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The Mom Quiz: Vanessa Williams: 'My Kids Come First'

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The one thing my mother did that I swore I never would do is …

Judge my kids’ boyfriends or girlfriends. There have been a couple where I have bitten my lip, but I let them figure it out themselves.

The best family tradition I’ve started with my kids is …

When they turn 16, they can have a Sweet 16 or go anywhere in the world with me. Melanie and I went to Brazil, and Devin and I went to Japan. Jillian had a huge party at a country club. Sasha has five more years to go.

I feel like a good mom when I …

Have all the kids together in one spot, whether it’s on vacation or home for the holidays.

The best rule in our house is …

No name calling. There’s no “stupid” or “idiot” or “shut up, you moron.” Also, no door slamming. When I slammed a door, my dad took the door off the hinges. He said, “Do it one more time and the door is going to go.” I did, and boom: It was gone.

When I need a time-out, I …

Do my crossword puzzles. It’s my morning ritual. I started out with The New York Times, and now I’m obsessed! I usually sit outside in the sun with a cup of tea. They know not to bug me.

I love it when my kids …

Perform. Whether it’s a solo in a choral piece, Devin playing his sax, Jillian or Melanie dancing-even before they get onstage, I’m already tearing up.