How the mom of two is using Paula Deen's scandal to educate her kids.
Paula Deen's tearful and "heartbroken" apology this morning on The Today Show left everyone buzzing about the Southern belle's authenticity, and whether or not she's deserving of such a public—and pricey!—backlash.
Mom to son Jax and daughter Ella Rae, The Real Housewives of New York's Heather Thomson is using Paula's bad press to address these social issues at home with her young children. Here, she shares with YourTango her opinion on the controversy, offers her best love and parenting advice, and teases what's to come when Ramona & Co. return next season!
YourTango: How did you explain [Paula's language] to them?
Heather Thomson: I said that people that talk like that are uneducated and naïve to the world around them. There are words out there that you can use and say, but you have to be educated and not naïve to what and where we've been. Our history makes us and our future molds us. That's how I told it to them. That's not a word that we use here.
YourTango: What's the best parenting advice you've ever received?
Heather Thomson: Be honest with your children, and I don't treat my children like five and eight year olds. I treat them like I'm raising adults. I'm not raising children; I'm raising adults. I don't like telling them things that are over their heads, but I talk to them very realistically about the world. And they're New York City kids, so they hear all kinds of things. I give them an opportunity to have their own opinions and share them very early on.
YourTango: Do you have any parenting advice for Kate Middleton?
Heather Thomson: Oh my goodness. I would say, hands on, baby, hands on.
YourTango: What's the best love advice you've ever received?
Heather Thomson: Well, it's one of the oldest. It really is paradoxical, but it's true: You just can't go to bed mad. You have to make up, because there's only one alternative, and that alternative is not being together. So, my husband and I always decide we might as well make up, whether we agree to disagree or not. We understand we are individuals and that together we're unbelievably powerful and that we have a family that is the most important thing, and that I wouldn't trade him for the world. So, love is about give and take, and love is about understanding that you're individuals and together as a couple, you're the strongest there ever is if you're in the right couple.
YourTango: Talk to us about Real Housewives of New York. Who are you getting along with best this season?
Heather Thomson: Carole Radziwill. 100 percent. Everyday, all day long.
YourTango: Best friends?
Heather Thomson: She's my buddy.
YourTango: What do you guys do together, off the show?
Heather Thomson: Everything. We talk on the phone, we dine, we check out museums, we do everything. She is truly, 100 percent, one of my best friends in the world.
YourTango: I know you don't go to bed mad at your husband, but which of the women are you going to bed mad at?
Heather Thomson: Not LuAnn, not Sonja, not Ramona. [Editor's note: So Aviva?]
YourTango: What can we expect?
Heather Thomson: I think it's really going to be a really interesting season, because last season was a lot of getting to know you stuff. It took us four months to get into the root of any issues that we had, which the viewers love, unfortunately. So, I think it's zero to sixty this season, and I think it'll take us four weeks to get into the sh*t that you all crave.
YourTango: Last season you shared Jax's story about needing a liver transplant at six months old. Tell us about your work promoting organ donation.
Heather Thomson: I learned when Jax had his liver transplant how freaked out people were about it. They think if you're halfway dead on the table, they will kill you to take your organs to give to someone else. I mean it's just ridiculous the things that people think ... If you, in your death, can give life to someone else, why the hell wouldn't you? I mean, I practice Judaism. It's the biggest mitzvah you could ever, ever do. There's no religious bullsh*t about organ donation. [Editor's note: After Jax's surgery, Heather and her husband began working with The Kellner Pediatric Liver Foundation. On June 25, Karen Karch Fine Jewelry Boutique celebrated Heather's charitable work.] We save babies who need livers. We get them the transplant. We pay for the transplant. We pay for their medicine. We make sure that their lives aren't snuffed out and their families' lives aren't ruined because they lost a child ... I never ever, ever, ever want a mother to be in our situation where they can't help their kid. So, that's what the Kellner Pediatric Liver Foundation is about.
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