Inside Ivanka's Relationship With Ivana

The Trump family he has been making headlines for decades now, coming to fame long before the family patriarch, Donald Trump, became president of the United States. Two of the most prominent members of the influential family are his older daughter, Ivanka Trump, and his first wife, Ivana Trump.


Ivanka's close bond with her father is well-documented, but what isn't as widely known is that she is also very close to her mother. While Ivanka, who became an advisor to the president after he was elected to the office, is often seen as her father's right hand, much of her early life was actually spent in Ivana's shadow. Ivana's influence on her daughter's life and her career have been tremendous, and it's hard to imagine how different Ivanka's life would have been without Ivana's love and guidance. Ivanka and Ivana have quite a special relationship — here is a closer look at the bond between the famous mother and daughter.

Ivanka Trump was named after her mother, Ivana

Ivanka Trump looks quite a bit like her mother. Both Ivanka and Ivana Trump are blonde bombshells, but their physical similarities are far from the only thing they have in common. They even share a name. While you might assume that Ivanka's name was merely inspired by her mother's, her legal name is actually Ivana — just like her mom. Ivanka, it turns out, is a nickname for Ivana. In a tweet, Ivanka explained, "In Czech, Ivanka is the baby name for Ivana, like Bobby is to Robert."


As noted by the baby name website Behind the Name, Ivana itself is also a variation of another name. It is a feminine version of the name Ivan, a Slavic name that can ultimately be traced back to the widespread name John. Interestingly, Ivanka is not the only diminutive associated with Ivanka — Ivanka could have also gone by the nicknames Iva or Ivka. 

Ivana Trump claims to have raised Ivanka Trump on her own

During their marriage and after Ivana and Donald Trump split up, most of the child-rearing was left to Ivana. In 2016, Ivana Trump said at the Lifeline benefit (via New York Daily News) that she raised her children — Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Jr. — "singlehandedly."


While the Trump kids would later grow close to their father and work with him, Ivana claimed that, until they were 21, she was in charge. Her ex-husband reportedly "wasn't really interested in the children until he could talk business with them." Ivana added that, after the kids were old enough to drink, it was Donald's turn. "I handed them over to him and said 'Here's the finished product, you can take them from here,'" she said.

Ivana repeated the claim in her book Raising Trump, in which she wrote (via Time) that she had sole custody of the kids after the divorce and made all major decisions in regards to things like education and activities.

Ivanka Trump spent her childhood globetrotting with mom Ivana Trump

Ivanka Trump spent a lot of time traveling the world as a young girl. Ivanka wrote in her book The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life that her mom, Ivana Trump, would often schedule a vacation on a whim, whisking her away to places like France, China, Argentina, and Egypt. "My mother would get excited about some part of the world she'd never seen or experienced, and off we'd go," wrote Ivanka.


Ivanka called the experience of traveling so much with her mother "outrageous" and "wonderful," saying that she enjoyed her "special time alone" with Ivana. In an interview with O, The Oprah Magazine, Ivanka revealed that she even had a special souvenir collection from these mother-daughter trips. Ivanka explained that every time she and her mother traveled somewhere when she was little, she would pick flowers, dry them, cover them in resin, and then make paperweights out of them.

Ivanka Trump said mom Ivana threatened to put her up for adoption

While Ivanka Trump is quite close to her mother, Ivana Trump, their relationship has been tested at times. Ivanka said that, at some points in her youth, she was quite the handful. While she wasn't exactly a rebel, she did try Ivana's patience. "I think my mom threatened to put me up for adoption a few times," she told Marie Claire.


Ivana, by her own admission, was a stern disciplinarian, and she also made sure to teach Ivanka responsibility. She was made to pay her own phone bills as a teenager, and Ivanka wrote in Raising Trump that she kept all of her kids "on a short leash." She recounted the time that a teenaged Ivanka almost got a belly button piercing with her friends but decided not to, afraid of how her parents would react. Ivana called this a "good choice," saying that if her daughter had gotten a "piercing, a tattoo, or a shaved head," she "would have killed her."

Ivana added that she refused to extend her daughter's curfew to midnight, and also didn't give her much pocket money, convinced that being "lax about discipline" would only lead to trouble.


Ivana Trump credits daughter Ivanka Trump with Donald Trump's presidential win

Ivanka Trump has long been a key figure in the Trump family. Before her father embarked on a political career, she worked for the Trump Organization and then later became one of his most trusted advisors when he made it to the White House. Ivanka has played a critical role in her father's endeavors, but her mom thinks that the role she has played in his success is larger than she typically gets credit for.


