have some techniques that help him stay in the loop.
As much as Jerry admits he’s not involved in his kids’ academics or their social lives, that doesn’t mean he’s not interested in who they are. Especially as they’ve grown, Jerry has specifically focused on staying connected with them. And as People noted, he admits he’s pretty good at getting a conversation going. So it’s not that he’s not around or involved with his kids—it’s just that he works on the relationship first and getting the information out second. Unlike other dads who may struggle, Jerry says he’s good at getting his kids to open up and that he’s not worried about their ability to connect.
Part of Jerry’s hands-off attitude toward raising kids—and teens especially—is letting them have their privacy. He says that when he was a child, People highlighted, he was able to go to his room and have his own stuff to do. Jerry’s dad didn’t know what he was doing or what he was up to, Jerry says, and he thinks that’s the right way to go about parenting. Further, he said, his kids “should have their own life that I don’t know anything about.” While the helicopter parents among us may disagree, you can’t deny it’s a less stressful approach for parents to take with their teens!
Although Jerry appears to pride himself on being a chill and down-to-earth dad, he did admit something in an interview that contradicts that. While he says he doesn’t lose his cool with his kids, People also quoted him as saying that there was one time when he flipped his lid, and his daughter bore the brunt of that overreaction. What did she do? His teen daughter Sascha was watching Keeping up with the Kardashians on her cell phone. And Jerry absolutely wasn’t having it! He’s not down with any of the family watching reality TV and maintains that he worked hard to get his time in the spotlight—unlike today’s reality TV stars.
Fans probably wonder whether Jerry has invited (or forced!) his kids to watch Seinfeld. With all the reruns on TV, odds are they’ve seen an episode or two, right? Well, maybe not. Per Jerry, he knows his daughter Sascha has watched the show, but he couldn’t really gauge her reaction from watching her watch it. His sons, though? Jerry doesn’t know whether the boys, Julian and Shepherd, have watched his trademark sitcom. They’re not exactly his target audience, though, and it doesn’t seem to hurt Jerry’s feelings that his kids aren’t interested in Dad’s old job. But that doesn’t mean they don’t recognize his comedic chops.
You might expect a guy like Jerry Seinfeld to have plenty of great dad jokes in him, but that’s apparently not the case. Jerry maintains that his kids don’t really think he’s funny and that he’s tried some jokes on them before but the punchlines fell flat. Jerry told Mr. Porter that he tried a particular joke on his kids regarding how people never replace their awnings in New York City. The kids weren’t impressed, but Jerry later tried the joke at a club and got a hearty laugh from the crowd. Just goes to show you that having kids with a comedic genius like Jerry doesn’t even guarantee your kids will inherit the funny bone.
When Sascha first started seriously dating a boy, Jerry and Jessica admitted it was weird seeing it happen, but that they embraced their girl’s boyfriend. Jerry noted that it was nice having the kid over for dinner and whatnot—but then quipped that it was sad he’d have to be going, according to Us Magazine. But it’s all in jest of course—Jerry is just as hands-off with his kids’ romantic lives as he is with the rest of their childhood and teen experiences. So, it only makes sense that both parents backed off enough for Sascha to figure things out in the relationship on her own.
In an interview with Mr. Porter, the journalist asked Jerry about his “dad style,” and the comedian was rightfully indignant. He explained that he doesn’t believe in “dressing down,” even if you’re a dad and happily taken. Not only does he wear suits when he performs his comedy shows, but he also abhors seeing dudes wear tank tops and flip flops on the train, or t-shirts in hotel lobbies. He’s a fan of dressing well—wearing Prada and Ralph Lauren—so obviously neither he nor his kids will be wearing casual clothes while out on the town. His rule is always to dress to impress.
As much as Jerry has traveled the world and been on TV, you would think that his kids would be in the spotlight a bit more. But one of the nice things about Jerry’s starting a family later in his professional life (Seinfeld had just wrapped its final season when he and Jessica met) is that his fame had fizzled a bit. Not that he’s not a recognizable actor or comedian, but he’s not necessarily trailed by the paparazzi wherever he goes these days. Still, the family keeps their kids mostly under wraps—mom Jessica’s IG account is littered with hundreds of dog and cat and food pics, but her kids are often absent for the most part.
