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Mark Cuban: Kids and wealth is the 'scariest thing in my life'

DALLAS — Mark Cuban is a multi-billionaire NBA owner, tech mogul and self-made television celebrity.
Mark Cuban in a one-on-one conversation with Dale Hansen

DALLAS — Mark Cuban is a multi-billionaire NBA owner, tech mogul and self-made television celebrity.

It's not exactly an average-Joe lifestyle.

But he has very human fears, about which he spoke with WFAA Sports' Dale Hansen in a one-on-one conversation that aired Sunday afternoon.

Cuban, who has three young children, wants his kids to grow up not taking things for granted.

"That's my biggest fear that they grow up to be entitled jerks," he said.

While Cuban's two youngest are too young to have a grasp for the billionaire lifestyle, his oldest child, his 11-year-old daughter Alexis Sofia, is at the age where she has begun to understand wealth. But he's teaching her that she isn't "all that" because of money.

"She knows she won't be [rich]," Cuban said. "She knows she's going to have to earn it herself."

There are specific rules in place for the three kids, he said. If they want to get anything, they have to do something.

But for a man whose family is, in theory, taken care of for generations, teaching those values is the hard part. He calls the possibility of spoiling his children "terrifying."

"It is the scariest thing in my life, ever. After their health, there's nothing scarier," he said. "My wife and I talk about it all the time."

Instead, the "Shark Tank" icon, who describes his upbringing as "middle class as it comes" but now lives in a $17 million mansion in Dallas tries to teach his kids a normal approach to life.

"I push them to value learning, to be excited about learning, I push them to be inquisitive about the world and understand what's going on," he said.

Teaching his kids how to deal with making mistakes -- something that behooved Cuban, who admits getting fired was part of learning he loved technology -- is important to the 54-year-old father.

"I'm going to try to be that dad that says, ‘You have to think for yourself. I can't be there all the time,'" Cuban said. "And I want to be here while you're learning how to make decisions so we can talk about it.

"If they're not capable of making mistakes, then they'll make bigger mistakes. That's the way I've thought about it."

The biggest mistake, he said, would be buying his kids' way through life.

"I don't want to be able to fix [my kids' problems] that way. I want them to be able to fix their own problems."