What Shaquille O'Neal's Relationship With His Three Daughters Is Really Like

Shaquille O'Neal has three biological daughters from two relationships, but is he close to all of them?

O'Neal, the former NBA star best known for his time with the Lakers, is not only one of the most well-known NBA players in history but also the patriarch of a bunch of kids. He is the father of six children in total, with four born during O'Neal's marriage to ex-wife Shaunie Henderson. He has never been shy about sharing his child-rearing rules with the masses either. In 2019, O'Neal revealed that he allowed his children's moms to instill structure in his kids. "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)," O'Neal told Today. "Kids listen to mom because mom runs everything. Moms rule the world."

However, O'Neal has invested more than his fair share of time into his offspring. Over the years, O'Neal has been particularly passionate about making sure that his kids make the most of their educational resources. "My motto is 'you have to get three degrees to touch some of my cheese," O'Neal revealed on "Good Morning America." With that said, O'Neal approaches raising his daughters, Taahirah, Me'Arah, and Amirah, differently than his sons.

Shaq will allow his daughters to live with him forever

In 2022, Shaquille O'Neal revealed during an interview with "The Pivot Podcast" that he favors his daughters more than his sons. "I like my girls a little bit better," O'Neal shared (via People). "Because as a man you have to protect, provide, and love your woman. I trust them more because they're more sensitive, they're more caring and they're thinkers." This contrasts with his perception of his sons. "You know how boys are," he added. "My boys, you bring something in front of them, and they're gone."

O'Neal also plans to allow his daughters to live with him for as long as they want. "I tell my boys when y'all get 18, you all have to go," he added. "Girls can stay as long as they want ... Go to college, get your master's, get your doctorate, I'll pay for it, take your time." Providing eternal housing to his daughters isn't the only way he's shown them support, however. In February 2023, O'Neal tagged along on his daughter Me'Arah's recruiting trip to LSU, where O'Neal once attended. During the outing, Me'Arah, an already accomplished basketball player, and O'Neal grew quite friendly with current LSU star Angel Reese.

O'Neal's daughters can't date until they're 25

Despite the perks, there is at least one downside to being Shaquille O'Neal's daughter. They aren't allowed to date until they're 25, as their father said to Us Weekly in 2020. "I don't really have a lot of rules," continued the NBA star. "The moms do a great job of yelling and raising them and doing all that stuff. I'm more of the guy that's the settler. If my ex-wife tells my daughter, 'You can't have a boyfriend now,' I would be the one to say, 'Guys are crazy. Do this. You need to focus on your education.'"

Fortunately, at 27, Taahirah O'Neal has surpassed this benchmark (though she was only 24 at the time). But what about Amirah and Me'Arah, who are currently 21 and 17, respectively? Well, they're basically out of luck. Or they would be if Shaquille was actually able to enforce such a rule, which he probably hasn't been able to do — especially since both of his youngest girls are college-aged now. Still, whoever his daughters eventually date should be prepared to deal with their overprotective father. "I'm going to torture [their boyfriends]," O'Neal revealed on "Ellen" in 2018. "Well, you know the first thing I have to let the guy know is, all the little things that you think you're doing, I invented. You know, all the little sly moves ... I did all that stuff."