How are the girls?
Fabulous! They are very happy. My kids are home-schooled this year. It’s such a positive environment that they are in. We have a really great home-schooling teacher.
Homeschooling is a big change. What prompted that?
I really didn’t have much of a choice. [Traditional] school just wasn’t going to put up with the days that we needed off. Our children needed to be off every Friday and the second week of filming they needed us in L.A. for an entire week. And the school really frowned upon that. But the home schooling has the same curriculum as their school, so when they do decide to go back, they will be right with the other children.
Are the other kids at school cool with what they do?
Oh, my gosh, yes. The kids do treat the girls basically the same — except for the boys. Maddie is only in fifth grade, but the boys really started to like her last year. I think it is because she is on TV. But both of my girls think boys are gross. Except Justin Bieber and One Direction.
Were they ever bullied or singled out at school for being different?
One of Maddie’s old friends started to tease her and say “Your hair is ugly. You are ugly.” And Maddie was really strong and said to me “You know what, mom, I don’t need her as a friend.” Now that girl begs to be her friend again. Jealousy is a terrible thing and we don’t put up with bullying. Not in my family.
How do you deal with the bullies online — the haters and people who criticize your choices?
At first it used to really bother me when they would say bad things about me, but you know what? I am really secure in myself. I am a great mom. I do things by the book. I am a good parent. My whole life is my children. A lot of people aren’t like that. They work full time jobs and they just give money to their kids to do things, but they are not really involved in their children’s lives. I could say things about them. But I don’t. I am fine with the haters because you are always going to have haters. It does hurt, but it is what it is.
What life lesson have you and the girls have learned from being on TV?
There are only a few people in life that you can trust. That are really your true friends.
Is Mackenzie getting involved with music this year?
She is! She loves to sing. Her voice is amazing for a nine year-old girl. We have a few surprises coming up very, very soon.
Might we hear her sing on the show?
No. I don’t know about on he show. It is a little bigger than that. But we travel with Abby and do Master Classes. We did one this past weekend. And Abby always has Mackenzie sing.
That is nice since there has always been an emphasis put on her sister?
There always is.
How do you as a parent deal with that?
Well Mackenzie gets all the attention at home. She is the baby of the family and always has been and always will be. She is the one that demands all the attention. Maddie is very independent. Mackenzie is not. Maddie knows how Mackenzie is. That she demands a lot more time than her. They are just two totally different kids. Maddie takes care of Mackenzie. In the morning she gets her ready for school while I am making breakfast and lunch. Maddie like a little mother to her.
Do the girls always get along?
No. They fight. They definitely argue. But they adore each other. They even sleep together. They have their own rooms but they still sleep together.
Are you thinking of having more kids now that you are married again?
No. My body doesn’t work anymore. [laughs] But we will foster children once the girls get older. We will definitely be foster parents, but not at this point.
You once said that dancing wrecked your first marriage…
I never said that. My ex husband said that. I don’t feel that it wrecked my marriage. [The damage] was way beyond that. But my kids come first and always will. My [new] husband is very, very supportive of the children and he knows that this is what is first now. Dance is very important to the kids and this is the time that they really have to be there and really focus on their dance.
Didn’t your Ex also say he didn’t want the girls around Abby anymore?
Yes. But he doesn’t have a choice in that matter. I make the final decisions. I take care of them. I support them.
Do you have any relationship with him anymore?
What else would you like the world to know about you and your girls?
That it is really important for me and my kids to give back. We do a lot of charity work. It is really important to us. My kids are ambassadors for the Starlight Foundation, which helps sick and terminally ill children. It is very important to us.
One last thing…Is Abby misunderstood?
Abby is Abby. You just have to accept her. Everyone has their different personalities and you have to accept people for who they are. She is a great lady — if she likes you! If she doesn’t like you it is tough. But she is a fabulous teacher. She does have a good heart.
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