Mariska Hargitay: ‘My Kids Are All Fearless’

07/09/2012 at 05:00 PM ET
Neilson Barnard/Getty

When Mariska Hargitay isn’t collaring criminals on Law and Order, SVU, she’s spending her days off with her family in the Hamptons.

Hargitay’s son, Andrew Nicolas, who turns one this month, is taking the beach by storm.

“He’s crawling all over town!” Hargitay — pictured here with Project Runway executive producer Desiree Gruber — told PEOPLE at a shopping event to benefit the Joyful Heart Foundation at East Hampton shop Theodora and Callum on Friday.

How does Hargitay keep tabs on her three children, including August, 6, and Amaya Josephine, 15 months? Easy, they’re all in one place: the pool!

“August is in the pool like 10 hours a day,” she says.

“With Amaya, I blow out bubbles through my lips. And she thinks it’s so hilarious so she’ll do it too. Andrew has a round floatie that he sits in, and while he’s in there, I’ll hold Amaya and do the bubbles.”

Though her two younger kids are still getting used to the water, Hargitay says, “I make sure all of them go in because I don’t want them to ever be scared of the water. My kids are all fearless and they love the pool!”

Of course, for Hargitay, even more important than her kids’ water-baby status is their connection to the work that she does with Joyful Heart to empower and educate people about sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse.

“August knows that we help people, and he knows that what we do is important,” Hargitay says. “He’ll say, ‘Mommy, is that for Joyful Heart?’ And we’ll talk about it.”

Because of Hargitay’s devotion to safety and helping her kids develop their own boundaries, “August has a real sense of himself,” she says proudly.

— Catherine Kast

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , News , Parenting

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Showing 12 comments

Mere on

I LOVE MARISKA! haha! That’s all 🙂

Tee Tee on

I so enjoy reading interviews with Mariska!

lovely123 on

They have to be fearless to look at that outfit!!

Toir on

One day I will be then one to interview wonderful Mariska 🙂

Venus on

I read anything I can get my hands on and watch anything I find with Mariska in it.
I want to know more about her foundation.She is a true inspiration.

blessedwithboys on

Beautiful lady, inside and out!

meghan on

Most little kids are fearless.

Hannah Osborne on

Enjoy reading stories about Mariska. Think she is a great gal.

L- on

I LOVE Mariska. Love hearing stories about her foundation and kids. Definitely one of the most inspirational celebs out there.

Anonymous on

I’m glad to hear that little Andrew is doing so well. I know Mariska said that he had health issues when he was born (due to the fact that he was premature) and whereas we’ve seen Amaya out a few times, we haven’t seen him out. I’m very happy to hear that he is finally healthy enough to go out and crawl on the beach and swim in the pool! 🙂

Pippi on

meghan – For me, I don’t think most kids are fearless. I’ve been working with kids of all ages, from innumerable families, in numerous different settings for over 15 years. 1/2 are fearless extroverts that will try anything once and you can’t take your eyes off them for a second. The other 1/2 are quiet/shy introverts who will try nothing new no matter how much they’re pushed to do so and can be left alone for a bit w/out any worry. It’s pretty evenly split. It very much depends on the situations sometimes, too.

I love Mariska, as well! She seems very down to earth and grounded. And I’m glad that little Andrew appears to be doing better, too. 🙂

christa on

Mariska is a wonderful person and actress.