How Former NFL Star Victor Cruz Talks to Daughter, 8, About Racism: "Being Honest Is the Best"
Cruz, who is Afro-Latino with Puerto Rican roots, prioritizes teaching his daughter about her racial and cultural backgrounds, as well as sharing stories about his childhood in the hopes that it will help "instill that same resiliency" in his daughter that he had growing up.
"We constantly speak to her in Spanish," he tells Parents Latina. "She's in a language-immersion school because we want to make sure she's fluent. We're making a concerted effort to raise her to be bilingual and multicultural so she's always in touch with her roots."
The former Pop of the Morning co-host also strives to ensure Kennedy stays grounded by bringing her to his hometown of Paterson, New Jersey — which they live "17 minutes" away from now — to "help her understand that we've come a long way."
"It's her job now to take it further," the athlete says. "Last November, we volunteered at a homeless shelter in Paterson during Thanksgiving. I plan on doing that every year so she can see how important it is to take care of our communities."
While Cruz admits his daughter "absolutely reminds [him] of [himself]" as a child — namely, "energetic, always the life of the party and smart," with the same laugh — the father of one wants her to be her own person.
"We have tons of inside jokes and code names for things. Kennedy isn't shy about anything, and I love that. She takes my personality and ramps it up two notches. But I want her to be herself, whatever she wants to be, and I always encourage that," he says.
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