The Truth About Melania Trump's Relationship With Her Son, Barron

The Trump family tree has a lot of branches, and with so many parents, step-parents, and half-siblings, sometimes it's hard to know how they all relate to each other. Though there's been all kinds of juicy speculation about Ivanka Trump and Melania Trump's relationship and about the Trump kids in general, we know surprisingly little about how Melania relates to her own child with Donald Trump, Barron Trump.

While Barron's relationship with his father has appeared distant at times, he and Melania have remained close. She has kept him largely out of the public eye, and even his rare photo ops are brief and not very telling. But we went back long before Donald, Melania, and Barron's White House years to see what kind of mom Melania Trump has been and how her parenting may affect her relationship with her only son. From her hands-on parenting to putting his schooling above all else, here's what we know about Melania Trump's relationship with her son, Barron.

Barron is Melania Trump's only child

Barron William Trump was born on March 20, 2006, the first and only child of Donald and Melania Trump. Donald Trump reportedly picked the name Barron, a reference to an alias he used when speaking to the press — John Barron — according to The Washington Post. Apparently as early as 1980, Donald would actually act as his own "spokesman," giving the media a different name when he talked to them, and in 2004, a never-produced scripted drama about Donald allegedly had a lead character named John Barron, according The Washington Post. Donald married Melania the next year, and Barron came to life shortly after, so it'd seem Donald gave up his alias for his son.

Though much has been written about the origin of the Barron moniker, not much exists about his middle name except for Melania Trump's involvement. Houston Chronicle reported that Melania got to pick Barron's middle name, William.

Melania Trump is fine doing the majority of the parenting for Barron

Donald Trump has been a fairly hands-off parent with his son Barron, a style he told the world he'd have during a 2005 interview with Larry King. "I'm not going to be doing the diapers, I'm not going to be making the food, I may never even see the kids," he said to the bespectacled sit-down host. And this seems perfectly fine by Melania Trump.

In a 2012 interview with Parenting, Melania said Donald not changing diapers was not a problem. "It's very important to know the person you're with. And we know our roles," she said (via CheatSheet). Perhaps the amount of work that comes with one child is enough for her. When ABC News asked her if the couple had any intentions to have another Trump child, she responded (via Romper), "I don't like to say never," but added she was happy with her two boys: the little one and the big one.

Body language experts say Melania Trump acts as a "guiding influence" to Barron

Though Barron Trump is now noticeably taller than both his parents, Melania Trump still thinks of herself as his guide. Or at least so say body language experts who've observed the first lady and her son during photo opportunities.

"Melania is the guiding influence. Her left hand on her son's back says 'it's ok, come on you, can do this' and her right hand palm down in front of Barron says 'calm down, I have got you," body language expert Bruce Durham told Express. We went on to say it was an outward expression of the role she plays at home, leading Barron through the complicated world of life as a first child.

Durham used photographs of Melania fixing Barron's tie at the 2017 presidential inauguration as further proof of this guiding role. "It seems she is saying, 'There you go, son. Now you look smart,'" Durham said. Basically, it was the inaugural version of a mom wiping tomato sauce off your face before you went back outside after dinner.

Melania Trump has happily given Barron some independence

Remember the first time your parents left you home alone for the night, and you felt like you'd just inherited a sprawling estate where you could live however you liked? Now imagine you actually are on a sprawling estate, and you'll be able to turn on the news to know exactly when your parents are coming home. That's what happened in late 2018, when Melania Trump reportedly let Barron have the run of Mar-a-Lago while she joined Donald Trump to visit troops in Iraq, as reported by the Daily Mail. Though she came back early, it was presumably still a major step in terms of young Barron's independence, even if he had Secret Service agents watching him.

And while Donald Trump's youngest son might not have gone all Kevin McCallister of the presidential vacation home, it did show Melania's willingness to give him some independence. Body language expert Bruce Durham noticed this in a photograph of the first family, as he shared with Express. In the photo, Barron stands by himself with neither parent holding his hand, while Melania looks approvingly in his direction. "No hand contact needed this time," Durham said, "just direct eye contact and the smile of a mother who is proud of her son."

Melania Trump uses her anti-bullying campaign to teach Barron right from wrong

Melania Trump's lead initiative as first lady is Be Best, an anti-drug and anti-bullying campaign aimed at children, with a special focus on social media. And though she does not directly connect the program with her son, Barron, when speaking about the program, she's cited him as an example of how she hopes to affect other children. "I teach him what is right, what is wrong," Melania said during a town hall meeting at Liberty University in Virginia (via CBS News). "He doesn't have a social media yet — he's not interested in it. He's all into sport."

