Rosario Dawson made her acting debut at 16 in Kids, the movie that scared many people away from having children — at least temporarily — knowing they might one day be unruly teenagers. Now that the actress is herself the mother of a 17-year-old girl, she’s got no regrets about being a mom, but she told Women’s Health that she can only do it with help.
“[S]he was a very whole person,” Dawson said of daughter Isabella “Lola” Dawson when she was adopted at age 11. To make sure they have a healthy relationship, mother and daughter see a family therapist together.
“We’re building up trust even still,” she told WH.
In addition to therapy, Dawson’s other top parenting tip is to go phone free. She said Lola doesn’t have a cell phone and stays away from social media (even though Dawson does post the occasional photo or video of her).
“I think it would have been difficult to bond so late in her life, and in our lives together, if we’d had technology between us,” said Dawson, who is starring in the new USA show Briarpatch. “My daughter looks me in the eye, and we talk to each other. I think that’s important.”
Dawson added that she has been taking care of herself better too, which she thinks is important for her daughter to see. This means meditating, dancing in her house, and going for hikes with friends. She came to this realization after her dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year. Despite her busy career and the whirlwind of dating New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, she had to slow down and enjoy more of her life. And she thinks Lola is taking note.
“Kids don’t listen to you; they emulate you,” she said. “I was always looking around the corner, wondering when my life was going to properly start. I’m in a different space to enjoy it now. I need to model that.”