When you mentioned your desire to use Hill Harper as a blueprint, I had a couple of passing thoughts. Since you and Tiny both have teenage daughters, I have two burning questions. First and foremost, I am curious to know what key issue you feel is facing young women today. And on the flipside, what advice do you have for mothers who might have children going through similar situations?
Toya: My daughter, you know, has taken on a lot, since her father’s in the public eye, especially right now. So, kids always come to her with negative stories and different things like that. But I just talk to her, all the time, and try to be the first to tell her things. So it’s important for parents to communicate with their children, because you never know what they might hear from kids outside the house. Everyone’s not brought up the same way, you know. So, being a mother, I just want to stress that you really talk to your kids about everything. Spend time with them. Let them know you love them. And you really have to be there, especially with kids, because they really need it.
Nowadays, they get stuff coming at them from all angles – people, magazines, the Internet. There is always negative stuff to be found. And sometimes you never know how they really feel, because some kids keep things bottled in and try to make sense of it on their own. That’s why I try to talk to mine a lot, you know, just to see how she’s feeling about certain situations. Coming up, my mom wasn’t really there for me, coming up. And that just helped make me a better mother. Because I know what I was missing, growing up, and I try to give my daughter that and more.
Tiny: I just think our daughters, and kids in general, we just need to keep them as young as possible. My daughter’s going to be 14 years old this month, and she’s growing up. When she’s offstage, she’s a regular kid. She’s been in a Christian school all her life. This is her first year out of Christian school, her eighth grade year. So, I think that helped with her upbringing. She’s not being exposed to all kinds of craziness. She’s not like all crazy, boy crazy or nothing. She’s 14 years old. But she’s not like, “Oh, my God. I’ve got to get…” You know what I’m saying? And I love that about her, because she’s real balanced.