July 20, 2016 11:15 AM

In an expansive two-part interview with PEOPLE this week, Ivanka Trump is opening up about balancing her many businesses, raising three children with her husband Jared Kushner, and dealing with the whirlwind of her father Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Ivanka Trump has nothing but praise for her father Donald Trump’s wife, Melania, 46, who is now under fire following the delivery of a controversial speech at the Republican National Convention on Monday, during which she apparently plagiarized large passages from the speech Michelle Obama gave in 2008.

When asked how the campaign has impacted Melania and her son, Ivanka’s youngest sibling Barron, 10, Ivanka, 34, came to Melania’s defense for frequently sitting out political events.

“Melania is an unbelievable mother,” Ivanka tells PEOPLE. “It’s pretty uncommon for wives of candidates to not be on the campaign trail every day. And she made a decision I totally respect which is that she has a young son, he needs stability, he needs routine. My father’s traveling so frequently and she is an unbelievably consistent, loving and reliable figure in Barron’s life.”

Ivanka (left) and Melania Trump
Stephen Lovekin/REX/Shutterstock; D Dipasupil/FilmMagic

Ivanka praised Melania for her devotion to her son.

“She takes him to school every day, picks him up every day. It’s a really remarkable thing and she’s a great inspiration to me as I raise my own children in terms of family first and having the right priorities,” Ivanka continued.

Christian Witkin

Amid what has been a historically controversial and often ugly campaign, Ivanka also credits Melania for shielding her son.

“I think she’s done an amazing job also sheltering him from the chaos that comes along with a Presidential campaign,” she says.

Melania Trump
Chip Somodevilla/Getty

“She’s really tried to keep him protected and keep him out of the public eye so he can have some normalcy, which is so important for a ten-year-old to have.”

As for what Melania’s role might be if she were to become first lady, “Melania is very smart, she’s very warm, she’s got an incredible heart,” Ivanka says. “She’s always been very charitable and there are many organizations that she’s worked with. Not just for a season but over the course of many years and decades in some cases.”

“So I’ll leave it to her to put forth what her platform will be but I know that she’ll be a very powerful and impactful first woman. I know that anything she sets her mind to she does with her full heart so I have no doubt that when she decides which platform she’s going to prioritize, she’ll be incredible effective in that regard.”

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