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.

Jane Elizabeth | Life/Fitness Coach

Three years ago I was an obese, struggling asthmatic. I didn’t realize how much emotional pain I was in at the time, and how unhealed trauma played a role in my physical health. There was one moment of clarity that changed my perspective. While looking at pictures of me holding my daughter at a celebration for finishing Grad school, I didn’t even recognize myself. I looked exactly how I felt: hopeless, exhausted, trapped in my own body, and helpless to change my situation. In that moment I had a choice: I could continue doing things the way I had been and pass down all of my limiting beliefs and unhealthy behaviors to my daughter OR I could choose to break the cycle. I could be the first one in my family to do the work and heal from generational trauma. I didn’t have to pass down unhealed trauma, unhealthy behaviors, and limiting beliefs to my daughter. I realized that I had the power to change her story by changing my life. Read more>>

Meeti Iyangar | Designer/Chef & Mom

As a parent who is an immigrant and a person of color I have always tried to maintain a sense of balance, keeping in mind that my kids understand both cultures – Indian as well as American, which are both melting pots of so many cultures. I grew up in a secular India and my mother too made sure we experienced and learnt from all religions. This is why I don’t follow any one religion but enjoy celebrating all of them. I have to add that I have been lucky and found great support from my family and friends to provide diverse experiences that are most essential while growing up, and every child should be given an opportunity to learn about these through books, travels, foods and at home. Diversity makes us stronger and better humans who can contribute to society in meaningful ways. Read more>>

Shelton Wilder | Top Luxury Realtor and CEO of the Shelton Wilder Group

One of my biggest accomplishments in life has been my children and their relationship with one another. I am so proud of how close they are. Even though they are 2 years & 3 months apart, they are best friends. They share everything: a room, toys, matching clothes, everything! We never put them in competition with one another and make sure they consider each other allies. Whenever they would have a fight, we would make them hug, kiss, and say I love you. I think that has made the biggest impact on their close relationship. Another idea we have instilled in our children is that work is not a bad thing. There is no crying or no guilt involved when I leave for work. I make sure that work is a positive idea by saying, “Mommy is so excited she gets to go work today and do what she loves and help people!” I explain to them I get to go to work and they get to go to school and that I will see them after. They’ve seen what hard work looks like and I hope to instill a good work ethic in them. Read more>>

Kori Jones | Culinary Stylist/Artist, Lifestyle and Entertaining Creative and Beautifier.

One of the most important things I’ve done as a parent, in terms of the impact on my children, is to just DO. As a parent of two daughters, I have always tried to teach my girls that it is easier to “do” than to want. For example, instead of saying “I wish I could speak Spanish” it’s better to work hard and actually learn how to speak Spanish. Having the vision and desire is easy but you have to be willing to work hard and take risks, to achieve it. If it does’t come easily, consider this part of the journey, not the end of it. Enjoy the journey no matter how bumpy, the struggle is where the most growth and accomplishments happen. My eldest daughter is beginning her college search and with that comes the idea that she has to choose some sort of career path. She is an incredibly creative and talented person, and she struggles because her creative career path might not lead to traditional success, i.e., a high paying job. Personally, I am most fulfilled when I can express myself creatively, and my success is measured in my happiness. Read more>>

Jessica Troupe | Social Entrepreneur & Super Fun Mom

Being a mother has been one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had! I’ve always tried to be the type of parent that I longed for in my adolescence. One of the most important things my partner and I have done for our boys is to remember that we are their guides- not their owners! I don’t believe that our kids should be controlled or molded into the perfect little projections of what we want them to be as parents- they should be loved abundantly, granted their own unique freedom of expression and not forced to feel like they need to conform to society’s expectation of who they should be as young Black boys- but who they feel they are at their core! As Marie Forleo says, “everything is figureouttable” and my partner and I are here to help our boys learn how to think critically and figure out situations they may encounter along their journeys. I believe that when we as parents take on the mindset of loving teachers, it’s so much healthier for their development because children should have boundaries and healthy discipline- but we as parents should not treat them in such a way that they begin to identify themselves as the mistakes they may make. Read more>>