While the family doesn’t put themselves in front of the cameras often, they do get out and do things. From appearing at events for Jessica’s charitable organizations and fundraisers to traveling to Israel for a family trip, the Seinfelds aren’t homebodies by any means. And while Jerry admits that he doesn’t like to go out much, he and Jessica make a habit of enjoying date nights at new restaurants. Plus, the whole family has gone to the beach and on other excursions together—some of which were documented on Jessica’s IG account. There have also been smaller trips—like to NYC pizzerias, too.
Jessica posts a lot on her social media, including on IG, and mainly posts things about charitable events and her philanthropic organization, Good+ Foundation. She also shares plenty of snaps of recipes she’s making and foods she’s tried—all in the interest of promoting her multiple cookbooks! But another interesting thing Jessica posts about is the family’s pets. She has a whole gaggle of cats and dogs, often photographed with her kids (though the kids are scarce online), and treats them like they’re her children, too. The dogs wear sweaters, the cats ride in strollers, and Jessica even bathes them all in bubble baths together. By all appearances, the Seinfeld kids have a lot of love for their furry siblings.
Although the pictures of the Seinfeld kids are few and far between on Jessica Seinfeld’s social media, she has shared a few choice images of them. While most of her pictures that feature Sascha, Julian, and Shepherd are usually vacation shots or birthday celebrations, one in particular featured Julian and Shepherd getting on their school bus. Yes—their school bus. Even though Jerry is worth about $950 million, his kids still take the bus to school—and get upset with their mom for sharing it on IG, apparently! It’s actually refreshing that the boys are still getting to be average kids, though, especially if that includes attending public school.
Not only do the Seinfeld kids attend public school and ride the bus, but their parents are also conscious of the amount of technology in their lives. Although both Jerry and Jessica have social media accounts, Jessica shared on hers that she misses the old days when there was no technology and kids just played outside. So to achieve that for her kids, she sends them to camp. One of the boys attended summer camp for four weeks, per her IG caption, and came home caked in dirt and very happy. Yet another refreshing parenting approach from Jerry and Jessica—especially in an age when other celeb kids are walking the runway instead of getting out into nature.
We’ve established that Jerry and Jessica are rather hands-off when it comes to raising their kids. But that doesn’t mean they don’t care about their kids’ education. In fact, the family tools around together and spend some downtime, including exploring museums and learning about the world and its history. One of Jessica’s IG photos documented the family’s visit to a museum, while paparazzi once spotted the fam coming out of a theater production of Hamilton. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of evening television—which they tend to watch together—and Jessica has told reporters that her youngest, Shepherd, particularly enjoys The Flash.
In his interview with Mr. Porter, Jerry talked about how it bothers him that other dads talk about spending “quality time” with their children. Instead, Jerry says, he prefers “garbage time,” the moments between bigger moments when he gets to observe his kids doing “mundane” things like reading a comic book or eating cereal late at night when they’re supposed to be asleep. Further, Jerry explained that he doesn’t need a special day—like Father’s Day—to get to feel like he’s a good dad and that he’s doing well with his kids. Instead, he takes moments out of every day and points out to his family how great those little things are—much to the annoyance of his teens!
Since Jessica has written and released four cookbooks, and her IG feed is full of her whipping up meals in the kitchen—and enjoying them, too. So when she’s not working on her charities, tending to her fur babies, or taking her and Jerry’s kids on outings, Jessica’s either in her test kitchen or her home kitchen. Which means the kids are familiar with mom’s “weird” cooking—and therefore have gained an appreciation for the kind of food that’s good for bodies and for taste buds. Her kids may not have been fans of the plant-based burgers Jessica picked up, but we didn’t hear a peep from Jerry.
While Jerry’s social media feed largely revolves around his newest work (a Netflix show called Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee), Jessica’s often revolves around more than just her work pursuits and taking in a courtside b-ball game. In fact, she often attends charity events, both for Good+ and for other organizations, and takes the kids (and Jerry) along with her. After all, Jerry is heavily involved in Good+ as well. But sometimes, to get the kids to go along with what their parents want to do, Jessica and Jerry lie a little. For example, Jessica got them to come to an art event by suggesting there’d be food trucks instead of art exhibits. Well played, mom!
With all of Jerry and Jessica’s involvement in charity and other philanthropic pursuits, it’s clear that their kids are involved as well. Jerry even heads a council within the Good+ charity that includes a panel of a bunch of other dads who work to encourage every father to be there for his kids. If that’s not a sign of how their children are being raised, we don’t know what is! So while the kids have their own interests and their own lives outside of what their parents are doing, their parents’ philanthropy and business pursuits are instructional and inspirational.
Sources: People, Us Magazine, Mr. Porter, Instagram