Idina Menzel Says Co-Parenting with Ex Taye Diggs Is All About Putting Son Walker ‘First’

10/04/2016 at 05:15 PM ET

Idina Menzel

Idina Menzel and ex-husband Taye Diggs have found a perfect harmony when it comes to raising their son — separately but together.

“Your child comes first, that’s all,” Menzel, 45, tells PEOPLE Now. “It’s all about that.”

The former couple — who split in 2013 — share Walker Nathaniel, 7.

“He comes first and you have to get past your own egos and you never talk bad about each other,” explains Menzel — who just released a full-length album, idina — of the formula for parental harmony.

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Diggs previously told PEOPLE that Walker is his and Menzel’s “main objective.”

“He’s what’s most important for us, so we’re still there as a family,” Diggs explained at the time, adding of Menzel, “We were friends to start out with, but especially when you have a kid in the mix, there’s no time for any negativity.”

A post shared by Taye Diggs (@tayediggsinsta) on

Menzel also talks to PEOPLE Now about how to educate her son on current events — like the police shootings across the country.

“It’s hard to know what’s age-appropriate as far as educating your child and how much to teach him about what’s out there, and that there are bad people out there and there are people who don’t like other people,” the star explains. “You want to keep him insulated and safe and not ruin his perspective of the world.”

— Lindsay Kimble

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Showing 5 comments

Brooke on

Nope…NOPE. Still not over the fact they are divorced

TryThinking1956 on

Idina – although I love her – make the mistake a lot of white parents of Black children make, which is to ignore the reality that in THIS country, the police and society at large won’t see Walker as a “bi-racial person”, but as a young, Black man. She shouldn’t scare him, or disillusion him, of course, but at 7…he will begin to encounter racism soon enough and should be prepared for it. I wish all of these parents would think about this very, very primal component of raising a minority child in the United States. That no matter how wealthy or well known our parents may be, out there in the public – we must remain vigilant in order to maintain our safety. It’s never too early for that.

uuummm on

I don’t think anything she says in this article implies that she’s ignoring the reality that black men face in our country. My hope is that parents – regardless of their color – talk to their children about racism at an early age and maintain that dialogue as their children grow. It shouldn’t just be parents of minority children who are responsible for educating their kids about this huge and disturbing reality of our nation.

Angel on

As a mom, it’s her decision to determine what is appropriate for her son. I applaud her for recognizing that she needs to talk to him about race relations in this country. I don’t know much about her parenting style but Taye Diggs says his son is “mixed race” and not black. While I understand his reasoning (e.g., he doesn’t want to ignore Idina’s heritage), he is ignoring reality. His son will be treated as a black man. Until Taye recognizes that, he should continue to let Idina run the show. She seems to be aware of what’s going on in the world and that is going to affect her son. Taye Diggs doesn’t. By ignoring reality, he is setting his son up for failure, or even worse, death. Surely, Indina is a better parent than he is.

Jen on