Gabrielle Union: ‘We raise our kids to know they are worthy because they exist’

Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade are raising their children to authentically express themselves. Between Gabrielle’s attitude around her children’s hair, to Dwyane and Gabrielle’s loving acceptance of Zaya, the Wades have been a modern example of parenting. Now the Wades are working on potty training their rambunctious two-year-old, Kaavia. The Wades even have a new kids’ book coming out about the adventures of Kaavia called Shady Baby. Gabrielle and Dwayne are covering People. In their interview they say that they’re raising their children not to seek or expect external approval. Below are a few excerpts from their conversation with People:

“It’s been a challenge,” Union, 48, says with a laugh. “She’s very strong-willed!”

“People see themselves in Kaav,” says Wade, 39, of the book, on stands May 18. “Some days you don’t feel like doing your hair. And some days you want to give people shade.”

Adds Union: “Shade is her super power because when Kaavia gives you a look, it’s either you’re not respecting her boundaries or something is happening that she doesn’t like. The main takeaway is that she’s free to be this amazing, dynamic, shady at times, loving at times Black little girl when the world has not been so kind to Black girls and women.”

“My focus when it comes to any of my kids is to let them know who they are so that when other people’s opinions about them are formed, it’s not hitting them,” says Wade, whose daughter Zaya, 13, is transgender. (The couple also have Zaire, 19, who along with Zaya are Wade’s children from a previous marriage, Xavier, 7, Wade’s son with an ex and Dahveon, 19, Wade’s nephew.)

“If we allow our kids to be their true selves,” he continues, “we don’t have to worry about them conforming with anything or anyone. Why wouldn’t we push our kids to be their authentic selves?”

In her own childhood, Union says she didn’t encounter those freedoms. “I was raised to assimilate,” she recalls. “I was raised to conform. But we are raising our kids to know they are worthy because they exist. We don’t want them to ever shape shift for anyone else’s approval or acceptance. We want them to be free to be who they are.”

[From People]

I am a huge fan of how Dwyane and Gabrielle are raising their children. I like how Gabrielle emphasizes that their children are their own people and not an extension of themselves. That’s a great way to teach children about personal boundaries and autonomy. Gabriel said it is tough to stick to this sort of parenting when their children are being stubborn. I believe in the long run it will help their children become self-sufficient adults.

I also liked what they said about letting their children know they are worthy because they exist. I am sure it can be difficult because children, especially teenagers, have personalities, but raising your children on the idea of mutual respect is a beautiful thing. I am looking forward to getting my hands on their book, Shady Baby, because I absolutely love Kaavia and use her memes often.

photos via Instagram and Twitter

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14 Responses to “Gabrielle Union: ‘We raise our kids to know they are worthy because they exist’”

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  1. lanne says:

    They make me smile.

  2. Becks1 says:

    I love the Union-Wades so much – its so obvious how much they love each other and their family, and for all their money and fame they seem so down to earth. I love how they are raising their kids too. I just saw the other day that Gabrielle has a new book coming out in September, “You Got Anything Stronger?” Her first book was so good – I was expecting it to be a lot lighter than it was, but she talked about being a rape survivor, racism and the challenges of raising black boys, etc. So I’m looking forward to the next one.

    • LaraK says:

      To me they are the perfect example of how good marriages take work, and the work pays off. They took so much flack when they got married because of all the messiness around the break up / child with another woman / get back together and engaged right away timeline.
      I remember even here lots of people didn’t think they would last (myself included).
      But they work on their relationship.
      Gabrielle worked hard on being a good stepmom and mom.
      And now they are like the ultimate modern family.

    • sunny says:

      Me too! I loved her book a lot. She was so hilarious and candid.

      I really like them as a couple and how much they speak up for things they believe it. Also they aren’t afraid to admit when they don’t know things and are willing to grow, learn, and change positions.

  3. Jais says:

    I just really like them and their family and the way they’re raising the kids. The cover is also gorgeous.

  4. Sigmund says:

    Weren’t there some issues with him cheating or something early on? Either way, they really seem to have done the work to come back together and are doing a great job raising their kids. I admit, I made assumptions about their marriage after hearing about his cheating, but they are knocking it out of the park with the parenting.

    • Oh_Hey says:

      Yes and the post quietly mentions it – Wade has a whole other son that was born while they were together. They said he was conceived during a “break” but they never announced one and the timeline shows them still appearing together at events and in “private” via the popparazi. They got together originally while he was still with wife no. 1 to the point that she sued Gabi for adultery.

      I am taking notes for the future from their parenting and Gabi’s stance on knowing your worth at work but they can have the rest.

  5. Léna says:

    I’m honestly impressed – they are raising 3 children from his previous marriage/affair, Wade’s nephew and they have a daughter together! What a big blended family! I can’t even keep up taking care of my cat and having a boyfriend lol cheers to them

  6. BK says:

    Unpopular opinion I guess, but I really hate when celebrities use their kids for clout. Do we need to turn them into memes and use them for internet points as soon as they pop out of the womb? Let your kids be kids, they didn’t ask to be famous.

  7. manta says:

    They sell a pretty picture but I’m always intrigued by the fact that the mothers of the elder children don’t seem to exist.
    Are they totally erased from the life of their children?
    Is it their choice or are they kindly invited to stay out of the spotlight to not mess the idyllic narrative? Or have they done something horrible to these kids?

  8. Watson says:

    I like them. They way they are raising awareness about how to raise a non gender conforming child with love and acceptance is so admirable.

  9. Renee says:

    I love this couple so much! Gabrielle and Dwayne are a representative of how parenting and co-parenting should work. I admire their ability to rise to the occasion and parent how they see fit. On a shallow note, they are both gorgeous too.

  10. Blairski says:

    “Shady Baby” reminds me of the Kabs family – does anyone else follow them on Facebook?

  11. tladydra says:

    LOVE THIS, LOVE THEM! they truly are #goals. wish they would write a book and spill their secrets – it is so difficult to walk the line of support/safe space for self expression and I’m in charge/here are my rules/here is how to set boundaries within your life