Heidi Klum, star of Project Runway, model, actress, designer and mom dishes on her kids and her parenting style.
Describe your parenting style in one word:
Loving. I had an upbringing that was quite harsh. My dad was very strict and at times very harsh, and I didn’t want to be like that. For me, it’s more reasoning and explaining when they do something wrong, for them to understand. Sometimes, it doesn’t sink in immediately, but I’d rather them learn over time than all at once.
What is one behavioral or physical trait you hope your children didn’t inherit from you?
My ADD maybe, but then again that’s not bad either. It’s hard for me sometimes to focus when I do things, it’s like I’m doing one thing, then I’m on the Internet, on the phone at the same time, and then someone walks in with a question.
What was the best piece of parenting advice you ever received?
To kind of roll with the flow. Our house is full of life, laughter, and mayhem. Every dinnertime something spills. Or they are wearing uniforms for school, and when we have breakfast in the morning, food gets all over their hands. You can tell them a thousand times “Do not wipe it on your pants,” and sure enough they wipe it on their pants. But that’s when you roll with it. My house is not like a museum. You can see that children live there. It’s their house as much as mine.
What’s your favorite pick-me-up when you’re tired?
I don’t have one. I just sleep. A lot of the time I will sleep when the kids go to sleep. My whole lifestyle has changed with children, even though I never really partied or went out a lot. I was never that person, so it didn’t change the older I got. It got worse I think. So when they go to bed, a lot of times I fall asleep with them in the bed, or they all come in the bed with me, (which I like to do a lot). Sometimes I fall sleep and they are still watching Umizoomi or whatever!
What’s your favorite piece from your new ‘Truly Scrumptious’ collection launching at Babies R’ US?
I love all of the jackets, but the pink satin military jacket is my favorite. Leni would love it.
Name the one mom essential you couldn’t live without:
Schedule. You have to schedule. When you have four kids especially, they all have different things that they like to do, different friends, and different interests. So, to make sure that they all get what they individually deserve, you have to make sure that they get it.
What inspires you when you are designing?
My children, the fashion industry, and a lot of mixed patterns. You know when you see flower print with leopard mixed together? These kind of wilder things, like polka dots and stripes. I don’t know if you remember Mondo from last year’s Project Runway, he’s very good at putting patterns together that you normally wouldn’t see together, he would put them together and they would just blend in amazingly. You have to have a feel for that, and he did. I tried to do that a little bit with some of the toys. For example, the little dinosaurs, they have polka dot legs with a striped body. You can do it, if you keep the colors similar. We did it with rugs and some other items.
What’s the most important thing to keep in mind while dressing a baby bump?
Comfort, but for me I always like to be sexy. Sometimes it would be the most form-fitting dress, where it’s completely tight, I love that feel. Sometimes I loved wearing like a muumuu with a crazy print on it. It always depends on how you feel.
Do your kids dress themselves? Do they have individual styles?
Themselves. I have bought them things; it doesn’t work. They want what they want--especially my son Henry; he is so into fashion. Sometimes, they come down with the most unusual, strange, things. Henry, for example, would wear a Lakers t-shirt with a tie over it. Or a t-shirt with jeans and then he will put a belt over the t-shirt. I don’t know why. He wanted to have a mohawk because he saw someone who had a mohawk. So I said okay and buzzed it; I buzzed all of his hair. Then he wanted it blond, so my mom and I bleached it. Then a month later, he wanted it all off, and now he has it off.
Johan usually wants to do whatever Henry does, like when he buzzed his hair all the way off, he wanted it too. It has been hard, you have to learn [how to manage] this type of hair, with different products, and combing everyday; it’s a lot of work. It was four years of growing his hair, and caring for it, and then he’s like, “Okay, now, Mama, I want my hair off too! Henry has it off.” I don’t like to push my kids into something that I want. I want them to be growing into themselves, instead of me pushing. So we shaved it all off. I kept it, and then we made art with the hair, which was fun.
What job would you say has been the most difficult: model, actress, television host, spokesperson, designer, or mom?
Being a mom is the hardest. With things in business, if something goes wrong, it goes wrong. You don’t want to mess up with your children. That is something that you can never take back. My kids are not allowed to walk in the street without holding hands. I’m very strict with safety.