One thing that I can say about my childhood, regardless of the challenges that I sometimes faced, is that I was often encouraged by the women in my family to be outspoken, creative and independent. I’ll never forget when my Aunt Vanessa, not even 10 years older than me, made me feel like Maya Angelou about a little 6 line poem that I wrote when I was in high school. She shared it with her boyfriend at the time (now her husband), and went on and on about how talented I was. Here I am, nearly 20 years later, and I can remember exactly how proud I felt that my beautiful aunt noticed me. And that motivation, that interest in empowering my creative spirit, still carries me today. So, how do you empower your little ones?