They always encourage their children to be their true selves.

Noella Williams
Apr 28, 2021 @ 2:06 pm
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Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade
Credit: Johnny Nunez, Getty Images for Stance

Not only are Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade superstars in Hollywood and sports, but they're also wonderful parents!

Currently, their mission is potty training their 2-year-old daughter Kaavia James, which has been a "challenge" according to an exclusive interview with People. Kaavia—born via surrogate in November 2018—is the inspiration for the actress and NBA player's upcoming book. The children's book, Shady Baby, is set to release on May 18th.

According to the publisher, HarperCollins, the picture book tells the tale of Shady Baby who meets some "not-so-nice" kids while visiting the park to relax. The book also explores Shady Baby's teaching them how to be kind to one another and how to move past hurt feelings.

Wade notices that people see a little bit of themselves in Kaavia, and Union describes her as "amazing and dynamic."

"Shade is her super power because when Kaavia gives you a look, it's either you're not respecting her boundaries or something is happening that she doesn't like," she told People. "The main takeaway is that she's free to be this amazing, dynamic, shady at times, loving at times Black little girl when the world has not been so kind to Black girls and women."

The dashing parenting duo plans to allow their children to be their authentic selves, instead of conforming or assimilating like Union recalled experiencing.

"I was raised to conform. But we are raising our kids to know they are worthy because they exist. We don't want them to ever shape shift for anyone else's approval or acceptance. We want them to be free to be who they are," Union said.

Both parents have openly been an advocate for their 13-year-old daughter, Zaya, who is transgender. Along with Zaya and Kaavia, they parent Zaire and Xavier, Wade's children from a previous relationship.

"We're raising Black kids and every day in the world, they show us what we're thought of," Wade said. "You realize you can't protect them from everything. The only thing you can do is make sure they go out into the world with all the tools they need."