Would you ever want your 7-year-old daughter, Sy’rai, to get into the entertainment business?
“If that was something that she really wanted to do — like the way I was passionate about it when I was her age — then of course I would support her completely. But if it were my choice, I’d keep her out of it as long as I could”
She never featured on the show, right?
“No, she’s not. That’s strictly because her father and I felt it was best for her to have as much of a normal life as possible. Of course, you’ve seen her on one episode on ‘For the Love of Ray J,’ but it wasn’t every day. You didn’t see her going to school, me combing her hair, or any aspect of our private, intimate moments, which sort of sucks because our relationship is so beautiful. I love being a mom and I’m raising her in a different way than how I was raised. Some things that my mom did with me, I do with my daughter — it’s just a different dynamic. I would love for people to see how I’m doing it because I think I could be a good example of a young, single mom.”
What are you doing differently?
“A lot of mothers feel like they’re the mom first, with that authority. But for me, I’m a friend first. I believe that just being there for my daughter as a friend more than ‘I’m in charge…’ causes her to be more open with me as a person. That’s just what our relationship is. Of course, there are times when I have to discipline her — I’m mom. But there’s still that nurturing and love there that we have. I know I’ll probably get flack for being a friend first, but it really works. She’s really honest with me. I’m just teaching her how to trust herself. I tell her all the time that my life is not your life — you have your own life. At the end of the day we’re going to be friends. When she grows up, it’ll be about that friendship that we’ll have. She’ll come to me for any problems that she has. If I have an authoritative wall up, she’s going to rebel and not come to me and I don’t want that.”