Dwyane Wade may have just retired from a career in the NBA, but his most important “job” is far from over. In an interview with Variety, Wade talked about his duties as a father, especially when it comes to showing support for his kids, no matter what.
When Wade’s wife, Gabrielle Union, attended a Miami Pride Parade in April with Wade’s youngest son from a previous relationship, he was unable to be there in person but showed support on social media. At the time, he reportedly posted photos to his Instagram stories of Union and his son 12-year-old Zion at the parade.
“We support each other with Pride!” he wrote at the time. “Wish I was there to see you smile kid!”
Union echoed the sentiments on Twitter noting that the family celebrates Pride “365 days of the year.”
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) June 1, 2019
Wade received backlash for showing support for his son in this way — which surprised him, mainly because he doesn’t think parents should necessarily receive praise or criticism for playing this basic role for their kids.
“This is my job as a father,” Wade told Variety. “I’m very uneasy about accolades that come from supporting my kids or the negativity that comes with it. I’m doing what every parent should do. Once you bring kids into this world, you have to become unselfish … I’m doing what I feel is right for my family.”
“[My job] is to build them up, let them know they can do anything in this world. You’ve got to understand — I’m from inner-city Chicago, and I wasn’t told that. I wasn’t told I could be anybody or do anything,” he said. “It’s my job to be their role model, to be that voice in my kids’ lives.”
You can see a clip from the interview in a tweet from the Variety Twitter account:
— Variety (@Variety) June 18, 2019
Wade is the father of three sons and a nephew he adopted in 2011. He and Union also welcomed a daughter via surrogate in November 2018. As far as his parenting style goes, he tries to cater his methods to each of his children and suggests other parents try doing the same.
“I think people expect you to parent each kid the same,” he told Variety. “They are all different, and I have to get to know them and where they are. I have to say to most parents, get to know your kids. Don’t put your wants and needs on them.”
Union’s on the same page. In an interview with Women’s Health, she noted that she wants to support her daughter while still giving her the space to be herself.
“I want to instill in her morals, values,” she said. “And then I want to give her space to fill in those gaps, fall on her ass and make mistakes. Get an F because she didn’t study. Pick the wrong dude. Pick the wrong friends and figure it out. I don’t want to be super judge-y.”
Wade and Union seem to have the whole “support your kids” parenting thing down, and their children are lucky to have people who will be there for them no matter what!