She admitted that the campaign might ruffle some feathers — preaching kindness and respect on social media can sometimes seem in direct contrast to her husband's blunt style of online communication — but Melania believes her course is what's best for future generations. "Sometimes you need to fight back. I'm sorry," she said in the town hall.

Melania Trump stayed in New York so Barron could finish his school year

When Donald Trump moved into the White House in January 2017, two very important people stayed behind: his wife, Melania Trump, and son Barron. Media speculation about why the stayed abounded, and though the book The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump claimed Melania renegotiated her prenuptial agreement while staying in Trump Tower (via The Washington Post), getting more money out of Donald didn't seem to be her chief motivation.

The truth was Melania didn't want to rip Barron out of school in the middle of the year, and, as the New York Daily News and other media outlets reported, that was why she stayed behind. "It's Melania who wants to stay. She doesn't want to take Barron out of school. She's concerned that he won't have the same relationship with new teachers that he has at Columbia Prep," an unnamed source told the NY Daily News.

The move was not without controversy, though. Before she moved into the White House in June 2017, Business Insider reported Melania's security detail was costing taxpayers between $127,000 and $146,000 a day. And her flights to and from Washington reportedly racked up to about $676,000.

Melania Trump spent as much time with Barron as possible when he was a child

Though Melania Trump had her own cosmetic and jewelry businesses before she was in the White House, she mostly ran those from the family's penthouse at Trump Tower. Working at home, as many discovered in 2020, gives you ample time to spend with your children, which Melania took full advantage of.

In a 2011 video interview with The Mommy Helper Show, the then-future first lady dished on running her businesses from home, and all the things it allowed her to do with Barron. Activities ranged from playing golf to playing tennis to just plopping down and playing on the floor. "I like to spend as much time as possible with him because, you know, children... they need your attention," she said. "They need to see that you're involved, and they really want their mommy there."

She went on to wax nostalgic on Barron asking to come with her to business meetings at night and then, when morning arrived, having second thoughts at the early wakeup. He'd tell her to go on to her meeting and to have a good time.

Melania Trump didn't use nannies when Barron was a baby

Many families in the Trumps' financial situation may opt to let professionals do most of the child rearing and hire nannies for the figurative heavy lifting. But Melania Trump and, to a lesser extent, Donald Trump were far more hands-on when Barron was a small child. According to an interview in People, the couple had cooking and cleaning help, but they didn't have nannies in the traditional sense.

"Barron is 9 years old. He needs somebody as a parent there, so I am with him all the time. As you know my husband is traveling all the time," Melania said in the interview.

For his part, Donald Trump reiterated the family's decision to go without nannies, saying he liked to keep professional help "to a minimum,” and that having too much help might lead to a parent not knowing their children. "I've always prided myself on being a good father," he said.

Melania Trump considers being Barron's mom her primary job

According to the White House's official website, the duties of First Lady Melania Trump are expansive. They range from working with children's charities and visiting hospitals to spending time with victims' families after mass shootings and natural disasters. She does all of this while also heading up her Be Best campaign against drugs and bullying. But despite her demanding schedule and the businesses she ran before moving into the White House, Melania still sees herself as Barron's mom first.

"I am a full time mom; that is my first job. The most important job ever," she told Parenting (via Amo Mama). "I started my business when he started school." Melania went on to detail the multitude of tasks she does for Barron, from cooking his breakfast to taking him to school, to making his lunch. But she also stressed it was important for kids to be around a parent who worked doing what they love. "Children need to see a parent do what her passion is. It is a good example for a child," she said.

Barron Trump has used mom Melania Trump's moisturizer

As anyone who's waited until their 30s to start moisturizing — and then just gives up and gets Botox — can tell you, it's never too early to start using creams and lotions on your face. And having a fashion model as a mom (not to mention as his sisters) probably doesn't hurt your skin care routine either. But even the most skin-savvy of kids isn't likely moisturizing with caviar, which is why having a mom with a skin care line is especially advantageous.

