Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade, and their daughter Kaavia,4, grace the cover of Parents’ Back to School digital issue. Inside the publication, the couple delve into their experiences as parents, their commitment to raising their kids in an inclusive environment, and the valuable lessons they bring from their own childhoods. Let’s take a closer look at the key insights shared by the duo.

Photo: Texas Isaiah for PARENTS

On raising kids in an inclusive environment:


Wade: “There are a lot of reasons we decided California was best for our family and finding a community for Zaya was a big part of that. We felt that California was a place that would allow her to blossom and grow. She’s going to be a Junior in high school now and she’s been able to be accepted and become her here.”

Union: “When you have the kind of rhetoric that is being espoused in Florida and adopted into law, that’s not an option if my child isn’t safe there. We have family and friends who don’t have the privilege of moving. So, we are going to be fighting till we are out of breath to protect all kids who are oppressed. That is our responsibility as people with large platforms and as people who folks trust, and they trust us because we say the hard thing.”

Photo: Texas Isaiah for PARENTS

What they bring from their childhoods into their parenting:

Union: “Being the person that stands up to the bully. It was terrifying, but I never had a problem doing it. That is what we have poured into our children. We don’t stand for folks who choose to be disrespectful or bigots. And if you insist on it, we will insist on correcting you.”

Wade: “My father always showed up for me. He wasn’t front row at every basketball game, but he would peek in through the door. When you’re in uncomfortable situations, it means everything to have the people who love and support you there—no matter what they’re going through. My mother was on drugs most of my childhood. My father was an amazing man, but he was addicted to alcohol. Yet, they always put the kids first and got out of their way.”

Photo: Texas Isaiah for PARENTS

On what they want to teach daughter, Kaavia:

Union: “Compassion for herself. So often, we’re drilled to be compassionate to everybody else, but we leave ourselves out of that compassion umbrella and let ourselves get drenched and drowned in self-loathing and self-judgment. And when you breed compassion in your home, [kids] can’t help but live it and expect it.”

Wade: “This is my first time raising a little girl from this age as Zaya came to us older. That was a different thing. I don’t know what Kaav’s going to choose for herself. But if she does choose a man, I want her to look at that man she chooses and say you have to measure up to my daddy. So, the bar will be set high.”

“PARENTS’ digital issue is available now here

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