Deandre Threatt | Entrepreneur

I think one of the most important things I have done that has a impact on my sons is showing them what a Father is. I make sure I show them love, be there for them, teach them right from wrong, how to learn from their mistakes. I let them know life isn’t always going to be perfect, but it’s worth it. To strive for the stars and hard work pays off! I just want to teach them to be great Men and enjoy their LIFE. If they have a great Father, they will become great men. Read more>>

Carey Appel | Former Retailer, Singer Songwriter, and Artist

There are two. I was a working single mom running 3 retail stores for much of their childhood. They occasionally came to work, and witnessed what hard work and perseverence meant. Both of my girls live by this today. So I think I role modeled a good work ethic. Additionally, the other part of my life was a singer songwriter that I started it late in life, but pursued with great passion. I cut 3 albums and performed extensively. I think that taught them that you can achieve your dreams if you want it at any age, and work hard enough. And my youngest is a singer songwriter now in her own right. Read more>>

Carl Knopke | Family and Obesity Medicine Doctor

My first inclination is to say the most important thing I do is to keep them alive. Nobody tells you that your job as a parent is to keep your kids from killing themselves. Any parent can identify with phrases such as “don’t jump off the counter”, “no hopping over the cat”, “no you should not try to do a back flip while standing on the floor”. But really, the best thing to do is to be honest with your kids. Your job as a parent is to share in your own successes and failures. I have always talked to my kids like they were adults. I want to explain to them how to navigate the world from a place of honesty. Kids are great at assimilating to and learning about the world around them as long as they know what that. Read more>>

Lauren Sweeney | Core coach and Trainer

Living by example. I remind myself that my kids need love most of all and that the more I grow and develop myself the better. Whenever I put pressure on kids in any area, it doesn’t work out very well. When I talk with them, understand them and be their parent, they flourish. During COVID I have improved my own change management skills to help support them in the constant pivot needed. Read more>>

Julie O’Neill | Wedding & Family Photographer

As a mom to four young children, my days often feel like they are an endless stream of preparing meals, changing diapers, searching for the lost toy, refereeing arguments, and now during the pandemic, home schooling my kids. But it is during these chaotic and sometimes mundane moments that I believe my most important job is taking place; shaping the hearts and minds of my kids. I have asked myself many times, “At the end of the day, what do I really want my kids to have learned today?” School work, sports, and piano are all important, but they pale in comparison to the answer: That they are loved and valued in our family and their identity, value, and dignity come from God. When I look at the day through that lens, then it gives me the patience to sit down with my kids and work through a disagreement, rather then just telling them to stop fighting. It helps me to really listen to them when they voice their opinions and desires instead of reacting in an authoritarian way that comes more naturally to me. I can help them see how the way they treat our family is practice for the way they treat others outside of our family. Read more>>

Amber Rankin | Landscape Jewelry Designer and Business Owner

This has actually been on my mind a lot lately. As someone with major health issues that prevent me from holding a full time job outside the house, I’ve had to work hard to figure out how to be productive despite my illnesses. My children have watched me struggle with chronic pain, yet still be able to run a successful, growing business. They see that I’m not wallowing in my pain, but instead am bringing joy to others through my art/jewelry. They have watched me continue to push on, working hard every day to grow that business. My business wasn’t an overnight success, yet I didn’t ever give up when times were tough. My kids are learning that persistence and hard work pay off. Read more>>

Erika Lopez | Cookie Artist

That they can achieve whatever they put their mind and effort into. That there might be obstacles but nothing is impossible. Read more>>

Kathy Copcutt | Digital Content Creator

I believe the most important lesson I’ve taught my little one, “if you’re making mistakes, you’re learning.” We all start from ground zero and work our way up. Everyday you wake up is a conscious decision that you’ll keep working towards your goal. Read more>>

