Parenting is an incredibly important responsibility and so we wanted to get a conversation going with input from parents in the community. We asked them: what is the most important thing you’ve done as a parent? We’ve highlighted some of the responses below.

Dr. Douglas Shipley | Business & Personal Development Consultant

I believe my most important impacts on my children have been exemplifying that success is defined by productivity to humanity and options are generally more plentiful than one immediately believes. My idea to create my consulting business came from listening to people involved in self-serving activities and others that believed they had no options in their circumstances. I have a twenty-five year old daughter in her second year of medical school and a twenty-two year old son in his first year of graduate school. These are choices they made to contribute to the world and they have passion for them. They both seek to be of service to the world and recognize that they have choices, which may not be the paths that others may not have chosen for them. And that’s okay. Read more>>

Jeneifer Threadcraft | Therapist, Specializing in Trauma and Suicide Prevention & Motivational Speaker

I never gave up!!! I had my first child at the age of 14 and it was not easy. I have had many challenges being that I was a single parent, but I have overcome most of them. I continued with my schooling as well as hustled to make sure that I provided for them. I always talked to them about what is or was going on with me, especially when it would affect them in any capacity. Staying focus was my main thing to do. I trusted God through it all and I learned how to lean on God as I grew older. I encouraged them to be themselves and to love themselves first from the inside out. Being a productive citizen with values and morals will always carry you further then you could ever imagine. Now I have two entrepreneurs, (my alpha and omega, lol) and that is what makes me a proud parent. Read more>>

Steven and Kristin Rho | Cofounder of Big Future Toys

Growing up as kids of Asian immigrants, we were exposed to a pretty narrow definition of “success.” For our parents, success was about having a respectable job and a lot of money. Happiness and “fulfilling your purpose” were secondary. We’ve flipped those priorities for our own kids. Thanks in large part to our parents, we’re in a pretty good place financially, and we’re confident that our kids will be able to make a decent living as well. That gives them room to focus on what they really love and are innately good at. The most important thing we’re doing as parents then is to help our kids develop their unique passions so they can use them for a purpose bigger than themselves. We keep our eyes open for our kids’ fascinations and support them in those things by cheering them on, helping them find additional resources, and connecting them with inspiring people in those fields. Read more>>

Christie Hall | Creator

I asked my 14 year old to tell me something that he has learned from me about life? He said “to work hard and always be honest.” That answer made me proud because of all the things I think he is learning from me, those two stick out the most. I try really hard to make sure he knows that nothing in life is free and I work hard to make sure that we can have the things we need and some of the things we want. I am always very honest with him. I think he appreciates that and is helps us have a strong bond. I want to be the best example for him. Every decision I make I have his best interest in mind first. Being a parent is probably the hardest thing I have ever done. It’s definitely the most rewarding though. Read more>>

Connie Hunter Baptiste | Mother, Grandmother, Air Force Veteran, Chef, Corporate Look Specialist,

The most important thing I have done as a parent has been to lead by example and show my sons and grandson that they can do anything and be anything they want to be. I have tried to make sure they know that family is everything and it doesn’t have to be blood, family of the heart is just as valuable. Read more>>

Selam Woldemichael | Photographer

The most important thing I try to do for kids is to be a good example. I try not to tell them what to do but rather to show them doing it myself because children watch you more than they listen to you. Especially to my daughters, I try to teach them and show them that they can do more than what society labels us to be as men and women. Read more>>

Crisa Robinson | YL Mixxes Mobile Bartending

I have a 7 year old son and the most important part of parenting to me is leaving behind a legacy. When I was young no one taught me financial literacy and I didn’t have assets that were passed down for me, so it is very important to make sure I leave something to my children and their children whether it’s in form of retirement savings, land, or just the knowledge to be able to succeed. I currently have life insurance for my family if something happens to me, I invest weekly into a 401k Roth retirement plan, and I also teach him daily about the basics of saving. Read more>>

LD Wells | Speaker | Author | Thought Leader

As a parent, it has always been important to me to establish the kind of relationship that allows a child to be dually supported and encouraged to pursue autonomy. I believe parents have the unique job of training, helping and guiding their children while also providing the skills necessary for the child to make sound decisions and achieve excellence on their own. My personal experience has been that of a single mother to an African American son. I have been aware of both the blessings and challenges of this familial situation. I understood, almost immediately, that I would need a strong village to help nurture and support my son’s development. I called upon the family, friends, educators, clergy, athletes, counselors, artists, musicians, culturalists, and financial experts in my sphere for consultation, guidance and assistance with ensuring that my son had adequate exposure to nearly every aspect of life. I wanted him to have a personal journey with people that care about his outcomes as he navigated through early life. Read more>>

Jociana Sauve | Artist & Designer

I think the most important thing I’ve done as a parent to impact my children has been starting my own business. It takes belief in what you are doing to take that leap of faith. That in itself, says a lot. I have a teenager and an adult son, so they are a little older. But while they were growing up, they saw me go through many struggles. I experienced many corporate layoffs and resigning from jobs that I was not happy with. There were times of financial instability and uncertainty. Yet, they saw me pursuing my dreams. Art has always been my passion. I started painting again after many years of not doing so. Friends and coworkers began asking me for commissioned paintings. That sparked a renewed passion for art. At some point, I had a revelation, that I will never truly be happy unless I follow my passion. I went back to school for design and I started having my own art shows. That led me to start Raize Art, LLC. Read more>>