Melania Trump told ABC News that Barron is a proud user of her Caviar Complex C6 moisturizer after his nightly bath. Barron was all of 7 years old at the time. "It smells very, very fresh," Melania said. "I put it on him from head to toe. He likes it!" No word if Barron still covers himself in caviar moisturizer every night now that he's older. But at least his mother has set him down the right path, and she taught him a grooming lesson he'll be happy he received when he's his dad's age.

Barron Trump speaks his mother's native language

Barron Trump's mother, Melania Trump, is a native of Slovenia, and, as such, she has raised her child to speak fluent Slovenian, confirmed by the EconTimes. Barron has been rumored to speak several languages, possibly stemming from from a 2009 interview Melania Trump did with People (via Bustle) in which she claimed then 3-year-old Barron spoke three languages. But his fluency in Slovenian is the only one that's been proven.

Barron is, obviously, fluent in English. Though at one time he sounded much more like his mother than his father, evidenced during a Larry King interview during which Barron was heard speaking with a distinct Slovenian accent. When King asked Donald Trump what he thought of the accent, he said he loved it. 

It's not clear whether Barron Trump still speaks with a slight accent since he doesn't really make public speeches. Though we'd assume the accent is gone since he's gone to school in America.

Melania Trump is quick to stand up to anyone who brings Barron up

For the most part, even a president's harshest critics deem first children off limits. But in the rare times Barron Trump has been dragged into the political dogfight, Melania Trump has defended him with the ferocity of an untamed mama bear.

During Donald Trump's impeachment hearings in 2019, the Associated Press reported Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan testifying that Trump could "name his son Barron," but "can't make him a baron." Her insinuation was that Donald was a president and not a king, but Melania wasn't hearing it. She quickly fired off a tweet, telling Karlin, "You should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it."

Television hosts aren't immune from Melania's maternal rage either. The Hill reported that when Food Network's John Henson quipped on Twitter that he hoped Barron could spend Father's Day with "whoever his dad is," Melania was quick to cut him down. Almost immediately, a spokesperson issued a statement from the first lady, saying, "Sadly we continue to see inappropriate and insensitive comments about the President's son [Barron Trump]."

Melania Trump stayed off the 2016 campaign trail to stay with Barron

In 2020, Melania Trump was largely absent from the campaign trail. Of course, that's fairly understandable, what with the global pandemic and all. But in 2016, things were a little different, yet Melania was still noticeably absent at the majority campaign events.

Some drew conclusions when Melania effectively disappeared from the campaign trail after her reportedly plagiarized speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention, but her absence was not as simple as embarrassment. Interviews Melania gave earlier in the campaign painted a much different picture.

Case in point: a 2015 interview with Barbara Walters, during which Melania Trump revealed the reason she wasn't out campaigning much with her husband. "It's my choice not to be there," she said. "I support my husband 100 percent, but ... we have a 9-year-old son together, Barron, and I'm raising him." She added, "This is the age he needs a parent at home."

All of Barron Trump's public communication goes through his mother

Not that any teenager is excited when their mom talks for them all the time, but when you're the heavily-guarded son of the president, sometimes you have to deal with it. This is why we've rarely heard Barron Trump's voice and never seen him issue a statement. That job of communicating for him falls entirely on his mother, Melania Trump, and her office of communications. For example, when a media controversy involving Food Network host John Hanson happened in June 2020, it was Melania's spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham who responded on both her and Barron's behalf (via Fox News).

This was especially evident in October 2020, when Barron Trump tested positive for coronavirus, along with his parents, Donald and Melania. And while the White House made announcements about the president and his wife, it was Melania who told the world Barron had tested positive via a personal essay on the White House website. The White House had previously confirmed Barron had tested negative, according to CNN.

Is Melania Trump more protective of son Barron than Donald?

If you've ever eavesdropped on a date from across a restaurant, you know that body language can tell you a lot about people. Sure, it's especially evident when spying on couples, but it can also show a marked difference in how parenting styles vary between a mother and a father. Body language expert Judi James took a look at how the Trumps reacted physically with Barron, and found evidence that Melania Trump may be much more protective of son Barron.

James told Express that Donald's "signature pose" with Barron is one of pride, standing behind his son with hands on his shoulders to show pride and endorsement. It suggests he's "a bit of a Lion King papa, proudly presenting the boy to the world."

Discussing Melania's body language, James said when Melania has her arms wrapped around Barron or when she puts her hands behind him as support when he was a toddler, it shows she was the more protective parent. "Melania's envelopment and support gestures suggest a more protective and nurturing approach," James shared.