Kendra Wilkinson Baskett walks a fine line when it comes to parenting her children.
The always-living-out-loud former Playboy model and current Kendra on Top star knows Hank Jr., 7, and Alijah, 3, need to be just that — children — but that doesn’t mean she will ever coddle them.
“The one thing I can honestly say is that my kids, we protect their childhood with everything we’ve got,” she tells PEOPLE of her once-turbulent marriage to her kids’ dad Hank Baskett, 34. “If Hank and I want to fight and battle it out, we’re going to another room all the way across and we’re going to battle it out.”
Still, she says, “At the end of the day, I’m not going to hide anything. I’m very upfront. My kid has questions now … and it’s life and if he wants to know reality, then I’m going to give him reality — I’m not going to sugarcoat anything, That’s just the way I live.”
Wilkinson, 32, says her son “loves” this blunt approach and continues, “That’s how we’re gonna work through our lives. I’m here to listen to him and talk to him and my daughter. They’re just the most amazing kids and they’re ready, you know, they’re happy, they’re very fulfilled as children. They’ve got their childhood. They’re living like children. They dress like children. They have minds like children, but they’re very advanced for their age when it comes to just understanding life and understanding reality.”
Part of that reality has included a brief relocation to Las Vegas, where Wilkinson has been starring in the risqué show Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man. And while Sin City has gotten more kid-friendly over time, Little Hank and Alijah are definitely getting an eyeful.
“So, you know, we’re driving around Vegas and my kids look up and see the biggest billboard with my face on it with the word ‘Sex’ attached to it, and I have no shame,” says Wilkinson. “We don’t hide life from them. We have no shame when it comes to life and what they’re about to see. They’re so happy because of that. There are some kids that are so shielded and it’s like that’s their thing, but I don’t shield my kids.”
And the former Girls Next Door star’s protective but open attitude extends to her formerly estranged dad, Eric, who she welcomed — despite the disapproval of her mother Patti — to join the whole family in Vegas for her big debut.
“I just reunited with my dad after 20 years, and I’m highly protective of him because he wants everything positive. He wants to move forward and I do, too,” she says. “I love my dad with all my heart and he’s a great grandpa. They’re are a part of my life. I love ’em to death.”
Kendra on Top wraps its current season Friday at 9 p.m. ET on WE tv.