We asked some of the best parents we know to tell us about the most important thing they’ve done as parents and have shared their wisdom below.

Gigi Douglas | Artist + Creative Project Manager

I am not a parent, but I have to take a moment to give gratitude for both my parents in helping shape my creative self. Growing up, my mom always made sure I had access to art supplies and creative classes (even one where I built a life size dream monster out of chicken wire and paper mache)! A year ago, upon realizing how influential her support had been, I thanked her and she promptly replied, “well, I thought it was important that you could do things where there weren’t any rules.” I give her a lot of credit to my ability to think outside the box. And my dad raised me with a deep belief that I would do amazing things. No matter what I was working on, he was always so proud and encouraging. He sadly passed away when I was only 8 years old, which has perhaps had the most profound impact on my art, sense of the world, and desire to become an entrepreneur. Read more>>

Bonnie Dimmick | Pediatric Sleep Consultant

As a mom of two young daughters, the most important thing I have done to positively impact them is educating myself on respectful and positive parenting philosophies. This has helped me to fully allow my girls to develop and become their authentic selves — secure, confident, competent and internally motivated individuals. Learning how to truly trust them to lead their own learning and development has been a joy for me to watch as they grow and learn at their own pace. They are so filled with pride and accomplishment when they work to complete a task or master milestones on their own. With our youngest this looked like not helping her learn to walk and letting her do it completely at her own pace. No hand holding while she took steps that she wasn’t quite ready to do on her own. After months of cruising around on furniture and anything else she could find, she took her first unassisted steps. Read more>>

Jessica Vallia | Portrait Photographer

I am parent of a blended family, my husband and I each have our own child and we have two together. We have tried our hardest to make sure that none the kids feel like anyone is a “step” or part time kiddo. As parents, as well as running both of our small businesses, we work as a team to support one another in everything we do. We have family portraits all over our house (even though I hate getting my own portrait taken) as well as portraits of each individual kiddo in their own special way. We always want them to feel like they are part of a big family no matter how near or far they are. Read more>>