We asked some of the best parents we know to tell us about the most important thing they’ve done as parents and have shared their wisdom below.

Monique Rodriguez | Events Sales Director & Mom

The most important thing I’ve done as a parent in terms of impact is being present. Being intentional of our time together, diversifying bookshelves, tv shows, movies, games, languages and toys. Staying active with them being outside with nature is just as important for their creativity and health. Teaching them kindness, empathy, and love. Read more>>

Parry Ray | Singer-Songwriter & Writer

The most significant thing I feel is giving them a voice, from quite early on and respecting their right to use it. That is not to say I allowed my toddlers to run a mock. As they grew there was always structure, and certain tenets were non-negotiable – manners, kindness, respect. But I have always felt it is paramount that we are all afforded the right to own our voices. I suppose this may not sound ground-breaking to some, but for me, coming from a South Asian background – I grew up with a long set of restrictive “rules” to live by and came up against a lot of resistance when I wanted to do something that didn’t fit into the preconceived model of how life “should” be lived. A case in point is my career as a singer-songwriter. My mother was totally confused and displeased by me wanting to pursue a creative path. But as many of us know, as artists we are drawn to create by something very deep within us – fuelled by compulsion and passion. Read more>>

Cherise Bangs | Actress / Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist / Reiki Master / Tarot Card Reader

I think the most important thing I’ve done to impact my son and other children is to be my authentic self and lead with love. Children truly learn from actions and not words. When my son observes me take a deep breath to release emotions, treat people with kindness and sing and/or dance to change the mood, he then turns and does all those things in his own authentic way. One of my favorite things to do is teach yoga to kids. I love giving children yogic tools to balance body, mind and spirit. I’m currently teaching zoom yoga for my son’s class and all the kids surprised me with words and drawings that expressed how they feel when they practice yoga. I had tears of joy. Read more>>

LeRoyal Tutt | Husband, Father, Actor, Stuntman, Gamer, Cosplayer, Third Best Attraction

I am a father to 2 young kids. My daughter is 4 and my son is 2. I feel the most important thing I’ve done is the understanding of what it means to be present with my kids. It would be so easy to be caught up in social media, or pursuing my goals and allowing technology to watch them. Especially during lockdown due to Covid-19. Last year, 2020 when the daycares closed and my job at Universal was placed on hold, I had to do daddy daycare. I set a schedule for them to continue their academics while hopefully teaching them social skills between then like sharing, taking turns, and being empathetic with each other. When the parks opened up, it wasn’t “my time off”, it was play time with them andnot being on my phone to allow them to run loose on the park. Granted my son is too young to be doing that by himself anyways, but there is definitely something in him and his sister knowing that I also there to play with them. Read more>>

Samantha Sammetinger-Arizmendi | Cake & Dessert Designer

As a parent, I want my kids to see that hardwork and persistence pays off. I didn’t finish college (yet) but I took chances and have built myself a career that allows me to follow my heart while being a mom. I have always wanted to be an artist or express myself creatively somehow. Building this cake & dessert business has allowed me to do that while also being with my family. My kids are both little now but I want them to see that their mom is a hard worker and didn’t give up her dreams. I wanted to build something that they will be proud of. Read more>>

Melissa Dupont | Makeup Artist, Mental Health Advocate & Mother

Being a parent is hard. We are continually second guessing everything we do and hoping that we are shaping future members of society. My daughters are young, 3 and 5, born into an era where change is happening and progress is now. I think educating them on current topics is the most important thing I’ve done so far to impact my children. Reading books about equality and discussing the importance of inclusion is something we do often together as a family. We also believe in transparency and honoring all feelings. I grew up in a family that had a hard time dealing with mental health issues and I’ve learned that really honoring my girls feelings, even a tantrum, helps them to feel validated and that they matter. Too often we dismiss children’s emotions which can lead to low self image. Read more>>

Chantel Deniese | Entrepreneur & Performer

I am a wife and a mother of a 16 year old and an 11 year old daughter. The most important thing I have done as a parent, along with my husband, is teaching our girls the value of family. I am originally from Houston, Texas which is where I learned those family values. I have always loved having many family members over during special events and I am passing this tradition on to my girls. Our home is the headquarters for most of the family and friends gatherings for holidays and special events. My mother lives with us and she has helped us build this legacy. We have dinner at the table on a regular basis and take turns cooking the meals. Monday night is our game night and everyone joins in on the fun. I take both girls out individually for what I call “Mother/Daughter time.” This allows us to have a deep connected conversations with no interruptions. I believe this will continue on to the next generations. My husband and I go on a date every Friday and our girls get to see that it is important for their parents to continue dating each other. Read more>>

Victor Calderon | Special Education Assistant/Behaviorist & DJ

As a single father to a six-year-old daughter, the most significant impact I try to focus on is being a positive role model. Children are a perfect mirror of parents. They’re always watching and always listening. A child’s behavior depends on what you’re showing them, so in other words, don’t preach what you don’t practice. It’s not an easy job to be a parent, especially a single one, but it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to do it. I thank God, first of all, for blessing me with a beautiful daughter that has changed my life to a more positive one. Besides being a positive role model, I also focus on impacting her with good manners. When it comes to my daughter, I can never be too tired; she is my daily motivation not to give up and my daily dose of sunshine. I may not be the perfect parent, but I try and dedicate as much time as possible to her with my crazy and busy work schedule. God knows I work hard at it, and those hugs, kisses, and “I Love You Papa” means the world to me. Read more>>