Gage Edward and Jeff Lewis are currently engaged in a custody battle over 3-year-old daughter Monroe

By Ally Mauch and Dave Quinn
April 18, 2020 01:30 PM
Advertisement
Credit: Gage Edward/Instagram

Gage Edward is opening up about how he is parenting his 3-year-old daughter Monroe as a single father.

Edward gave a rare public address during an Instagram Live on Friday amid his tumultuous custody battle with ex Jeff Lewis and discussed his relationship with Monroe, sharing that it’s “an amazing thing to watch” her learn and grow.

“I think it’s just interesting to watch how a kid learns. I think that Monroe’s smart,” the former Flipping Out star, 35, said. “Everybody’s parent says their kids are the smartest, but I think it’s just fascinating to see how they learn.”

“She’s both funny and very smart,” Edward continued, sharing that though they “have a lot of fun” he often serves as “the disciplinarian.”

“I look at certain things that happen that I think there’s just a matter of having structure or no structure,” he said. “The grown-ups and teachers and parents and her nannies who help her, she needs to know we make the rules, and I explain it to her as an adult. You know, ‘we do this to try to help you to make you a stronger girl and to give set rules and boundaries’ and all that, so I guess it’s kind of where I come from with parenting.”

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories

Credit: Jeff Lewis/Instagram

“Whether that’ s good or bad, I think you figure it out when you go,” Edward added. “I think everybody parent-shames and brings things up where you don’t really know until you’re in the situation. Just use your intuition to figure it out.”

The former Bravo star also told fans about the quality time he gets to spend with Monroe, sharing their morning routine.

“Every morning, I have coffee and she’ll have water and we talk about any dreams she had or anything else,” he said. “She’s super sweet. She’ll come up out of nowhere and she’ll whisper, ‘Can I tell you something? Daddy, I love you.’ And it melts my heart. Melts my heart.”

Edward and Lewis, 50, broke up in January 2019 after 10 years of dating and originally operated on a temporary custody agreement while they worked out a formal arrangement in private mediation. The exes are currently awaiting a court date to determine their final custody agreement over Monroe.

Credit: Gage Edwards/Instagram

In February, Edward filed a lawsuit against Lewis asking for equal shared custody of their daughter, as well as a request to change her name from Monroe Christine Lewis to Monroe Christine Edward Lewis.

Edward is also suing Lewis for a return payment of $125,000 that he said he previously loaned Lewis back in 2016. Lewis has acknowledged “that there is a loan,” but he disputes the amount.

Lewis has resisted Edward’s 50/50 custody proposal, citing the fact that Monroe is “biologically” his child on his SiriusXM radio show Jeff Lewis Live in early March.

Credit: Jeff Lewis/Instagram

“She’s biologically my child,” Lewis said of Monroe, who was born via surrogate in 2016. “I just think that complicates things.”

Though Lewis often speaks out about the custody battle on his show, Edward told fans on Friday that he doesn’t want to hinder Monroe’s relationship with Lewis.

“I don’t think addressing anything, even though it’s been addressed from the other side, I don’t ever want to put Monroe in that position,” Edward said. “She’s going to have her own experience with her other dad. I’m not going to weigh in on it and I’m not going to influence it. I’ll never put her in that spot.”