Guy Fieri Denies His Sons a Free Ride, Saying, “It’s the Same Lesson My Dad Taught Me…”

Food Network star Guy Fieri opens up about how he’s raising his kids to be hard workers.

Guy Fieri is one of the biggest stars on the Food Network, with a net worth of $70 million. However, contrary to the expectations of wealthy stars, he has no intention of giving his sons a free ride. Instead, Fieri is trying to raise his boys with the kind of work ethic that his father gave him.

“I’ve told them the same thing my dad told me,” Fieri said. “My dad says, ‘When I die, you can expect that I’m going to die broke, and you’re going to be paying for the funeral.” Fieri’s immediate response to this was to tell his boys “none of this that we’ve been building are you going to get unless you come and take it from me.”

Fieri and his wife Lori have been married since 1995 and they are the parents of two sons: Hunter and Ryder. They are also raising their nephew Jules, who they took in after the 2011 death of Fieri’s sister Morgan.

Despite Fieri’s success, he is passing down an important message to his sons. He believes in preparing them for life and that includes hard work, something he inherited from his father. “My dad did what he loved, he worked hard, but he didn’t take any shortcuts. And I don’t expect my boys to take any shortcuts.”

The teenager, 17 year-old Ryder, has taken issue with his dad’s rules about hard work. “My youngest son, Ryder, is a senior in high school getting ready to graduate, or you know, going to graduate in the spring. And he’s like, ‘Dad this is so unfair. I haven’t even gone to college yet, and you’re already pushing that I’ve got to get an MBA? Can I just get through college?’” Fieri responded by quoting Shaquille O’Neal: “If you want any of this cheese, you’ve got to give me two degrees.”

Ryder’s older brother Hunter has already signed his own contract with the Food Network, as he continues to work on his master’s degree and sell the family wine brand.

Fieri, a car aficionado, had his sons drive family cars to instill a sense of earning things. When Ryder turned 16, Fieri gathered the teenager and his friends for what the young man assumed would be the big reveal of a snazzy new car. Instead, Fieri handed over the keys to his parent’s 1994 champagne Chrysler minivan. “He’s like, ‘no way. No way. I’m not driving the minivan.’” Fieri’s response was firm, “Ride your bike. I don’t care. You need a car to drive. The minivan is available.”

In a sea of children of celebrities and wealthy families, Guy Fieri is notably different. He is raising his kids to be hard-working young men who will be able to actually get themselves far in life. His approach is distinct and he emphasizes the value of hard work to his sons, showing what it takes to be successful. His approach is reminiscent of the traditional values of family and hard work. He leads by example, encouraging them to carve out their paths and make their own way. Now more than ever, the world needs good role models like Guy Fieri.