Melaina Williams | Writer, Vocalist & Actor

I am new to the parent club. My husband and I welcomed our beautiful, baby girl earth side of the womb in November of 2019. It’s been amazing to watch her grow and even more amazing to already see the positive impact my creativity has on her. For years, I have required myself to include my first book of poetry, “Bless Your Sweet Bones” on the coffee table where I place other books I love or am currently reading. I do so to remind myself of my worth, inspire my “inner child” to keep creating and keep my story before me. Now, my daughter picks my book up and studies the front cover; her late great-grandmother (who she is named for) and her mother. She then opens it and stares longingly at the words on the pages. I practice singing at home and she joins in effortlessly reaching each note. She is learning creatively and bonding with me and the history of her ancestors. None of this would be possible if I decided that as a mother, my creative life would have to take a backseat to “mommy duties. Read more>>

Erin Hammond | Artist

Listening, connecting and holding space for growth is vital.. I believe the most important thing that I work towards on a daily basis with my son is connecting, having eye contact and taking specific moments in making sure he feels valued and important. His opinion matters. We may not agree on everything but to instill confidence and check in with the heart and emotions is key. Every stage with a child is different. Currently with a 13 year old; saying sorry is so important. To hold standards as a parent and recognize when we are in the wrong and take a pause and apologize. Press the restart button is sometimes invaluable to their growth. Read more>>

Morgen Howells | Mother, Designer, Entrepreneur

I believe the most important thing I’ve done as a parent in terms of the impact on my children is to acknowledge my mistakes, take responsibility for myself and my choices, and show them that no matter what your circumstances, it is possible to restore your integrity at persevere. Your past does not define your future. Commit to what you stand for and follow through…anything is possible. Read more>>

Sally Colón-Petree | Film Director / Producer & Transformation Life Coach

I am a mom of two teenage girls, saying that brings shivers down my spine, “I have two teenage daughters”, yikes! It’s one of the hardest and rewarding paths I’ve ever been on. As soon as my first daughter, Bella, was born, I decided to leave my job to be a stay at home mom, four months later I got pregnant with my second daughter, Stevie, yikes! Being a filmmaker, I always had the cameras rolling for all of their “firsts”… steps, words, etc… And have created videos for the girls to watch when they have their own children. The most important thing I”ve done as a parent to impact my daughters was to start my own transformational journey to find and meet myself for the first time. This happened on May 31st, 2016 when I decided to leave my marriage of 15 years. It was one of the hardest decisions to make, but one of the healthiest for me. As I started unpacking my own childhood traumas and becoming aware of my triggers and anger issues, I began to heal and find my peace. Read more>>

Kiana Baez | Entrepreneur, Mother, Innovator

2020 took a huge toll on the entire world; physically, mentally and financially. It impacted my life tremendously, but in the most positive way. Being laid off early in the year, I had to re-invent my career from scratch. It was the only way to form a sustainable source of income to feed my family and invest into my own passions. Being quarantined in the house for weeks at a time was hard to say the least, however, I remained motivated and dedicated to my vision, my innovation and used my social media to advertise such that. I think the most important thing i’ve done as a parent; is to always stay motivated, focused. I am a mother first, but I am so much more as well. 2021 has brought success into my life already! Finding that equal balance of living your best life as a young woman, while handling business and a family, is one of my greatest achievements. It just takes time and again….motivation. My son will know that I never gave up, and that his peace was my number 1 priority. Most people, but especially parents can understand that security and peace of mind are priceless. Read more>>

LaPorsche Michelle Jackson | Teacher,Wife,& Small Business Owner

As a parent and an African American in today’s society, it Is very important that my children see me in a strong, risk taking, Entrepreneurship lane; such as being a small business owner. My children are the reason behind my brand K&L Creations as my son’s name is Khayden and my daughters name is Londyn. They know that they inspire me everyday to live for them. The most important thing that I’ve shown my children, Is to be a leader and if you can dream it you can achieve it. Read more>>