MARISKA HARGITAY TALKS ABOUT THE JOYS OF PARENTHOOD

Mariska Hargitay and her foundation, Joyful Heart, have teamed up with 'Do the KIND Thing' to bring hope to abused children throughout the nation. The actress recently worked with the initiative to distribute thousands of healing kits that will help kids who have been mentally and physically abused recover from such trauma. While on her trails to improve society, Hargitay found time to talk about motherhood with Parent.com. Here are a few things she had to say about co-parenting three children-August,6, Amaya,1, and Andrew,8-with husband Peter Hermann and scheduling rituals in her household.

The adoption process.

"My story is a little different than most. In our case the stars aligned in a different way. August came home from a playdate one day and said, 'I want a baby Iris.' Turns out, the playdate he was on, the child had a baby sister named Iris. When he said that, my husband, Peter, and I looked at each other and replied, 'It is so interesting you said that.' When we went ahead with the adoption, August thought it was his idea. Then he wanted a little boy. We said, really? A miracle happened and our second son, Andrew, fell out of the sky and into our home."

Planning in the Hermann household.

"We have everything on a big calendar, which is color-coordinated. There's one color for each child. The babies have classes three times a week, so those are in one category, and because August is older, he has his own thing. Aside from having a lot of communication so we don't drop the ball, I'm also a fan of putting things in my iPhone and iPad."

How Mariska and Peter teach August to give back.

"I try to model it for him every day. I teach him what it means to be kind, such as sharing, helping his sister pick up toys, and letting her choose first what she wants to do. I continue to build on it so it becomes a child's mind-set to be considerate. My dad always taught me that being kind is the way to live your life. He always said, if you take care of the little things, the big things will take care of themselves. Just smiling at someone walking down the street can make the person's day. It's all about paying it forward."

Sarie

Sarie

Writer and Editor

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