What is one of the best lessons you have learned through parenting?
Time. You cannot get time back. Put the time in consistently while you can, when you can, in what way you can. I have three children and I learned a lot from my two oldest children and am applying what I learned with my youngest child. Being a parent to a very young child again (daughter) in addition to my boys- I just want to spend time with my kids. I was a young parent with my boys and came to realize how much goes into parenting, that kids need their parents. I learned how important it is to be there, and even apologized to my boys for what I did not know then. I would tell any parent, especially young males with kids that you can’t get that time back.
Let’s say you were scooped up and put in the most Child-Centered Community in the universe. What do you see? What do you notice?
A lot of parent involvement! My mom modeled that for me. Kids need that involved adult, whether it’s the uncle, the barber, or whoever is willing to play that role. It’s not just people in leadership roles that shape and affect community…it is the actual adults like neighbors that create a child-centered community. Neighbors who look out for each other’s kids because they care about more than just their own kids. I have kids that stop by my barbershop [People’s Barbershop]. One day one of the kids stopped by when it was close to closing time, and he just wanted to hang out. I decided to take him to the waterfront for ice cream. This kid lives in Tacoma and had never been to the waterfront. I care about this kid and I treat him like my own- this is parent involvement.