“I think parenting has so much to do with common sense and patience and remaining open,” the First Lady says. She’s also against White House staffers spoiling daughters Sasha and Malia. “We have to just make sure that people aren’t walking in behind them doing things they should be doing for themselves,” she adds.
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Jada Pinkett Smith
Respect your children’s space: “Staying out of kids’ space can teach them to be responsible for their own decisions and mistakes,” she says. “Is it their room, or are they borrowing the space…If it’s theirs, then they should be able to do whatever they want with it.”
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Kimora Lee Simmons
Expose them to different cultures: “Even if you can’t afford to travel the world, you can take your children to the museum, zoo or local park,” says Kimora Lee Simmons. “And don’t be afraid to take them to grownup spots. Eating out in a restaurant teaches children how to be quiet and polite—and gives them the pleasure of knowing you trust them to behave.”
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Find balance in your life: “I think balance is the essential key to motherhood,” says Solange (pictured with son, Julez). “I think it’s a really hard rhythm to find, but if you learn how to capture it, it makes the rewards so beautiful.”
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Let them be there for everything: “I try to take my baby everywhere I go,” Jennifer Hudson told Essence. “I make sure he gets out there and sees the world before him and the sky is the limit.”
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Equip them for the future: “My goal is to equip my daughter with as much knowledge and understanding during the course of her delicate and influential years, so that she is not afraid nor in the dark about the things she needs to know to get through life with some ease and minimal confusion,” actress Tichina Arnold (pictured with daughter Alijah Kai) says.
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Vanessa L. Williams
Let them be independent: Mother of four, actress Vanessa L. Williams says independence helps children “survive in the world. Realize there are always consequences to every action and always forgive with love.”
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“I’m not someone who [lives] like, ‘OK, this is a museum and you can’t sit here and you can’t touch this and everything has to be put in its place," says Heidi Klum. "[The kids] live here as much as we do. You come into our house and a giant elephant and lion are welcoming you.”
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Taraji P. Henson
“Listen to your children and communicate with them,” Taraji P. Henson told Babble.com. "You have to be there 100 percent for them. You have to pay attention to what they’re doing/reading/watching because this world is a very different world than when I grew up. They have all this information at their fingertips, and you have to pay attention — with eyes wide open.”
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Expectant mom Nia says the most important thing is balancing her time with son Massai, 10, and "exposing him to things, but also showing him where I came from so he can have the desire to actually be something great in his life.”
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Brandy says she is a “friend first,” to daughter Sy’Rai (pictured here with friends). “I believe that just being there for my daughter as a friend more than ‘I’m in charge’ causes her to be more open with me as a person,” she adds.
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Whitney says she believes in allowing children to express themselves. “If [Krissy’s] angry, I allow her to say, ‘Damn! I’m so frustrated today!’ I want her to count on me to try to understand what she’s going through," she says.
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Asked about her parenting philosophy, Mel B. says, “Do as I say, not as I do.” She adds,“I’m fun but I’m strict.”
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