In her book, Raising Trump, Ivana Trump wrote of just how big of a role Ivanka played in her father's election to the highest office in the United States. According to Ivana, if it hadn't been for her daughter, Donald Trump may very well have lost the election. Ivana believes that voters were won over because of Ivanka and that Ivanka helped endear her father to the public. "Voters looked at her and thought, I like her. I trust her. She loves her father, so he can't be that bad," she wrote.

Ivana Trump thinks Ivanka Trump could become president one day

Ivana Trump is very supportive of her only daughter and is quite optimistic about her future. Not only does Ivana credit her daughter with helping her father win the presidency, she also thinks that Ivanka Trump could end up in the Oval Office herself one day. In her book, Raising Trump, the proud mother wrote that she thinks her daughter could one day be not only the first female president of the United States but also the first Jewish president.


While Ivana may believe her daughter's potential is limitless, she does worry about Ivanka. In an interview with Time, she admitted that she worries her daughter "has maybe too much on her plate" between working with her father and raising three children of her own. Then again, Ivana herself raised three children while also managing her career, so it seems like her daughter learned a thing or two about juggling family and work from her.

Ivana Trump wants daughter Ivanka Trump to return to fashion

As proud as Ivana Trump is of daughter Ivanka Trump, she wasn't exactly thrilled to see her daughter give up her career in fashion. While she may want Ivanka to end up in the White House one day, it seems that she doesn't necessarily want her to be a lifelong political operative. In a 2018 interview with Page Six, Ivanka said that she was worried her daughter was being overshadowed in the White House. She added that she would prefer her daughter to focus on her own growing empire, such as her fashion lines.


Ivanka told the outlet that she'd like to see her daughter move back to New York, as "politics is a very dirty business." If Ivanka returns to fashion, however, Ivana pointed out that "she would be her own boss."

Ivana herself gave up the opportunity to play a prominent role in the Trump presidency. When her ex-husband offered her the chance to be the ambassador to the Czech Republic, she turned him down. As she told CBS Sunday Morning, she was simply enjoying her freedom and traveling too much to take on the responsibility. "I have a perfect life," she said. 

Ivanka Trump got her fashion sense from mother Ivana

Ivanka Trump is well-known for her keen sense of style. She came by her fashion sense honestly, and she has talked about how she was inspired by her mother, Ivana Trump. In an interview with O, The Oprah Magazine, Ivanka said that watching her mother get ready for events is her favorite childhood memory. Ivanka recalled sitting on the bathroom floor in her pajamas watching her mother applying makeup at her vanity.


In her book, Raising Trump, Ivana wrote about brushing and braiding Ivanka's hair when she was little — something her own mother did for her. She said that she would pull Ivanka's hair back with ribbons and bows for special occasions, writing, "I loved indulging her in the 'girly' things we both loved so much."

Even as an adult, Ivanka has been seen taking style cues for her mom. As noted by Express, Ivanka has been known to borrow clothes from her mom's lavish wardrobe.

Ivanka Trump followed in her mom's modeling footsteps

Ivanka Trump takes after her mother in more ways than one. Like Ivana Trump, Ivanka has enjoyed a successful modeling career. As noted by Biography, Ivana modeled in the 1970s, and it was her modeling career that brought her to the United States, where she eventually married Donald Trump.


Ivanka began modeling while she was still in high school, telling Marie Claire that she did so in order to make money and to escape the rigors of "the prison of boarding-school life." While Ivanka did quite well for herself as a model, landing on the cover of Seventeen in 1997, she never wanted to make a full-time career out of modeling. "I didn't particularly enjoy the act of it," she admitted. Ivanka added that the modeling world is "ruthless," although she enjoyed that it gave her "an excuse to travel" as well as "a way to break up the monotony."

Like Ivana Trump, Ivanka Trump is at home on the slopes

Another way that Ivanka Trump takes after her mother is on the slopes. Ivana Trump, who's had a stunning transformation, is quite the accomplished skiier, and so is her daughter. As noted by Biography, Ivana began skiing competitively at the tender age of 6. By the time she was 12, she was getting serious about the sport and entered a national training program. Ivana skied competitively throughout her teen years and has claimed to have been an alternate for the Czechoslovakian ski team during the 1972 Olympics. Before embarking on a modeling career, Ivana worked as a ski instructor in Canada.


