Connie Watt Talks Parenting: Raising Kids is the Best Gift

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Connie Watt has three sons in the National Football League (NFL.) Her son J.J. plays for the Houston Texans, Derek plays for the Los Angeles Chargers, and Trent (a.k.a. T.J.) plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Watts reside in Wisconsin, and in an interview with Sheinelle Jones of NBC’s Today, Mrs. Watt shared how their parenting style and the structure her sons received helped to make them the men they grew up to be.

With three young sons, Mrs. Watt noted that sometimes people would think parenting was tough and that the boys would fight all the time. She said that this just wasn’t the case. They played any sport they could and were always busy. To keep them on track and teach them to value teamwork and goals, she maintained a family chore chart. The boys were required to do various chores throughout the week based on the chart (which she could change when needed) and they learned that doing things together (such as grocery shopping and putting things away) meant the whole family would have more time to be there in support of each other.

Video: YouTube/TODAY

Shared on the TODAY YouTube channel, the interview with Connie Watt covers everything in parenting from her strict rules, her support, and her acknowledgment of the need for help if things got hard. She encouraged her sons to take every opportunity, and “play every down like it’s your last one,” and said that if they weren’t ready to do that then “we’ll decide and let the next player in.” In short, she taught them not to take anything for granted. In support of all three boys and their careers, the Watts try to get to various games throughout the course of the NFL season. When only two of the sons were playing professionally, a friend of the family in Texas made Mrs. Watt a personalized jersey with the amalgamation of their team logos. And, when the third son was drafted, the third team’s logo was added, making her a special memento of this part of her family’s journey.

Her strength and stability as a parent appears to have been the foundation for their sons’ success, which leads us to another point, the creation of the J.J. Watt Foundation. It began when he was a junior in college. He reached out to his mom and dad for support in establishing and managing it, which at first they weren’t sure they were capable of due to their schedules. But it proved successful, and eventually became a huge linchpin in the recovery efforts in Texas for Hurricane Harvey. The full interview with Mrs. Watt is encouraging, to say the least. Her belief in her sons to be good people is the guiding force behind her parenting. And the proof is in the direction, mindset, and goals that they have set. In the end, she says that raising kids is the best gift she’s ever received in her life.