Cynthia's Parenting Advice

Cynthia shares her approach to raising a teenager.

Hello everyone! Hope you guys enjoyed another drama-filled episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta! Let's jump right in!

This blog is for all the mothers that are raising young daughters. I had Noelle when I was 32 years old, and she is my only child by birth. She was raised by me and her father (Leon) in New York City all of her life until we moved to Atlanta five years ago. She grew up going on play dates with her friends (boys and girls) since she was a baby. I am very close to my daughter, and I have always encouraged her to talk to me about anything and everything. I believe that as long as I keep the lines of communication open with her, I will always be able to give her proper direction, protection, and guidance.

How time flies! My 14-year-old Noelle is now in high school, and as expected she is starting to be curious about boys. This is no big surprise to me as I went through the same thing at her age. However, the world I lived in then is not the same world I live in now. The Internet and social media have changed the game. Noelle has access to information that I never had access to as a teenager. I can monitor and try to control it, but through friends and school, information always finds its way to her eyes and ears. It's my job as her mother to protect her, but I also have to know when to lengthen the leash. Not take the leash off, just lengthen it a bit! I think that when you shelter your kids too much, they become very overwhelmed when they finally get a taste of freedom! There has to be a balance. You have to protect your kids, but you also have to slowly allow them to grow up. I have been laying down the foundation for years for Noelle to be to be the smart, caring, well spoken, cultured, loving person that she is. She makes very good grades and has always graduated with honors. Academically, she tests and interviews extremely well and has been accepted to every school that she has ever applied for. Although I wish sometimes I could (LOL!), I cannot go to school with my child. I can't go to parties with my child, and I cannot control whom my child associates with at school. I have to trust and believe that she is capable of making smart choices and will come to me when she needs me.

Having a child is easy, raising one is not. I don't believe in folks telling other folks how to raise their children. Every child is their own individual, and what works for one may not work for the other. I am raising Noelle with strong, loving, firm hands that will always push her toward the direction of greatness, and be there catch her when she falls. I have been 14-years-old, and I am a daughter.

My mother gave birth to me at the young age of 18 and my sister Mal 11 months later. My mother is 1 of 13 children so she never received the "mommy-daughter time" from her mother that I cherish so much with Noelle. She never received any one-on-one attention, support, encouragement, education, or guidance from her mother. My grandmother had 13 mouths to feed and 13 bodies to clothe. My mother was on her own to figure things out for herself. Her job was to work and take care of us. I have no memory of a lot of hugging and kissing. Like with her own mother, there was no real mother-daughter communication, and outside of keeping a roof over my head and food on my plate, my mother didn't have the time or energy to focus on my day to day. There was no talk about the birds and the bees. There was no driving me back and forth to school or asking me how my day was. The talk was: Do good in school and don't get pregnant. Period! There was no in between, and I did what I was told and didn't question any of it. I also did what every other fast butt girl my age did -- I would sneak around behind my mothers back. I often found myself in harms way, and in situations that I had no business being in. I was young and ignorant to the ways of the world, and to people who would not think twice about hurting me. When I look back on my teen years, I believe had my mother had time to talk to me, explain things to me, and show me things, it would have taken all the sensationalism out of sneaking around trying to learn things for myself. I cannot afford to make the same mistake with Noelle.

Kenya, Phaedra, and Apollo:
Get to the bottom of this texting thing, and let's move on. We all can agree that it’s not cool to be texting back and forth with other folks’ men, especially when you are not on friendly (or in this case speaking) terms with them.

Again, focus on the bright future that you have ahead of you. Be mindful of the things you say and put out to the world. Slinging mud is easy, taking the high road is clearly a character choice.

Please send out prayers and love to my sister NeNe. She has had some recent health issues, and we are all wishing her a speedy recovery.

Thanks for watching. Tune in every Sunday at 8/7c. Only on Bravo!

Love you guys, Cynthia order your Cynthia Bailey doll:


To order your copy of our book Carry-On Baggage:


Coffee lovers, check out Peter's Brew. Amazing coffee sold exclusively at

You May Also Like...

Recommended by Zergnet