Yolanda Foster's Time as a Single Mom Taught Her Plenty About Parenting
While reality TV may not be the best place to turn for advice about pretty much anything, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Yolanda Foster has a lot of motherly wisdom to share. Hailed by many as the show's voice of reason, Foster stands out from her television peers by keeping away from drama and offering sage advice — but as a mom in Hollywood, she stands out even more.
The proud mama of two top supermodels (Gigi and Bella Hadid) and a teenage son, Yolanda has plenty of things to share about raising successful kids in such a materialistic environment. Years as a single mom helped Foster learn plenty about the ups and downs of motherhood, and we've got her best bits of wisdom right here.
On Embracing Your Child's Individuality
"Raising children is not like a cookie cutter. Not each child is the same. All three of my children are completely different human beings. As a good mom, you learn to appreciate each individual and really guide them to grow the best they can be within their own spirit," Foster told Glamour of her experience raising Gigi, Bella, and Anwar.
On Teaching Self-Worth
"I try to teach my girls — since a very early age — to really love who they are on the inside, before anything," Foster said of Gigi and Bella. Yolanda kept her daughters out of the modeling world until they were adults because she wanted them to develop as normal people without being judged on their looks, something she believes is extremely damaging to children.
On Showing Affection
"You never lose by loving. You only lose by holding back," is one of Foster's motherhood mottos, and it's obvious that she means it — the mom's social media accounts are full of affectionate snaps with her kids.
On Keeping a Marriage Alive
"I wouldn't consider myself a marriage specialist because, as everyone knows, this is my second one and David's fourth, but I do know this," Foster said of her marriage to renowned music producer David Foster. "It takes someone to be committed, creative and willing to keep the romance alive in his or her marriage."
On Working Hard to Raise Kids Right
"I think that when you choose to have children you must invest the time. I think that children, their character, and who they become later on is really shaped the first eight, nine years of their life," said Foster, who was a single mother during her kids' formative years.
"Now at a later point of life, I can sit back and trust that I've given them the foundation they need to be independent young women . . . And if things break down, I'm here to catch them," she added in her Glamour interview.
On Kids Growing Up and Moving Out
When her eldest daughter graduated high school and moved to New York to begin college (and a hugely successful modeling career), Yolanda got real about empty nesting in a personal blog post: "I'm sure that I am going to have a couple of meltdowns, but I also have a sense of peace in my heart because I feel confident that I have raised Gigi right and that I have given her the right tools to survive."
On Encouraging a Healthy Lifestyle
"I just think that the greatest gift to your children is teaching them to live a healthy lifestyle. Teach them what it's like to feel good after a yoga class or going for a run or skiing or a horseback ride," Foster said. "I just think that those things are really important — especially in today's world with all the electronics and how easy it is to throw a child in front of the TV or with an iPad."
The Hadid kids are all extremely active, so it seems that their mother's emphasis on healthy living made an impression!
On Letting Kids Make Their Own Choices
"As parents, it's not up to us," Foster said. "We can't tell our children what their journey is or how they should live their life or what job they need to choose. You give them the right tools to be the best human being they can be and they have to find their own path."
On Loving Motherhood
"Being a mom is the greatest job I ever had, and I take great pride into raising kind, giving, and responsible human beings," Foster said in a tender Mother's Day blog post. Aww!