Nia Long Shares Co-Parenting Advice: 'Put the Child First'

The actress shares why it's important she maintains a relationship with her ex.

Posted: 07/03/2014 12:30 PM EDT
Nia Long, son Massai

Nia Long is not just a busy mama, but a smart one, too. The 43-year-old actress is prepping for the debut of her new WE tv series, The Divide, and in a recent interview, she discussed how she and her ex-fiancé co-parent their son Massai.

"Put the child first," Long said. "The child always, always comes first. And agree to disagree on certain things. If you set an example, your child will understand the value in every relationship. It doesn't have to necessarily be a marriage or someone you spend the rest of your life with."

While some exes might have a difficult time getting along or pit their child against one another, Long stressed the importance of setting differences aside and portraying a good example to the child.

"I know one thing that my boy Massai will be able to say is, 'Yeah, my mom and dad may have had their differences, but they liked each other.' He may not be able to articulate that at this time, but I believe when he is an adult, he will say, 'Yeah, they had their moments, but they were cool,'" she said. "His dad comes over to dinner. He's still a part of my family. It may not be traditional, I may not have had seven marriages [like Elizabeth Taylor], but you have to do what works. Not what other people think works for you. Just be liberated. What are we tied down to? We tie ourselves down."

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 (Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

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