Published On: Wed, Apr 28th, 2021

Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade discuss raising five ‘authentic’ kids

Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade discuss raising five ‘authentic’ kids: ‘They are worthy because they exist’

They put their focus on family.

Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade, 39, told PEOPLE magazine that making sure their children feel loved and supported is their primary goal.

The power couple, with kids ranging in age from three to 19, discussed the importance of raising the next generation with compassion.

Lucky: Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade told PEOPLE magazine that making sure their children feel loved and supported is their primary goal

‘My focus when it comes to any of my kids is to let them know who they are so that when other people’s opinions about them are formed, it’s not hitting them,’ Wayne said.

The NBA legend’s daughter Zaya, 13, is transgender, and Zaire, 19, is from Dwyane’s previous marriage. The couple also have Wade’s son with an ex, Xavier, seven, and Dahveon, 19, Dwyane’s nephew.

‘If we allow our kids to be their true selves, we don’t have to worry about them conforming with anything or anyone,’ he said. ‘Why wouldn’t we push our kids to be their authentic selves?’ 

Blended family: The couple have daughter Zaya, 13, and Zaire, 19, from Dwyane's previous marriage, Wade's son with an ex, Xavier, seven, and Dahveon, 19, Dwyane's nephew, in addition to two-year-old daughter Kaavia

Blended family: The couple have daughter Zaya, 13, and Zaire, 19, from Dwyane’s previous marriage, Wade’s son with an ex, Xavier, seven, and Dahveon, 19, Dwyane’s nephew, in addition to two-year-old daughter Kaavia

Love over everything: Gabi and Dwyane have been nothing but supportive to their daughter Zaya, 13, who is transgender

Love over everything: Gabi and Dwyane have been nothing but supportive to their daughter Zaya, 13, who is transgender

Gabrielle, 48, added: ‘I was raised to assimilate. 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.’ 

‘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 of the tools they need.’ 

Their youngest daughter, Kaavia James, will turn three in November, and is the star of their latest children’s book, Shady Baby, named after her signature stare. 

Cute: Their youngest daughter, Kaavia James, will turn three in November, and is the star of their latest children's book, Shady Baby, named after her signature stare

Cute: Their youngest daughter, Kaavia James, will turn three in November, and is the star of their latest children’s book, Shady Baby, named after her signature stare

‘People see themselves in Kaav,’ Wade said of the book which hits stands on May 18. ‘Some days you don’t feel like doing your hair. And some days you want to give people shade.’

Union added: ‘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. 

‘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.’  

'People see themselves in Kaav,' Wade said of the book which hits stands on May 18. 'Some days you don't feel like doing your hair. And some days you want to give people shade'

‘People see themselves in Kaav,’ Wade said of the book which hits stands on May 18. ‘Some days you don’t feel like doing your hair. And some days you want to give people shade’

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