Molly Sims: Why I Make Brooks Give Away Half of His Birthday Presents

02/08/2015 at 01:00 PM ET

Molly Sims is all for celebrating her child’s birthday, but she’s determined to teach her son Brooks Alan that the gift of giving is half the fun.

“Santa Claus came. Birthdays come. We pick out our toys that we want and then we give half of them to Baby2Baby,” the model and actress, 41, told PEOPLE while donating school supplies to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles with the help of Yoobi and Starlight Children’s Foundation on Wednesday.

“When he goes and drops it [off] it’s hard for a 2½-year-old to give up a Transformer, but we do it because you have to teach them young.”

Brooks will soon be getting the biggest gift of all: Sims and her husband Scott Stuber are expecting their second child — a girl! — in March.

“He told me yesterday that he had a baby in his belly,” says The Everyday Supermodel author. “I was walking down the stairs a couple of days ago and he goes, ‘Mama has a big belly’ and I’m like, ‘Yes, she does.'”

Molly Sims Starlight Foundation Los Angeles Childrens Hospital
Mike Windle/Getty

Although Sims has already been showered with love — her friends recently hosted a get-together to honor the mom-to-be — her daughter’s nursery is still a work in progress.

“We’re moving so that’s been a little bit of a hiccup, but I have some things planned,” she says. “I called my husband and I was like, ‘I found a hot pink star blanket,’ like I’m so superstitious … I bought it, but it’s hidden in the corner. I have all of her stuff hidden.”

But finishing baby girl’s sleep space isn’t the only thing on the couple’s to-do list. After putting together a PowerPoint presentation of baby names while Sims was pregnant with their son, Stuber is taking the same approach to deciding on his daughter’s moniker.

“He’s putting one together with our top three names [and] our top three middle names. He is addicted,” Sims jokes. “[He says,] ‘We really got to focus on the name, we really got to focus.’ I’m like, ‘We’re fine. We have a good idea.’ And he goes, ‘I’m telling you. I just think we need to focus.'”

And while she once considered herself a mom of boys, Sims is ecstatic to welcome a baby girl to the family.

“I think you always dream of having one of each,” she says. “I’m so close with my mom. I’m so happy. I can’t wait to meet [my daughter]. We saw her on Monday and she’s a chunky monkey already.”

Molly Sims Stacy Keibler Starlight Foundation Los Angeles Childrens Hospital
Mike Windle/Getty

— Anya Leon with reporting by Mariah Haas

FILED UNDER: Maternity , Molly Sims , News , Parenting

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norosecoloredglspls on

here’s an idea. do not have an over the top birthday party do have all YOUR friends give the gifts they’re intending on giving your son to this organization BEFORE he sees the gift. THEN go through his stuff he’s no longer playing with and pack it away. If he does not ask for these toys within 6 month give to the local PTA thrift store. Seems that your life lesson, while a very worthy one, is too traumatizing for a 2 yr old. just my opinion

JJ on

If I had spent the time and money to get him a gift, only to find out she turned around and donated it, it would be the last gift I bought.

I agree with the previous poster of donating toys he has already played with and no longer uses.

BD on

so she gives away somebody elses gifts? And she makes her little one do it?
I think this is unfair and stupid.
He could give away older toys but to have to give away something I just got? I would learn, that I hate charity.

Emily on

Traumatizing! If your child is traumatized to let go of excess material objects, you’ve done something wrong. My 2.5 year old daughter gets way too many gifts from well meaning family members. We simply donate them and she never seems to care or notice.

GL on

I have mixed feelings about this. Yes, it’s important to teach charity early, but kids that young don’t understand the reason. They don’t understand the reality of need and the reasons that charity is important. At this point I guess he’s just learning self control? But he’s not learning to appreciate the thought those gift givers put into his gifts. It’s just a pile of presents he has to rank/prioritize and relinquish. Strange. If my child was being presented with too many gifts I would request that the givers donate to charity in his name and share that with him. It would be fun to name an endangered animal or find a “his” star. JMO though.

emma on

Reminds me of Joan Crawford who gave her kids toys away and then beat them with a wire hanger

LOL on

You guys are so over the top ridiculous with your comments I can only laugh at the ridiculousness.

Anonymous on

Reminds me of “Mommy Dearest”.
I think there are better ways to teach the gift of giving.

Wackamole on

2 1/2 is way too young to grasp the message behind giving 1/2 his toys away. Right now he probably just thinks his mom is real a$$ hole.

Anonymous on

When did mothers start taking parenting tips from Mommy Dearest? Molly, that’s dumb – be an adult and donate your money not your child’s gifts.

Kristin on

Chunky monkey? Ripping toys away from her two year old. Maybe her hearts in the right place but she sounds like Joan Crawford. Using this for publicity. Yikes, poor kids.

DaisyMoon on

Let the kid keep his new presents and donate older ones that he may not use anymore…
Make it one-for-one…
For each new one, donate an older one.

Suzi on

Hello Mommy Dearest….how about this, have your friends donate to an organization in his name??? Making a kid open up gifts and then choose which ones he has to give away? I don’t care who you are and how much money you have, this is a child, they don’t understand what’s going on here.

