Jennifer Aydin found herself playing defense Wednesday night, as questions about her parenting style dominated the latest episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey.
It all started when her costar Jackie Goldschneider visited Aydin’s expansive Paramus home (complete with double-level play win, equipped with an indoor basketball court, movie theater and oversized bouncy castle) — and then penned an article for The Bergen Record wondering, “Does Giving Too Many Gifts Create Spoiled Children?”
the Turkish mother of five, whose children range from 5 to 13 years old, fought back on social media.
“I spoil my children but they are Not spoiled!” she tweeted. “There’s a difference!”
“I love my kids, as does any mother,” she continued, in another tweet. “I have the ability to give them a life that I always wished I had — this is new to me, people! I didn’t come from this so sue me if it happens to be my joy to reward them. But they are generous, sweet and compassionate. And I’m very proud of them.”
Though Goldschneider said her article was actually meant to be complimentary of Aydin and her “sweet” kids, Aydin certainly didn’t see it that way when she first read the piece on RHONJ.
“I’m like shaking right now,” she told costar Dolores Catania. “First of all, just because I have this big house doesn’t mean that my children get everything they want. And like, I welcome this girl into my home and then she writes and article about spoiled kids? This is what I get? You know what? F— you and that high horse you came in on. It’s f–ed up!”
“Can you imagine? I just feel so betrayed,” she added to Teresa Giudice later on. “I invited this girl into my home. I feel angry and violated. You want to come at me? I’m ready. I’m not backing down at this one. I feel angry and I feel pissed. I’m just waiting for her to own what she did so I can rip her a new one. This bitch just wrote an article about my children, and that’s not going to fly.”
Aydin had her chance when she saw Goldschneider at the confirmation party for Melissa Gorga’s son, Joey.
“Why would you write an article that references my kids to being spoiled? I felt there was a lot of judgement there,” Aydin said.
Goldschneider maintained that she didn’t mean anything insulting. “Did I say anything untrue?” she asked. “I didn’t write your name, I didn’t say one negative things about your children, and I didn’t say anything negative about you. … I think that article is very complimentary. If you read the article, you will see that. You proudly own the fact that you love your stuff.”
But that’s not how Aydin interpreted her words. “It sounded negative,” she said. “This article is not specifically stating that my children [are] spoiled. However, anyone who is skimming the article, the gist of it is that I spoil my children.”
“I can say I spoil them. I don’t agree that anybody else can say that they spoil them,” Aydin added.
In the end, Goldschneider — a mother of two sets of twins under the age of 10 — stood by her words. After all, she’d admitted in her article that she’s also guilty of buying her kids lots of gifts, and isn’t faulting Aydin for her generosity.
“I’m sorry, but it’s not like she’s not showy,” she said. “There’s a throne every five steps in her house. Listen, you don’t want me to write about it? Don’t do it!”
“She couldn’t say that I said anything bad about her kids because I never did,” Goldschneider later told castmates Margaret Josephs and Melissa Gorga. “There’s absolutely nothing about Jennifer to get angry or insulted about. I go through to great lengths to ask how does a kid end up being so nice and sweet and still get everything they ask for. That’s why I wrote the article, and it’s a legitimate question.”
Gorga stood by her side. “I don’t think it’s insulting,” she said. “I think it’s actually very complimenting and saying she gives her children everything. Hey, you came to my house, why didn’t you write that I give my children everything? ‘Cause I do, too! “
The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Wednesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.