Why Donald Trump Insists He and Melania Have No Nannies for Barron: 'If You Have Too Much Help, You Don't Get to Know Your Children'

Donald and Melania Trump tell PEOPLE their philosophy on hiring help for childcare

Photo: Joe Pugliese

In their first family interview, Donald Trump and his wife Melania open up about raising their son Barron and their hopes for the White House. Subscribe now for instant access to this PEOPLE exclusive!

When it comes to raising his youngest son, Barron, 9, Donald Trump insists he and his wife Melania prefer to be hands-on parents rather than to rely too heavily on help.

“We keep it down to a minimum,” says Trump, who has staff to help with cooking and housework, but no nanny in the traditional sense. “If you have too much help, you don’t get to know your children.”

“I’ve always prided myself on being a good father,” he says, adding that he’s instilled conservative practices in his four older children, Donald Jr., Ivanka, Eric and Tiffany.

“I tell them, ‘No drugs, no alcohol, no cigarettes!’ ” Trump says. “Because if you’re going to start you can’t get off!”

When it comes to raising Barron, Melania says, “I like to be hands-on. I think it’s very important.”

She helps him with his homework (science and math are favorite subjects) and takes him to after-school sports herself.

“Barron is 9 years old. He needs somebody as a parent there, so I am with him all the time. As you know my husband is traveling all the time,” she says.

During the rare moments of calm amid the Presidential campaign, Melania says she encourages her son and his father to have one-on-one time.

“Barron loves to be one-on-one with Dad because normally he’s almost always all the time with me,” she says. “So I give them space when it’s Daddy and Barron time. They go alone for dinner, one-on-one. They play golf together. He looks forward to that.”

Trump calls Barron “a very natural athlete. He’s at that age where he’s just starting to learn,” says Trump. “He’s doing a really good job.”

And Barron’s admiration for his father is undeniable. “He likes the way he talks, the way he is,” says Melania. “They have beautiful respect and admiration for each other.”

For much more of our exclusive interview – and at-home photos! – with the Trumps, pick up a copy of the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

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