Dawn Neufeld is an attorney, actress, TV host, and pageant participant. She and her husband, Ryan, have two kids: a daughter, Bryn (7), and son, William (11). Follow Dawn on Twitter at @DawnNeufeld (I do and she has some extremely fun, informative tweets!), on Instagram at @dawnieneufeld, and visit her website www.dawnneufeld.com.
Me: What kind of activities do your children participate in?
DN: My daughter Bryn is a swimmer and she takes gymnastics (I haven't told her she's going to be way too tall for that sport). My son William has autism. He participates in various sports through the Miracle League of Frisco. He also goes to therapy after school every day at Easter Seals.
Me: What's the most challenging thing about being a parent?
DN: The most challenging thing about being a parent is finding balance. You want to be there all of the time for your kids, but mama has to work! And as women, we have a tendency to put our families first and we can neglect ourselves and we suffer for it. I ended up getting pretty sick a couple of years ago and I was later diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. I think stress played a big part in triggering the disease.
Me: What types of technology would you say your kids use most?
DN: Both of my kids have iPads (I don't even own one yet). They use those a lot. Will's iPad has been incredibly helpful and has helped him grow his language. He's also memorized all of the flags from all over the world and their capitols! He also watches videos in other languages on YouTube - every once in a while he'll speak in Hebrew or some other language. Bryn uses her iPad to play Minecraft. She's a little addicted.
We also have XBox Kinect - we've had some mean Just Dance competitions.
Me: Do you have any concerns about your kids technology use, or do you think that it is common nowadays for everyone to be plugged in?
DN: You know, there are those moments when we're sitting out at a restaurant and I look around and everyone is on their phone or iPad - mom and dad included. In those moments, I'd say we're all absolutely too connected. But the reality life happens on technology these days. Kids learn on iPads at school. They communicate on their iPads with their grandparents who live out in California. I think you almost have to be plugged in to stay on top of things, but yes, that can cause us to be a little disconnected from each other. Finding balance is important.
Me: What's the most rewarding thing about being a parent?
DN: For me, it's raising good kids. When Bryn spends the night at a friend's house and the mom tells me how polite and well-behaved my kid was, I know I'm doing something right. I want them to be good human beings - kind, respectful human beings. That's one of my most important jobs.
Me: What sports teams do you and your family cheer for?
DN: When my husband was playing professional football, I used to joke that it was whoever was paying the bills. We live in the Dallas area, so we're big Cowboys fans. We have a special place in our hearts for the Buffalo Bills too - we spent five years there while Ryan was on the team. And I still love my Lakers - I'm from Los Angeles originally, and I'll always be a fan. And we're die-hard Bruin fans - the UCLA Bruins. Ryan and I met there and are college sweethearts. They'll always have our support!