Dulé Hill, Jazmyn Simon put their wholesome parenting goodness into a children’s book
Following up her 2022 book “The Most Perfect You,” which was inspired by conversations with her daughter, Simon and “The Wonder Years” star are bringing their co-parenting and co-authoring energy to the pages of “Repeat After Me: Big Things to Say Every Day,” illustrated by Shamar Knight-Justice.
“Book Birthday Alert,” Hill and Simon posted together Tuesday on Instagram. “Today is a very special day in the Hill House as REPEAT AFTER ME: Big Things to Say Everyday is OUT! This book has a very special place in our heart! Like most things, it was inspired by our children. Our hope is that at least one child can walk forward boldly knowing the truth about who and what they are! We hope you love it as much as we loved writing it.”
The book tells children about “the magic of self-love and standing firm, regardless of outside voices and doubt,” encouraging them to believe in themselves, according to publisher Penguin Random House. It features affirmations such as “I am important,” “I am loved” and “I am enough” that Simon says shaped how her 18-year-old daughter Kennedy sees herself.
“She knows that outside of everybody else, this is who I am, and I’ve heard this for 16 years,” Simon told Yahoo! Life.
Dulé Hill has 20 solid years on TV — an indelible, Emmy-nominated turn as presidential aide Charlie Young on the NBC drama “The West Wing,” the role of Gus Guster on USA’s lighthearted hit “Psych,” two seasons on HBO’s “Ballers” and now USA’s legal series “Suits.”
When Kennedy graduated from high school, Simon asked if there was anything about herself that she didn’t like and encouraged her to talk about it. But Kennedy, who is now wrapping up her freshmen year at Northwestern University, said there was nothing she would change.
“’[Kennedy said] There’s things that, you know, I obviously didn’t love about myself growing up, but as a young adult, there’s nothing that I would change about myself,’” Simon said. “And I would say that those affirmations got her to that point, because there’s so many things in the world for our young people to want, to aspire to be something else, to look different, to sound different, to dress different. And she just doesn’t. She’s OK and she loves herself. And I think the first-person affirmations truly helped her get to where she’s at.”
Self-affirmation is any behavior that confirms the moral and adaptive adequacy of the self, according to the American Psychological Assn. Positive affirmations are statements about the self that reinforce positive characteristics, abilities or skills and are frequently used in psychotherapy, usually as part of a treatment for depression, negative thinking or low self-esteem. The long-held practice went viral on social media earlier this year when Snoop Dogg released “The Affirmation Song,” a nursery rhyme-inspired recitation that featured the rapper as the animated, kid-friendly dog Bow Wizzle.
Karamo Brown preached from a doctrine of social work and psychotherapy Sunday morning, making the L.A.
Simon, who was a single mom to Kennedy before meeting Hill, also said that co-parenting has been a struggle for her. Over time, however, she and Hill have found a balance to benefit their two children, especially while parenting their young son Levi, who is almost 4. (The couple wed in 2018 and Hill adopted Kennedy that same year — when she asked him to.)
“In a partnership, though, I can’t discount Dulé. And so I have to remind myself that it’s not his fault that I was a single parent and that his opinion adds value to our children’s lives,” she said. “Now, I feel like I did a really great job with Kennedy — I’m like, ‘I did a great job ... I am Wonder Woman’ — and so my first instinct is to do that with Levi, to, like, steamroll ahead and do all the things that worked with Kennedy. But it just doesn’t work that way, because we have a two-parent home now.”
Hill, a former child actor who toured with “The Tap Dance Kid,” told Yahoo that he received plenty of positive feedback at a young age and has worked on supporting his children’s interests without trying to mold them into who he thinks they should be.
“I just think it’s important to instill that in children that you don’t need to have all the answers right now,” the Emmy-nominated “West Wing” star said. “You don’t need to be forced to do any one particular thing. You can really see where your passions lead you and then let the world take you there,” he said.
Sign up for our Book Club newsletter
Get the latest news, events and more from the Los Angeles Times Book Club, and help us get L.A. reading and talking.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.