Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka and Eric tell PEOPLE about the important lessons taught to them by their father

By Amanda Michelle Steiner
Updated December 01, 2020 11:11 PM
Credit: Peter Yang

It would be an understatement to say that the host of Celebrity Apprentice is the head of one unusual household.

And yes, Donald Trump‘s children know that they were spoiled.

However, as Donald Jr., 37, tells PEOPLE in an exclusive interview from the family’s gilded penthouse in New York City, they were “spoiled the right way. Spoiled with great experiences, great surroundings, and incredible environments that really allowed us to see other incredible people and really try to emulate that.”

Ivanka, 33, is similarly realistic, and considers herself “very fortunate,” adding: “I realize that I was given a lot of responsibility [within The Trump Organization] early on, prior to what I would have been given in another organization – without having earned it, necessarily.”

“It wasn’t the most traditional childhood in certain aspects,” says Ivanka. “We were surrounded by great privilege and we had amazing opportunity, but it was incredibly warm and I think the values were the right ones.”

Those values – which were drilled into them by Trump “every day before school,” says Donald Jr. – demanded: “No drugs, no alcohol, no cigarettes.”

“I’ve seen a lot of families where the parents are very smart and the children are very smart, but they get addicted to alcohol or drugs and it’s over for them,” says Trump, who is also father to Tiffany, 21, and 8-year-old Barron. “I would always tell them that. It’s a very important lesson.”

In the same vein, if there’s anything that Trump’s eldest children – all executive vice presidents at The Trump Organization – know how to do, it’s how to work.

As Eric, 30, tells PEOPLE: “Our father always made us work. I think that’s the greatest thing a parent could ever do. [Donald Jr.] and I were cutting down trees and mowing lawns, you name it. It made you really understand the value of a dollar.”

As for balancing what could be a tenuous father/boss relationship, Ivanka tells PEOPLE that “a family business tends to be a sort of very binary outcome. It’s either amazing or it’s a total disaster … but it’s been incredible for us.”

Celebrity Apprentice premieres on Sunday at 8 p.m. on NBC, before moving into its regular timeslot on Mondays at 8 p.m.

For more on what it’s like to grow up Trump, pick up the newest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now