Trump's children Ivanka and Eric revealed father's fiercely competitive nature in recalling his efforts to defeat them as children at ski racing

 January 14, 2024

Former President Donald Trump is quite clearly a competitive person when it comes to the realms of business and politics, but that attribute also appears to have been a thing in raising his children.

Eldest daughter Ivanka and middle son Eric previously shared humorous recollections of their father's competitiveness as they recounted his efforts to defeat them in a ski race, according to The List.

That competitive spirit, which was also passed down to Trump's children by their late mother, Ivana, has likely been a contributing factor to their successes as they follow their father's footsteps into the business and real estate world.

Trump the competitor

In 2004, New York Magazine reporter Jonathan Van Meter conducted multiple interviews with then-real estate mogul Trump's three eldest children -- Don Jr., Ivanka, and Eric -- in an effort to get a better sense of the Trumps as a family and how the children had been raised.

During one of those interviews, Ivanka told the reporter of the "sibling rivalry" between them, "We were sort of bred to be competitive. Dad encourages it."

"I remember skiing with him and we were racing. I was ahead, and he reached his ski pole out and pulled me back," she recalled.

Eric, who was sitting next to his sister, added with a laugh, "He would try to push me over, just so he could beat his 10-year-old son down the mountain."

Competitiveness and strong work ethic handed down by both parents

Former President Trump's competitive spirit has most certainly been on display politically in his multiple runs for the presidency as well as during his tenure in office, but it was first honed in his quest to become a successful businessman and real estate developer.

Eldest son Don Jr. recalled in the New York Magazine interview that in addition to the competitiveness the children were also instilled at a young age with a strong work ethic, and said, "We were spoiled in many ways, but we were always taught to understand the value of the dollar. If there was something we wanted, we had to earn it. Even in college, we were very fiscally responsible. I had 300 bucks a month; anything I wanted beyond that, I had to work for."

As for now being an adult and working directly for their father as part of the Trump Organization, Don Jr. observed, "He’s a very fair boss. At the same time, you have to be on top of everything, because there’s no one who works harder than he does. He’s a machine."

Yet, it wasn't just Trump the elder who taught his children to be competitive, as the reporter also spoke with their mother Ivana for the lengthy profile piece and revealed that she had grown up as a successful ski racer in Czechoslovakia. She told the interviewer, "Competitiveness doesn’t stop when you stop skiing. There were great values instilled in me and is exactly what I did with the kids."

Loved his children but didn't spend much time with them

If there were one overarching complaint about Donald Trump in terms of how he raised his children it is undoubtedly that he was too focused on his business and, while there is no question that he loved his children, he did not spend as much time with them as some might have hoped.

In a 2016 interview with the New York Daily News, Trump's first wife, Ivana, recalled that she had largely raised their three children by herself when they were young as her ex-husband "wasn't really interested in the children until he could talk business with them."

A similar recollection was shared with People Magazine in 2016 by Trump's second wife, Marla Maples, the mother of his youngest daughter Tiffany, who said of the early relationship between father and daughter, "Her daddy is a good provider with education and such, but as far as time, it was just me," and added, "Her father wasn’t able to be there with day-to-day skills as a parent. He loves his kids. There’s no doubt. But everything was a bit of a negotiation."

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