BookmarkBookmarkTickBookmarkAddCheckBoxFilledCheckBoxCircleBumpCheckedFilledMedical

Shaq Shares His No. 1 Parenting Rule

The 7-foot, 325-pound dad of six shares why he believes his kids are “perfect.”
save article
profile picture of Wyndi Kappes
By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Published May 18, 2023
Shaq smiling

In a world full of differing opinions and confusing parenting strategies, professional basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal has one simple rule that he abides by when it comes to parenting, “Let mom make the call.”

While some parents say “leaving it to mom” is a copout, the father of six and former NBA star says this “teamwork approach” is what has worked best for his family. “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),” he told TODAY. “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.”

Growing up in a tough environment himself, Shaq acknowledges that his hands-off parenting style differs significantly from his father’s strict tactics. “Because of the environment my children grew up in, my (parenting) style didn’t have to be that hard,” he said. “I grew up in a very tough environment … a lot of my father’s tactics would be frowned upon now. 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 NBA analyst shares his daughter, Taahirah, 25, with former girlfriend Arnetta Yardbourg, his kids Shareef, 22, Amirah, 20, Shaqir, 18 and Me’arah, 15, with his ex-wife, Shaunie, and Myles, 25, who is Shaunie’s son from a previous relationship. The patriarch of quite the blended family, O’Neal explains that his “Kids listen to mom because mom runs everything,” and that ultimately, “Moms rule the world.”

save article
Article removed.
Name added. View Your List
ADVERTISEMENT

Next on Your Reading List

mom disciplining toddler at home
Moms Share Parenting Things They’re ‘Done With’ in Viral Video
By Wyndi Kappes
mom and dad walking with baby stroller through park
These Are the Best US Cities to Raise a Family in 2024, Study Says
By Wyndi Kappes
Busy Phillips on the TODAY show Wednesday, May 1, 2024
Busy Philipps Says Her ADHD Treatment Has Helped Her Be a Better Mom
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
allison kuch and baby at home
Allison Kuch Spills Her Parenting Secrets and Plans to Grow Her Family
By Wyndi Kappes
dad kissing baby at home
The Best Gifts for New Dads to Suit Any Budget
By Emma O'Regan-Reidy
group of diverse babies
The Search for the 2024 Gerber Baby Has Officially Begun
By Wyndi Kappes
toddler putting toys away
Psychologist’s Hack for Getting Your Kids to Help Around the House
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
Advertisement
grandparents helping mom and dad in the kitchen with new baby
Parents Get Real: What Is (and Isn’t) Helpful When Welcoming Baby
By Anna Davies
woman taking a five dollar bill out of wallet
Mom Asks First Birthday Guests to Bring $5 for Remodel Instead of Gift
By Wyndi Kappes
mother reading a book with 3 children at home
Mom Warns Parents the 2 to 3 Kid Transition Is No Joke in Viral TikTok
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
Jennifer Garner attends the Los Angeles premiere of Netflix's "Family Switch" at AMC The Grove 14 on November 29, 2023 in Los Angeles, California
The One Thing Jennifer Garner Asks for Every Mother’s Day
By Wyndi Kappes
grandpa and grandma holding baby
These Are the Most Popular Nicknames for Grandparents in the US
By Wyndi Kappes
baby standing next to stroller in front of the eiffel towel in paris france
These Are the Best Cities in the World to Raise a Family, Report Says
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
Paris hilton and husband
Paris Hilton Shares a First Look at Her Family of Four
By Wyndi Kappes
parents talking to sad child
Study Reveals the Negative Words Parents Use and How They Affect Kids
By Wyndi Kappes
friends giving pregnant woman gifts
The Best Mom-To-Be Gifts to Celebrate Her
By Emma O'Regan-Reidy
Rihanna attends the FENTY x PUMA sneaker launch party at NeueHouse Los Angeles on December 18, 2023 in Hollywood, California
Rihanna Says She Wants More Kids: ‘as Many as God Wants Me to Have’
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
New Mom Gifts
The Best Gifts for New Moms to Make Her Feel Loved
By Martina Garvey
leah nicole weiher and toddler daughter in hospital bed after paralyzing accident
Mom Learns to Walk Again Alongside Her Toddler After Accident
By Wyndi Kappes
serena williams holding newborn baby with husband and daughter
Serena Williams' Best Advice for Transitioning From a 1 to 2 Kid Home
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
Article removed.