Don’t mess with a mom! Jessie James Decker explains why she “felt the need to respond” to online criticism about her kids’ abs in an exclusive interview with Life & Style while gearing up to cohost ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve for the fourth time with Ryan Seacrest on Saturday, December 31, at 8 pm. EST. 

“You know, I think for me, I’m proud of my family, and I’m proud of my kids,” the Dancing With the Stars alum, 34, says. “And I’ll always want to encourage them to do what they love and what their heart wants. They love sports, and they’re active. And so, for me, I am so proud of them, and I will always encourage their passion for sports and being active. And I just draw the line when it comes to criticizing my kids. And so, I felt the need to respond, and I’m a mama bear, but I’m proud of them.” 

Jessie shares daughter Vivianne, 8, and sons Forrest, 4, and Eric II, 7, with husband Eric Decker 

On November 27, Jessie publicly clapped back at multiple online trolls after posting a photo via Instagram of her youngsters smiling outdoors. The snapshot featured the kiddos enjoying a tropical trip and wearing bathing suits, which revealed their rock-hard abs. After a slew of Instagram users accused the mom of three of Photoshopping fake abs onto her children and pushing them to be physically fit, the Eric & Jessie: Game On alum penned a lengthy note in response

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“I didn’t plan on addressing this because it’s bonkers, but the photos are out there and every single news outlet has posted about this,” the “I Still Love You” artist captioned a separate Instagram post on November 28. “When I posted the [pictures] of our vacation and included the kids being silly, flexing on the beach on our Thanksgiving trip, I had NO clue it would get the reaction it did.” 

Jessie continued, “But being accused of photoshopping abs on my kids (I can’t help but laugh) or … the polar opposite, ‘overtraining’ our kids, makes me realize how bizarre our world has gotten regarding the body, and what’s normal and what’s not. We preach about body positivity and acceptance, but my kids having a mass amount of genetic and built muscle [sic] from athletics is ‘weird?’”

She then explained the sports and activities each child enjoys the most and asserted that she wants to “encourage them to live their dreams.”

As for her advice to other moms who have faced scrutiny over how they raise their children, the Kittenish founder points out to Life & Style that it’s important to “tune out all the negativity ‘cause it doesn’t matter.” 

Jessie will be cohosting ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve on December 31 at 8 p.m. EST.