Mark Zuckerberg Took Parental Leave When Priscilla Chan Had Their Second Baby. They Don’t Overindulge Their Kids and Teach Them to Do the Dishes
The founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, and pediatrician Priscilla Chan met back when they were students at a party at Harvard University in 2003. In 2010, they started living together, and in 2012, they got married and focused on creating a big family. Now, aside from developing social media, Mark and Priscilla have 2 big projects in their lives: charity and raising their daughters. As parents, Mark and Priscilla are trying to raise their kids to be curious and hardworking people.
Mark and Priscilla are raising 2 children.
Mark and Priscilla welcomed their first daughter, Maxima, on December 1, 2015. Her birth also marked the start of the couple’s charitable mission. In honor of their daughter, they created the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, through which they plan to donate 99% of their wealth to various causes, including improving education and curing diseases. One and a half years later, in March 2017, the couple announced that they were expecting their second child. On August 28, 2017, Mark and Priscilla had another daughter named August.
Mark takes fatherhood seriously and does not try to shift all childcare responsibilities onto his wife’s shoulders. When Maxima was born, he spent several months with the family taking care of their newborn daughter. And before the arrival of August, he even announced that he was going on parental leave. His company offers this option and is willing to fully pay their employees for 4 months of leave for pregnancy, childbirth, and fatherhood. “I’ll take a month off to be with Priscilla and the girls at the beginning, and then we’ll spend the whole month of December together as well,” Mark commented.
They announced they are expecting a third child.
In September 2022, Mark and his wife shared the news that they are expecting their third child and even know the gender. Mark wrote on social media, “Happy to share that Max and August are getting a new baby sister next year.” Symbolically, the new addition to the family coincided with the 10-year anniversary of Mark and Priscilla’s wedding, which the Facebook founder also congratulated his beloved wife on. “10 years married and half our lives together,” the happy husband commented.
They’re trying to raise their children with their own values.
It’s not a coincidence that Mark and Priscilla’s charitable initiative began at the time of the birth of their first daughter. Zuckerberg once shared that he understands very well how his public status can influence how his daughters think of him as they grow up. Therefore, his family constantly motivates him to be better and make a difference in the world.
During Priscilla’s pregnancy, the couple often thought about their dreams and the world in which their children would grow up. They came to the conclusion that they wanted to help improve education and healthcare systems. However, if they constantly put off their aspirations, their children would not see any changes when they go to school. This is what motivated Mark and Priscilla to start their charitable mission.
They are seriously invested in their daughters’ education.
Mark and Priscilla want their kids to speak several languages, and they’re using modern tech to achieve it. So, in December 2016, Mark spoke about his new AI assistant Jarvis, named after the Marvel Universe character. He helps Mark and Priscilla not only to control their home, but also teach their daughter Maxima Mandarin. The app starts speaking it every time the girl enters the room.
According to Priscilla, she and Mark equally divide their parental duties. For example, her husband is responsible for putting the kids to bed. “Sometimes they will read books together. Sometimes they’ll code together,” she explained and noted that there are many effective and good ways to teach kids to write code. She added, “Mark has been doing that with August since she turned three.”
They flexibly limit their kids’ screen time.
When it comes to managing the screen time for their daughters, Mark and Priscilla follow a simple rule. They limit the time they can watch TV and play the computer, but they can still use technology to stay in touch with their family.
“I let my kids use that to communicate with my parents so they can stay in touch with their grandparents easily, their aunts who live across the country,” shared Mark. “If our daughters want to video chat with their cousins or their grandparents, I think that’s wonderful and I think all the research would generally support that,” he added.
They teach their kids to love labor.
Mark and Priscilla try to do household chores themselves so that their children grow up in an environment where cleaning and cooking are an integral part of everyday life. “We don’t give them everything. They also just have responsibilities,” says Mark, sharing a video of the whole family washing dishes after dinner. August, together with her mother, sorts dirty dishes in the sink, and then hands them over to Maxima to load into the dishwasher.
This is how they finish the day: while putting their daughters to bed, the parents discuss how their day went. They ask the girls how they felt, how their friends are doing, and what they did to help others. These and other childrearing principles allow Mark and Priscilla to raise their children unspoiled, despite their incredible wealth.