Former NFL Star Jared Allen Says Teaching His Daughters 'Self-Confidence' Is His 'No. 1' Goal

·3 min read
Former NFL Star Jared Allen Says Teaching His 2 Daughters 'Self-Confidence' Is His 'Number 1' Goal.  https://www.instagram.com/jaredallen69/.
Former NFL Star Jared Allen Says Teaching His 2 Daughters 'Self-Confidence' Is His 'Number 1' Goal. https://www.instagram.com/jaredallen69/.

Jared Allen/Instagram

Jared Allen is all about teaching his two young daughters to love themselves.

While recently chatting with PEOPLE about his foundation, Jared Allen's Homes for Wounded Warriors, the former NFL player, 40, also opens up about raising his two girls — Brinley, 10, and Lakelyn, 7 — with his wife Amy, and how he wants them to always be comfortable with who they are.

Noting that "self-confidence" is the "No. 1" lesson he hopes to impart to his children, Allen tells PEOPLE exclusively, "I want them to be confident in their decision-making."

"I obviously want them to be humble, kind, respectful and all those things, but especially as young women in today's day and age, I want them to be confident and not depend on others for their happiness," the proud dad adds.

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Former NFL Star Jared Allen Says Teaching His 2 Daughters 'Self-Confidence' Is His 'Number 1' Goal.  https://www.instagram.com/jaredallen69/.
Former NFL Star Jared Allen Says Teaching His 2 Daughters 'Self-Confidence' Is His 'Number 1' Goal. https://www.instagram.com/jaredallen69/.

Jared Allen/Instagram

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Continuing to speak with PEOPLE, Allen says that being a father to two young girls has allowed him to become the best possible version of himself.

"I think my kids have definitely humbled me and balanced me out, and all that good stuff," he explains.

"When you're a girl dad, my wife always reminds me, 'Tone matters,' " Allen continues. "So just in general, being surrounded by women, you automatically become a better communicator."

Former NFL Star Jared Allen Says Teaching His 2 Daughters 'Self-Confidence' Is His 'Number 1' Goal.  https://www.instagram.com/jaredallen69/.
Former NFL Star Jared Allen Says Teaching His 2 Daughters 'Self-Confidence' Is His 'Number 1' Goal. https://www.instagram.com/jaredallen69/.

Jared Allen/Instagram

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Adds Allen: "You really have to be on the lookout for your tone and stuff like mannerisms."

The athlete also explains that he is lucky to be a girl dad, given that he doesn't know what it would be like if it were the opposite.

"I don't know what I would do if I had boys running around," Allen says with a laugh. "I think my girls keep me grounded. They keep you constantly having to learn about yourself."

Former NFL Star Jared Allen Says Teaching His 2 Daughters 'Self-Confidence' Is His 'Number 1' Goal.  https://www.instagram.com/jaredallen69/.
Former NFL Star Jared Allen Says Teaching His 2 Daughters 'Self-Confidence' Is His 'Number 1' Goal. https://www.instagram.com/jaredallen69/.

Jared Allen/Instagram

"But at the same time," he continues, "I like to think I don't raise them or treat them much different than I would if I had a son. I still encourage them to do sports, to be the best that they possibly can, and I give them the opportunity to experience new things."

"There's nothing I'll shelter them from," he adds. "[I'm just] trying to raise good, well-rounded kids, and not push them into what traditional little girl roles would be."

Allen also hopes that by being the figurehead behind his foundation, which raises money to "build and remodel injury-specific, accessible, and mortgage-free homes" for injured veterans, per its website, his two girls will learn about the importance of giving back.

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"I think the biggest gift you can give the world, is what you leave behind," the athlete — who has played football for the Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers in years past — says.

"When you're a parent, a big thing is what mark do [your kids] leave on the world? Are they going to be leaching? Are they going to be jerks? Are they going to be a drain on society? Or are they going to be a successful, helping and caring part, trying to make the world better?" he continues. "So as a parent, your ultimate goal is trying not to raise a bunch of jerks."

"And I think the foundation is a constant reminder of selflessness," Allen adds. "I think it is a huge value to teach your kids."