New York Giants wide receiver, Victor Cruz, is beloved for many reasons—his athletic skills, his salsa moves on the field, and his charismatic personality, just to name a few. But since the birth of his daughter, Kennedy, in January of this year, Cruz has been focused on the hardest role of all: being a dad.

Now with the publication of his new memoir, Out of the Blue, the Puerto Rican footballer has opened up about the traditions he hopes to pass on to his child and what he has learned since having a child. Here, 5 noteworthy parenting lessons you can learn from Cruz (and his own mom!):

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  1. Teach your kids to speak another language. Cruz himself is fluent in Spanish and he intends to make sure his daughter is as comfortable with the language as he is. "These young Latino kids are not learning Spanish because their parents are already so Americanized," he told the Huffington Post. "I definitely want to teach my daughter Spanish."
  2. Encourage your children to embrace their culture. Being half African-American and half Puerto Rican, Cruz grew up learning about both sides of his background and he wants Kennedy to do the same. "I want her to understand the food, culture and visit Puerto Rico. Particularly visit these different areas that really shaped me as a kid because that's where my grandmother is from," he said.
  3. Be strict when you have to be. It's important to strike a balance between having a great relationship with your child and being an authority figure. Cruz says his own mother was "very stern, as well as loving and caring" and that she "never took no for an answer." Sounds like a great mamá Latina to me!
  4. Learn from your past. If there's something that you would have wanted to change about your own childhood or other experiences, make sure you change it in your approach to parenting. Cruz says growing up he relied on Mom, but he often wished his dad was around too. With his own child, he says, he just wants to "give her some stability."  
  5. Never let your kids give up. With his new book, Cruz wants to tell teens to "stay focused" and use his story as inspiration, a lesson he'll surely be passing on to his own child. "Know that no matter what goes wrong throughout your life that you can get through it," he said. "Know that I walked in those same streets, in those same places that you did. If I can make it out of there, then you can too." Wise words that anyone -- parents and children -- can learn from!

Do you take the same approach to parenting as Cruz? What lessons would you add to his? Tell us in the comments below!

Image via Getty Images

About the author

Michelle Regalado is a Staff Writer at MamásLatinas. She loves reading, travel, pop culture, and writing about anything and everything.

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