Nursie on

Reminds me of the book, Mommie Dearest and how Joan Crawford would make the kids give away their presents.

Ke123 on

Wow. No good deed goes unpunished. We do this as well. We’ve also asked for no present or for friends to bring gifts for our local children’s hospital rather than the birthday child (I have a 7 year old daughter and 4 year old son). Asking the child to give away half works best for us. We talk about giving away toys that are duplicates or similar to what we already have (do we really need that batman Lego kit AND the superman Legos?) We talk about what it feels like to be sick in bed and what kind of toys a kid who is stuck having a long “sick day” would like- crafts, Legos, smaller toys, etc. we also donate used toys, but many organizations, like our hospital, only take new toys. Our kids are not traumatized- they feel very proud to walk into the hospital with a sack of 7 toys or so, knowing that if will brighten a sick child’s day. And I know all of our friends would prefer this resolution to a kid just never playing with their gift, however thoughtfully selected.

Kathy on

Sounds good she is donating gifts and having fun on it! It helps her kids to learn the gift of giving and donating.

bonding on

Love you Molly but that is cruel he is too young to learn the lesson All he learns is mommy is taking away his stuff for no good reason I went thru my sons old toys with them and gave them away when they were done playing with they aged out or lost interest

Susan on

I agree with you guys below… For a 2 year old this is just stupid. Frankly, this seems to be more of a “look what I do, look what I do” moment. I have taught my son to give anonymously. We don’t need to be patted on the back for every good deed.

RTftE1219 on

WOW! That is directly from “Mommy Dearest”!! Maybe just ask guests not to bring gifts or to donate on his behalf???

Christina on

I agree with many of the posts. “Teach them young” He’s 2! I’ve donated to many organizations including children’s hospital, but I would never traumatize my 2 year old by taking away toys, especially if you see it’s hard for him.

Kat on

Not sure that a kid at that age understands what’s happening. But, if a friend earns the money, carefully selects a gift, thoughtfully wraps it, travels to a party, and gives the gift to your kid, then it shows a lack of respect for the friend who probably earns less money and is trying to make the child happy. Now, if the invite says please bring a book for a child’s library or something, that would be nice. But, you’re just moving 1/2 the gifts to the donation pile. That’s odd. Oh, did Molly give away 1/2 of the gifts SHE received at her shower?

Ale on

Parenting at its best -NOT !!! This is the most ignorant thing ever. I’m ALL for being charitable but there are a million ways you can give back to those less privileged.

FelicityJune on

this is the stupidest thing I have heard in a very long time. She makes a 2.5 year old give away half of his toys??? I am sure there are other ways to teach kids to help others in need. But this is just wrong!!!

SWSC on

Wow, usually I don’t care what celebrities say or do, and I’ve never commented before, but this is mean! He’s 2.5 years old, he doesn’t understand what she’s doing except taking things away from him. I agree, start young, like 4 or 5 when they’re really verbal and can understand a talk about giving to others. This is just like waving a treat in front of a dog’s face and then taking it away. Maybe Molly shouldn’t spend so much and let him learn how to be creative with just a few toys rather than have hundreds of toys. There are so many things wrong with this.

Anonymous on

Did she give half her baby shower gifts away? The little guy is 2 1/2 is about to be a big brother, he will then understand the world isn’t all about him! Why not have him go through his last year’s toys and giving them or setting them aside for his sister! Ugh is moma molly trying to hard to be a mom in the news doing good on people magazine

Liz on

This is a mean-spirited approach to “teaching” a child about giving. I am shocked that a mother thinks this is a way to teach a young child anything but how to be in therapy in your 30’s. Don’t take away a child’s presents. If I was the aunt who chose and bought a gift for him, I wouldn’t want you to give it away, because you are actually deciding for me that the charity should receive my choice for my nephew, paid for with my money. If you want people to write a check to a charity, that always seems presumptuous – who are you to decide who I give to? This woman is just putting her kid through a lot of distress, giving up his new gifts to please her. It’s not about giving at all, it’s about her control-freak process. I think she should be ashamed of herself.

Ever Yours on

I can understand about not donating used toys to hospitals–the toys need to be unwrapped & germ-free–but giving your child birthday/holiday gifts only to donate half [particularly after the child has played with the toy or may have grown attached to it] is downright sadistic. It is very much in the same vein as, “You want this? You want it? Well, you can’t have it! Hahaha!” Then your child looks at you with severe mistrust & unspoken sadness forever. So much for warped “altruistic values”…

gg on

I get it Molly you’re rich. If I had purchased your child a gift then you write an article about giving away gifts I would never buy you or your child a gift again and probably wouldn’t even go to the party. It’s just rude. Donate old toys or maybe grow up and realize people buy gifts for YOUR child and they do it with love then you slap them in the face. Nice.

Anonymous on

I wonder if she gave half of the presents she received at her baby shower to Baby2Baby as well.

Nancy on

If she wants to make donations, she should make donations in other things instead of donating her 2 year old son’s gifts. He is too young to understand what she was doing.