Ivana made sure that her children, including Ivanka, also learned how to ski. She wrote in Raising Trump that the kids took ski lessons and that she used skiing to cultivate "their competitive edge and sibling rivalry" on ski trips "by setting challenges for them." These "challenges" included seeing who could get to the gondola first, or who could "make the sharpest turns."

Ivanka Trump claims she's close to both her mother and her father

Even though Ivanka Trump was primarily raised by her mother, Ivana Trump, she claims that she is close to both her mother and her father. While divorce can be hard on children, especially when one parent has sole custody as Ivana did, Ivanka said that her parents splitting up actually helped her bond with both of them.


The divorce was a brutal one, but Ivanka told People that her parents "did a remarkable job protecting" the children from the media frenzy that followed. She explained that, for a while, the children weren't allowed to watch television without a parent, and newspapers were also kept out of the house.

Ivanka said that the experience made her "closer with both... parents," explaining that she was at the age "where you do take your parents for granted" and that she stopped doing so after that.

Ivana Trump was critical of most of daughter Ivanka Trump's boyfriends

Ivana Trump and Ivanka Trump may have a close relationship, but the affection Ivana has for her daughter didn't extend to all of the men Ivanka dated over the years. While Ivana wrote in Raising Trump that Ivanka didn't introduce most of her boyfriends, she seemed to find fault with the ones Ivanka did bring home. She recounted the story of meeting one beau who happened to be several inches shorter than Ivanka. After she joked about his height, saying, "I don't dislike him. I've just had it with him up to here," while bringing her hands up to her breasts to indicate his shortness, Ivanka didn't talk to her mother for weeks. Another boyfriend, in Ivana's words, was "too cocky."


Ivanka's boyfriends over the years may not have charmed her mother, but Ivana said that she did genuinely click with Ivanka Trump's husband, Jared Kushner. Ivana wrote, "I liked him immediately."

Ivana Trump supported Ivanka Trump when she converted to Judaism

Ivana Trump wrote in Raising Trump that it was clear from the beginning that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner truly cared for each other. There was just one problem, though: Kushner was Jewish, while Ivanka was raised Catholic. The religious differences led to them breaking up for a year, as Kushner's family wouldn't let Ivanka marry him.


Ivanka eventually converted to Judaism to marry Kushner, with her mother's full support. "I don't care about religion," Ivana told her daughter, encouraging her to convert if she truly loved Kushner. Ivana wrote that her daughter and Kushner "are incredibly happy," which is all that really matters to her. 

While she is supportive of her daughter's religion, Ivana admitted that she's "not convinced about some of the Orthodox customs" Ivanka and the Kushners follow. Then again, she told herself that if her daughter "was willing to give up lobster and bacon." it means that "she must really love him."

Ivana Trump is also close to Ivanka Trump's children

Not only does Ivana Trump have a good relationship with her daughter, but she is also close to Ivanka Trump's children. Ivanka wrote in her book Women Who Work that her kids call Ivana "Glamma" and that her mother gives her advise on how to raise her kids. One tip? "To keep your kids out of trouble, keep them busy," she noted.


In an appearance on Oprah: Where Are They NowIvana said that she loves being a grandmother. After raising three children on her own, having grandchildren is quite the liberating experience. Ivana said that she loves being able to just have fun with her grandchildren without the pressure of actually having to raise them. Instead, they just play before she sends them back home to their parents. "No need to change the diapers," she quipped. "Been there, done that." Ivana added that the relationship "works perfectly."

Ivana Trump showed daughter Ivanka Trump how to be a multidimensional woman

Ivanka Trump has excelled in several fields and balances a busy career with a thriving family life. While having it all may often seem like an unattainable aspiration, Ivanka Trump credits her mother with showing her how to achieve all of her dreams. She wrote in Women Who Work that, as a child, she was inspired watching Ivana Trump at work as she oversaw the renovation of the Plaza Hotel.


Ivanka described her mother as being "unapologetically feminine in a male industry," saying that Ivana's example "first embodied and defined" what it means "to be a multidimensional woman." Ivana, like her mother, grew up to "work at all aspects of her life." Ivanka wrote that, from her mother, she learned "to define success on my own terms, to set my own priorities, and to be true to my values."

Ivana set quite the example for her daughter, and she made having it all seem effortless. It wasn't until Ivanka had her own family and career that she realized balancing everything isn't as easy as her mother had made it look.