Phaedra Parks talks divorce, dating, and why she wants her kids to just be kids

“You only have a small window to be a child,” says reality star and mother of two, Phaedra Parks.

(L-R) Ayden Nida, Phaedra Parks, and Dylan Nida attend a special Atlanta screening of 'PAW Patrol: The Movie' hosted by Phaedra Parks at Regal Atlantic Station on August 15, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Derek White/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)

When it comes to her two sons Ayden, 13, and Dylan,10, reality star Phaedra Parks does not want them to grow up too fast. During an appearance at the Beverly Hills Rejuvenation Clinic opening in California, Parks shared how she’s handling her sons’ stepping into their teenage years. 

“These kids are so different from us. They’re moving at an incredible speed because of social media,” she told People magazine. “But I try to explain to them, ‘You have your whole life to do all of these things, but you only have a small window to be a child and be carefree.’”

Wanting them to bask in their childhood, the former “Married to Medicine” and “Traitors” star emphasizes to her sons that this is a time when she’s “footing the bill” for their luxurious lifestyle. Despite having raised Ayden and Dylan in the public eye with her ex-husband, Apollo Nida, Parks is proud of the way her sons turned out. 

“I’ve raised two very good boys,” she said. “I’m a very traditional Black mother, so I’m a strong disciplinary — I don’t take any junk. What I say is what I say and I mean what I say when I say it. So I’m very old school with my parenting.” 

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In addition to adopting a strict parenting style, Parks says her confidence also plays an integral part in raising her two boys. 

“I believe [in raising] a child in the way it should go, and it will not depart. Even when you depart from them, they still know those good principles that you taught them. So I don’t really worry about them,” she added, sharing the philosophy she follows. “I know that [I’ve] been raising a good, strong family and they know I’m watching them even when I’m in California, honey. I got eyes in Georgia.”

Though she believes her sons will carry the lessons she’s taught them no matter where they are, Parks knows firsthand the impact certain environments can have on a person. Parks and her family stepped into stardom in 2010 when she joined “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” During her time on the show, Parks not only faced drama with her castmates but also with her then-husband Nida, who pled guilty to fraud and served eight years in prison in 2014. Since leaving the “Real Housewives” franchise, the star has not only moved on to other television ventures but also divorced Nida. 

“I think you can be aged by your surroundings,” she told People magazine, explaining her sense of peace. “Being on terrible shows with terrible women, being in terrible marriages that will age you. So once I got off a terrible show and got out of a terrible marriage and had my wonderful children … I could focus on myself and not all the bulls—.”