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Heidi Klum on Teaching Her Kids Empathy: I Will Tell Them, This Isn’t ‘Something to Be Crying About’

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No one needs to inform Heidi Klum that she is leading a blessed live.

And the 43-year-old mother of four is determined to make certain that the notions of appreciation and philanthropy — and the lessons of humility and empathy that come with them — are not lost on her own children.

“We talk every night,” Klum told PEOPLE Thursday at the 2016 amfAR Inspiration Gala in Los Angeles. “We have dinner every night at 6 o’clock. Today, I’m here, but normally, we do. We cook every night. We sit around the table every night, or for breakfast, [and] for me, that old-fashioned, sitting around and talking about your day I think is very important.”

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It’s not as simple as communicating what she has done with her day that makes these conversations so important, though. It’s also the quiet message of how, busy schedule aside, she can leave the world a better place each day.

It also helps that the Project Runway host has an inherently curious brood, consisting of daughters Lou, 7, and Leni, 12, as well as sons Johan, 9½, and Henry, 11.

“They know what I do. So [they ask], ‘Where were you? What did you do?’ ” she says. “And I tell them. It’s the same when I go to the Children’s Hospital. I tell them what I saw there.”

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Curiosity, empathy, honesty and a thick skin are welcome traits in the Klum household.

“They are very heartfelt, [but] of course, they don’t know what it’s like,” the America’s Got Talent judge points out. “When they’re whining about something, I tell them, like, ‘This is not something to be crying about.’ ”

“I tell them about the children that I see at the hospital that cannot go home. ‘It’s Christmas and you’re at home. And you have all these presents. And they’re in the hospital and they can’t go anywhere.’ I talk to them about it.”