Aug 25, 2020

Kobe Bryant About Parenting

Kobe Bryant was a basketball super star.  I remember watching him play in person when I lived in Las Vegas.  He was playing in a summer league.  The game I saw him play in person was against Lebron James.  Kobe hit several 3 pointers to seal the victory.  

Kobe obviously loved the game of basketball.  He was a great basketball player.  Definitely one of the GOAT. 

But he was also a devoted parent who loved his family. Was he a perfect father and husband?  No. He had his shortcomings.  But don't we all?

As you know, a few months ago he was killed in a helicopter crash along with his oldest daughter, Gigi.  Before he and Gigi died in a helicopter,  he talked about his experiences as a father in several interviews and public appearances.

Kobe was a "girl dad."  He had 4 daughters - Natalia,  Gigi, Bianka and Capri.  His wife's name was Vanessa. 

 Kids having character and working hard.

"You can’t talk your children into working hard.  That’s the one thing that drives me crazy ― parents come up to me on the street or when I’m at the sports academy and say, ‘OK, how can I get my kid to work hard?  What do I need to tell them?  Can you talk to my kid?"  I say , listen, it’s not something that you can talk through.  It's a behavioral thing.  You have to get up every day and do the work. Consistently do the work.”

 Work-Life Balance  

“I want to make sure the days that I’m away from them (family) are days that I absolutely have to be.  I'd rather be with them than doing anything else.”

Holiday Traditions

“Every year, we go and watch ‘The Nutcracker.’  We also watch ‘Home Alone,’ ‘Charlie Brown,’ all the Christmas classics. We try to make a gingerbread house, but my wife and the kids do a much, much better job than I do!  I'll put it that way."

Coaching His Daughter's Basketball Team 

“We try to teach the kids what excellence looks like.  Right?  And it’s not that — some of them may want to play in the WNBA, some of them may not — but we try to give them a foundation for the amount of work and preparation that it takes to be excellent in whatever it is that you choose to do.  So we’re here playing basketball.  We’re going to focus on the details.  We’re going to learn the basics, we’re going to learn the fundamentals. We’re going to do those things over and over and over and it will translate to other areas in their life.”

On His Children’s Book

“I have four girls at home and I wanted to make sure, it’s important that they see characters that look like they do.  That are also athletes. They get tired of hearing my voice, ‘Be persistent. Work hard. Believe in yourself.’ They’re kind of like, ‘okay, Dad, alright, I got it, we get it.’ So when I can put them into stories like this, hopefully it will get that same message without having their parents in their ear all the time.”

So whether she wants to be a writer, a director, a doctor, a lawyer, she’ll have those characteristics.  It’s a behavior.  Also, it’s observing you — and not just me, my wife too.  It’s her commitment to the children and making sure that they’re on point, schedule, school work. Everything is sharp, everything is there, every single day. Seeing me get up, train and work hard.” 

Great insight to remember with your own kids and the other kids you lead and influence.

Kobe - thanks for the legacy you have let and wise advice you gave us about parenting.

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