Parenting is an incredibly important responsibility and so we wanted to get a conversation going with input from parents in the community. We asked them: what is the most important thing you’ve done as a parent? We’ve highlighted some of the responses below.

Jocelyn Lightfoot | Owner of Hemp Ice Factory LLC

I have always wanted to own my own business. I knew I would eventually become an entrepreneur, but after becoming a mother I just went for it. I wanted to be able to raise my children, see their first steps, exclusively breastfeed, etc. Becoming an entrepreneur allowed me to do all of those things and make my own rules. One rule is that my boys can tag along. They are able to learn about what it takes to be a business owner and I get to set the example. They are able to see everything from the mistakes I have made to just the overall growth of an idea blossoming into an actual business. Read more>>

Nicole McEachern | Chef & Owner of Niche Catering

My ex husband and I met in culinary school and both graduated together. Shortly after we had our first child. I had started my first job in catering while in school and was working my internship at a restaurant before graduation. By the time I graduated I had little experience under my belt, but I was able to nail down a job at another large high end catering company. There I started in the baking and pastry department, worked my way up quickly with a lot of great guidance from chefs around me. My ex husband and I worked long crazy hours both being chefs and my daughter was constantly in the care of my best friends who also had a child around her age. I decided one of us had to make a change for the good of my daughter and that ended up being me. I left the industry and went into the family business with intentions to get back into cooking full time when my daughter was old enough to be on her own while we were working. Read more>>

Howard Calvert | Actor

As a single parent, a father, I am faced with many challenges when parenting my kids. However, I believe the most important thing I’ve done to make a strong impact on my kids, is teaching them self-love, respect, and keeping them educated. As an Actor, I am a steady role model in their lives, showing them hard work ethics. I allow them to experience some of my hard work, as I stay the course towards my goals. Giving my kids strong leadership allows them to believe in themselves, and me. I gravitate towards positive actions with them at all times, and fastly approach any negative challenges they encounter. Children deserve nurturing environments and families, in which their emotional, educational, physical, and social needs can be met consistently. I have mainly boys. I strive to teach them knowledge of manhood. Read more>>

Gulzar Saleem | Montessori Teacher

As a Montessori teacher and a parent, I believe that Montessori will not only impact my child but also it will impact others in society. From the simple, loving interactions, and through lessons in practical skills and independence, A child will learn to take care of themselves and their environment and to be helpful to others. In addition to mastering real-life skills, they come to see themselves as valued members of the community. My child is 18 months old, he knows how to carry his own bag pack every day at school. I saw how he cares for others. If one of his friends is upset he will stand next to him and make sure that the teacher will address the child. I think I have portrayed the most essential aspect of Montessori which is independence and self-correction. Read more>>

Crystal Conigland | Social Studies Educator,/Community Activist/STEM Educator/Robotics Instructor/Certified School Administrator

Being a parent is not easy but being a single African American parent in a huge city like Houston is unsurmountable. There are so many challenges raising not one but two athletes and college academic students is probably one of the biggest challenges I have ever faced. Your children do not and probably will never understand the sacrifices you make for them, but a parents’ prayer is that they will someday understand why you did what you had to do to allow them to have a better life, a life better than yours. The most important thing I did as a parent that gave my children the opportunity to pursue their dreams is giving up my dreams to be an administrator after I received my degree in school administration to follow them throughout their high school and collegiate years as athletes. As I stated in my previous interview, I am a domestic abuse survivor, and my children only had one parent that could support them and give them the support and reliability they needed while they competed in all sports and school. Read more>>