'I grew up in a very tough environment … a lot of my father's tactics would be frowned upon now,' he said.
Shaquille O’Neal's parenting style is one that will surely be appreciated by a lot of moms. The former NBA star recently shared that the most important rule for parenting for him is to let the moms make the call. He has six children and the youngest of whom is in junior school. According to him, all of his children are "perfect," as reported by TODAY. The childhood he had, helped him to decide what sort of parenting he wanted to give his kids. "Because of the environment my children grew up in, my (parenting) style didn't have to be that hard," said O'Neal.
"I grew up in a very tough environment … a lot of my father's tactics would be frowned upon now," he continued. "But it worked for me. I just teach my kids to be respectful ... and I never had those problems that my parents had with me." "The only thing I can do is show them the way," he added. However his no.1 parenting rule is: "Let moms make the call," said O'Neal. "I was gone a lot because of my job and I didn't always want to be the bad guy, so I sort of relinquished my position as (disciplinarian)," said O'Neal. "I was the one chasing the kids around the house and taking them to Toys'R'Us. I didn't want to come home after a bad day and go off the handle. Kids listen to mom because mom runs everything," explained O’Neal. "Moms rule the world."
As a young kid, the NBA star was sent to the Boys & Girls Club where he found a community and mentors who kept him on track with his athletic and academic goals. “In the gym, there was a picture of one of the greatest basketball players ever — Julius Erving, Dr. J — and I would try to be him instead of focusing on being clumsy, tall, or laughed at,” O’Neal said. He is now paying it forward. On May 11, O'Neal opened another "Combaq Court" at The Shaquille O'Neal Boys and Girls Club in Atlanta. This is his fourth establishment after Newark, Miami, and Las Vegas. He has taken it upon himself to refurbish basketball courts and other athletic equipment for kids in communities.
"Be realistic — kids are in school from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and a lot of parents don’t come home at 3:00," he said. "So it's two hours for kids to be left alone ... there are a lot of single-parent homes and moms who work two jobs. We offer them a safe place to play."
The other initiative that is close to his heart is "Shaq-to-school," which includes his giveaways to elementary school children. Recently, a Michigan teen, Eric Kilburn Jr. benefitted from it as he was finding it hard to get shoes with 23 feet size. The child received five pairs of Reebok sneakers and clothing from O'Neal. Moreover, he sent his personal tailor to Kilburn Jr.'s home to make sure that the gear fitted him well. "That was me in '89," revealed O’Neal. "My father went to all the sports stores and couldn't find me (shoes)."
Last year, O'Neal opened up to Yahoo Life about what he teaches his kids. "I try to teach my sons that when you're with a woman, you have to protect, provide, and love. My daughters are like my little women, so I have to protect, provide for, and love them. So if they wanna stay at home a few more years until they figure out, that's my job as a father until they get ready to go into the world or until I pass 'em off to a husband."