The following are Kimora’s parenting tips on how to raise happy, healthy, and confident kids.
1. Happiness Is Inside: Great shoes or handbags can make you feel fabulous but only temporarily. It’s fun to look cute, but I teach my girls that bliss from material goodies will fade like a candy high if they lack substance underneath all the sparkle and shine.
2. Live Generously: My girls and I regularly go through their rooms to find clothes and toys to donate to charities. I firmly believe that children who have been given so much need to experience the joy that comes from giving. All children can do things to help, whether how big or small—by donating toys or lending a hand in the community.
3. Expose Children to Different Cultures, Places and People: Even if you can’t afford to travel the world, you can take your children to the museum, zoo or local park. And don’t be afraid to take them to grownup spots. Eating out in a restaurant teaches children how to be quiet and polite—and gives them the pleasure of knowing you trust them to behave.
4. Make Time for Fun: I encourage my children to try new things—dance, tennis, soccer, you name it, I want them to try it. But I don’t want them to feel like they have to take every class just to please me. Kids need time to be kids! My recipe for good parenting includes a healthy dose of discipline and a lot of love.
5. Embrace Uniqueness: Don’t try to blend in with all the other moms—it’s OK to stand out from the crowd and be yourself. The best way to teach children to resist peer pressure is to resist it yourself.
6. Make Self-Reliance Your Foundation: Encourage your daughters to strive for independence and you’ll raise girls who aren’t afraid to grab every opportunity and fend for themselves when Mommy’s not around.
7. Moms Need Love Too: Somewhere in the midst of all the mommy mayhem, you need to take a moment for pampering or a special treat. It could be a day at the spa, a bouquet of flowers or just meditation or a good workout. If you don’t take time to take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of others.
8. Don’t Try to Be Supermom: Balancing all that comes with building a company while raising two girls and now my little boy is the biggest (and most fulfilling) challenge of my life. I remind myself every day not to take on more than I can handle. I don’t need to be a hero; I just need to do my best.
9. Brush Your Shoulders Off: Pettiness exists at every stage in life, so brush it off and encourage your kids to do the same. If you waste time wallowing in negativity, that attitude will rub off on your kids.
10. Everything You Can Imagine Is Real: Being a mom doesn’t mean you have to give up your own dreams. Visualize your life. That means making a blueprint of every step along the way, from what you’re wearing to how you will balance home and work life. By imagining every detail, you will be able make it happen.
Bonus: Self-Confidence Is a Legacy. Build yours up by starting with something simple, like taking pride in writing a good report at work or getting the kids to school on time with a healthy lunch. Every time you pat yourself on the back, your children learn to do the same.