When I sat down to chat with actor Taye Diggs for an exclusive interview with PureWow, I expected to talk about his movie The Set Up (which I’m obsessed with) and his partnership with Burlington Stores and AdoptaClassroom.org, which supports teachers by providing money for school supplies.
While we did discuss both of those things, there was an unexpected facet of our conversation that really stood out to me: His refreshingly chill approach to fatherhood with his 9-year-old son, Walker.
“My son’s mother [Frozen star Idina Menzel] and I are very fortunate. It’s a direct product of being cared for and having the luxury of a great education and people that were supporting us when it came to things as simple as school supplies,” he explained.
It’s that experience that has allowed him to be present for Walker and help ingrain the value of gratitude in him. “It’s really great watching him grow and be able to spend time around him,” he mused.
Diggs went on to admit that his approach to fatherhood has become more lenient over the years. Now, he allows Walker to do things that he never expected, like eating while watching TV. “Before you’re a parent or when your child is much younger, you have these dreams of always having dinner at the table and having a very deliberate discussion. That’s gone out the window. We sit in front of the TV every meal and watch sports or a movie,” he admitted. We do have to agree, TV dinners are way more fun (even if they do potentially violate the ‘Parenting 101’ handbook).
And although that aspect of parenting hasn’t panned out like Diggs expected, he’s gained a newfound understanding of himself and his role as a dad because of it. “I’ve come to believe that just time together, regardless of what you do, is the important thing. A major part of parenting is kind of letting go of some of those dreams of what you thought good parenting was. It becomes more of what [good parenting means] at the moment,” he said.
There you have it: For Taye Diggs, fatherhood looks like in-front-of-the-TV dinners and a whole lot of going with the flow. Noted.
Burlington got the AdoptaClassroom.com ball rolling and donated $100,000 to New York schools. If you want to help, consider making a contribution to the foundation before August 17.