Father of 6 Shaquille O'Neal Offers Parenting Advice for Kids in Quarantine: You 'Have to Mix It Up'
Shaquille O'Neal tries not to let lockdown get him down.
The retired NBA star, 48, appeared on Friday's episode of the brand-new PEOPLE Every Day podcast, opening up about parenting during the pandemic, including how he entertains his six children (daughters Taahirah, Amirah and Mearah, and sons Myles, Shareef and Shaqir) during COVID-induced limitations on leaving the house.
"I have six wonderful kids," says the proud dad. "Not a lot of discipline is needed. Their mothers did wonderful, beautiful jobs of that. So my job is just keeping them into the game, have fun."
Some of that fun included making silly dance videos with his children, who range in age from 14 to 24, plus shooting hoops and other at-home activities to stay busy.
"You just have to mix it up as a dad. [You] just can't tell them, 'Go to your room and stay there,' because they'll get miserable," adds O'Neal. "So you just have to have fun with them an hour, rest, have fun with them an hour, rest. Then you also got to give them a space to let them do their own thing."
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O'Neal also shares how he coaches his kids on the basketball court, and how that approach has changed as they've gotten older.
"Fortunately we have a gym in the house, so I work out with them a lot," he says. "But they're at that age where you can just tell them what to do and they already know how to do it. When they were young, we said 'fundamentals, this, this, this, that.' "
"When they became pretty good players," he continues, "I said, 'Hey, I need you to go shoot 25 jumpers. If you get 10 in a row, you get to leave early, but I need you to put the camera there, put it on and record it, and let me see you shoot, and then I'll go watch it later.' I can fix anything and correct it, but I don't want to be the voice that's in their head all the time. I'll just get in and out."
PEOPLE Every Day, available on all major platforms every weekday, is presented in partnership with Macy's. The podcast brings the PEOPLE newsroom to a fresh format, with coverage incorporating detailed explainers, chats with experts, and can't-find-it-anywhere-else coverage.
"I couldn't be more excited to host the new PEOPLE Every Day podcast," said host Janine Rubenstein, PEOPLE Editor-at-Large. "As a lifelong news and entertainment enthusiast, I look forward to engaging the brand's vast audience — and welcoming new audiences — on this exciting platform, where I'll be breaking down the biggest and best stories of the day."
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