Gabrielle Union and husband Dwyane Wade are raising well-mannered kids. In a recent interview with Yahoo! Life, the actress opens up about how she  and  Wade are sticklers for manners when it comes to raising their children. “Unleashing an undisciplined, ill-mannered child on the world? That’s not fair,” she said .

Check out more of what Union had to say below.


What has motherhood taught you about yourself? Are there any firm ideas of how you thought of yourself as a person that have been challenged by becoming a mom?

What you realize very quickly is that any unhealed trauma from your life doesn’t magically disappear because you love this little person. Your unhealed traumas will absolutely be passed on; your fears will be passed on. There’s not a sudden separation from you and the things that you need to work on. And without even thinking, without knowing, you pass that s*** onto your kids. So it really made me realize that there was a lot of healing I needed to do in order to be the best mom I could be. It really goes into “you can’t be everything to everybody else and nothing to yourself.” All of those unhealed things will pop up fast, and in a hurry.

So word to the wise: Before you get married, before you have kids, before you form that dream brand or company, all of the things that you have buried and suppressed and not healed from and not acknowledged, it doesn’t go anywhere. It will erupt. And there’s nothing about parenting that isn’t stressful. And when you’re stressed, those unhealed things will bubble up. So, yeah: therapy [laughs]. Motherhood has revealed I don’t go enough.

So “Shady Baby” isn’t just her alter ego. Is there any rule where do you put your foot down?

We don’t play around with manners and disrespect and being polite. … Unleashing an undisciplined, ill-mannered child on the world? That’s not fair. So the village — and I say the village because it takes a whole group of us — we’re all in alignment. We don’t let really anything go when it comes to manners and being courteous and respectful. We’re all always constantly correcting [Kaavia]. So yeah, we don’t play about that. My parents didn’t play about that, so it’s not really something that’s up for debate.

What is your biggest parenting challenge at the moment?

Teenage stuff [laughs]. There is a sense of being grown, you know — like they know everything, they’ve seen it all, they’ve done it all, they have access to every kind of information that you can imagine on their phones. And so when kids think they’re grown but they’re living with grown-ups, there’s some butting of heads. You constantly have to [remind them]. It’s not like, “I said it and that’s it,” like in my youth, where my dad said it one time. I didn’t need constant reminders; these kids need constant reminders. You are going to repeat yourself a thousand times and it feels like you’re just hitting your head against the wall, but whatever it takes to make sure that our kids are doing what they’re supposed to be doing. And when they fall short, they are corrected quickly. But it’s a challenge.

To read the remainder of the interview, click here. What are some of your house rules when it comes to manners in your family circle? Sound-off, we want to hear from you below.

Tiffany Silva

Tiffany Silva

Writer and Editor

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