Nicole Ari Parker on How She Keeps ‘Communication Open’ With Her Kids About First Kisses and More

Nicole Ari Parker on How She Keeps ‘Communication Open’ With Her Kids About First Kisses and More
Actress Nicole Ari Parker visits Hallmark's 'Home  Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Keeping the conversation going! Nicole Ari Parker has a teenage daughter and preteen soon at home, and she opened up about parenting them during such an “exploratory” age.

“I try to find that balance of: I’m the stability of her life, but I know a couple of things,” the Empire actress said at #BlogHerHealth19 about her relationship with her daughter, Sophie. “So you might want to tell me when you have your first kiss. She’s like, ‘Why?’ I was like, because you might be kissing wrong. … And then I say, kissing is special, you might want to talk it through.”

Parker, 48, shares Sophie, 13, and Nicholas, 12, with her husband, Boris Kodjoe. And even though their children haven’t hit “that bratty teenager stage yet,” she admitted that this age has come with challenges of its own.

“I want the communication open because this window between 13 and 15 is the exploratory time,” she said.

Not only does she encourage her kids to open up to her about their questions, but Parker keeps it real with them as well, whether she’s encouraging her daughter to zip her sweatshirt up a little higher or speaking to her son about racism.

“He was playing water guns outside with his friends, little blonde girls [when he was 10],” the model recalled. “If a cop came around the corner and saw my kid with a curly afro with a gun in his hand in the night at the beach, I have to now tell my son I’d have to take away all that from him. … That’s really been my challenge as a parent.”

And even though they’re young, Parker and Kodjoe, 45, are already modeling a healthy marriage for their little ones as they come up on their 14th anniversary in May.

“I try to say sorry in front of the kids so they can see,” the New York University alum said. “I like the kids to see that you can make up.”

With reporting by Taylor Ferber

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