Bill Maher Rips Into Parents ‘Overindulging’ Kids, Proposes ‘Return Of The Trad Dad’


Julianna Frieman Contributor
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Comedian Bill Maher ripped into parents for “overindulging” their children Friday on “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

Maher proposed the “return of the trad dad” to combat the popular “Gentle Parenting” style of childrearing.

“New Rule: This Father’s Day, if you really want to give your father something he’ll treasure forever, give him permission to be a dad like dads used to be,” Maher said. “And before you start in with, ‘But Bill, what do you know about it? You’re not a parent.’ Yeah, I don’t give blowjobs either, but I can tell when someone is doing it wrong.”

“So, no. I don’t have kids,” he continued. “But I sit next to yours at restaurants. I see parents in stores kowtowing to brats like they’re congressmen groveling before Trump. I’ve seen a seven-year-old ram a shopping cart into someone’s coccyx and the parent just shrugs and gives a look like, ‘Kids. What are you gonna do?’ Raise them right. That’s what you can do.”

Maher said the issue of bad parenting is not new, recalling “Trophy Syndrome” discussions of 1993, “helicopter parenting” and “bulldozer parenting.” The comedian told his audience that “Gentle Parenting” is the modern version of this, joking that it “used to be known” as “negotiating with terrorists.”

“For as long as I’ve had a television show, the issue of parents overindulging their children has been a topic of discussion. So it’s not like it’s new. But it hasn’t gotten better either,” Maher said.

Maher explained that “the key” to “Gentle Parenting” is to ask, “Would I like it if someone did this to me?” He combatted author Sarah Ockwell-Smith’s childrearing philosophy by emphasizing that children require different treatment than adults. (RELATED: ‘Only Women Would Do This’: Bill Maher Calls On ‘Catty’ Teammates To Defend Caitlin Clark)

“Would I like it if someone stripped me naked and plopped me down in a tub of water? No, but with a kid, that’s just bath time,” the comedian remarked.

Maher cited a recent survey finding that one in five recent college graduates have their parents accompany them to job interviews. He also mentioned that “the average high school kid” presents the “same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient of the 1950s.”

“Almost 10% of college students claim to have PTSD. From college? The cradle of safety-ism? The home of safe spaces and trigger warnings and policing offensive words?” Maher said. “You’re not supposed to get PTSD in college. You’re supposed to get an STD!”

Maher suggested that a return to traditional fatherhood could fix faulty childrearing methods. The audience erupted when he said, “Sex dolls set more boundaries than today’s parents.”

“Trad dads don’t negotiate. They say, ‘You will apologize to your mother. Don’t make me turn this car around. Some things just happen because life is unfair. Clean your room. Be quiet, the adults are talking. And be quiet, it’s not all about you.’”

Maher warned that “a far more damaging counter-reaction” has emerged in the absence of strong male role models. The comedian said young boys “are turning to meathead misogynist influencers” instead, naming social media influencer Andrew Tate.