Kyla Pratt on Generational Legacies and Breaking Destructive Patterns as a Proud Mom

The actress, and star of The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder, wants parents to be mindful that breaking patterns of generational trauma is a way to show love to our children.

Actress Kyla Pratt captured our hearts in the 90s as Penny, the star of the animated series The Proud Family, but these days the super mom's heart is captivated by her two daughters, Lyric, 11, and Liyah, 8.

Currently, Pratt is busy with the second season of her new comedy series, Call Me Kat. Pratt says each episode gets better and is thrilled to create a quality show that provides comic relief during a time when so much is going on in the world.

A New Chapter That She's Proud Of

Pratt also completed a new Disney+ project, which drops February 23rd, The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder. A continuation of the acclaimed series, the animated show follows the adventures and misadventures of 14-year-old Penny Proud and her family as they navigate modern life. Pratt credits the success of the original Proud Family to the fact they never shied away from honest conversations on the show.

The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder

"With the reboot, we're doing that again with Louder and Prouder. We've added new characters. EJ Johnson plays Michael, Kiki Palmer who's coming in as Maya, our social activist, with her 'fight the power' ways and protesting to make things happen," says Pratt.

Pratt believes in the power of representation. She says people connected to The Proud Family back in the day because they had never seen an animated Black family on television. The show was relatable. Today, the need for representation in animation and on camera is even greater.

"When you see someone on TV or music or in the media who looks or talks like you or deals with things you deal with, it helps you not feel so alone," says Pratt.

Kyla Pratt
Ben Cope

Establishing Her Legacy by Healing Generational Trauma

Pratt always wanted to be a mom and was even afraid the opportunity would pass her by, regarding parenting expectations. She wanted it badly. The actress was excited with each child and very much frightened. She and her daughters' dad, Danny Kirkpatrick, knew they would be the ones making decisions for their tiny humans and knew those decisions would impact them for the rest of their lives. "I had a lot of anxiety because I wanted to make the best decisions. I was striving for perfection, but as they grew older, I realized there's no such thing. You have to go with the flow! You got this, Kyla," she says.

The bottom line is there's no such thing as perfect parenting. It's impossible to get everything right 100% of the time. The truth is we are all afraid to mess up or look incompetent. And if we parent from that lens, we are creating another generation of anxiety-ridden kids with an unrealistic appetite for overachieving.

Being the person in her family who is committed to the awareness of generational trauma, legacy, and cycles, Pratt decided early on as a parent on what she deemed valuable or harmful when rearing her daughters. She's recognized certain behaviors and patterns she doesn't want to pass down to her kids. Pratt honed in on what she aims to pass down to her children from past generations and what she'll leave in the past.

"Growing up in a country that didn't love you, the energy received during hard times, our great-great-grandparents, great-grandparents, and even our grandparents and some people's parents don't recognize that they're passing down harmful things that are rooted in trauma," Pratt says.

For the Black community, the impact of centuries of unaddressed trauma still manifests today. Being black in America means living with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) caused not only by one's lived experiences but the experiences of our ancestors.

Pratt acknowledges her awareness to create change in her family by putting herself in each generation's shoes. She doesn't want her children to feel intimidated by her. Respect is the key. In the generations before us, many parents took their frustrations out on their children daily. Creating a balance of passing down the good things while evaluating others, and moving away from them, is critical to parenting in the 21st century.

The California native is committed to creating a tight-knit family, encouraging hard conversations. "I'm not forcing my kids to go to anyone's house. I'm not forcing my kids to hug someone. Kids feel the energy, and they don't have to do something they don't feel comfortable doing," Pratt says.

It's all about teaching respect and honoring your children. Never shy away from learning. Ultimately, there are various parenting styles across generations, but remember we have the same end goal in mind. Parents want the best for their children and want to provide a loving and healthy upbringing.

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