"I think more men should embrace their emotions. I think that's really important in this world," the mom-of-2 said.
Chrissy Teigen wants her son to know there is "no right way to be a man." Speaking to PEOPLE for the magazine's Beautiful Issue, the 35-year-old revealed that she and husband John Legend make a conscious effort to avoid reinforcing traditional gender norms when raising their kids. This involves teaching her 2-year-old son Miles to embrace his emotions, said Teigen, explaining that the youngster "is very emotional" and a lot like her. "He wears his heart on his sleeve, and we embrace that. I think more men should embrace their emotions. I think that's really important in this world," she said.
"That it's okay to cry, and it's okay to be upset about something or to be sad about something. We're going to talk it through and it's okay," the Cravings author continued. "There is no 'Be a man' in our house. There's no right way to be a man, and John is so good about showing them through how he treats me how to be a good man, how to be a good father. It's wonderful to see." Teigen and Legend's 4-year-old daughter Luna, meanwhile, is said to be "exactly" like her mother. "She is a bit of a perfectionist which I didn't know I was until the past few years," the proud mom gushed.
"I'm trying to tell her that not everything — it's funny because when I talk to her, I'm actually talking to myself too — not everything has to be perfect and there is joy and beauty in imperfections, and don't be so hard on yourself. And that's me talking to myself when I tell her that stuff," Teigen added. Speaking of her parenting outlook, the cookbook author explained that she prefers a free-spirited approach. "I'm an open, free spirit and I love kids to be kids," she said. "For us, kindness is such a big thing. When you meet our kids, they're very warm and friendly. You instill those things in them, but for the most part, let them be creative and wondrous and spirited and curious beings."
Teigen, who has been quite vocal about her difficult journey to parenthood, revealed in December that she will never be pregnant again following the loss of her son—whom she and Legend named Jack—after 20 weeks of pregnancy in September. In her latest interview, she shared that she is still coming to terms with it and explained why it's so important for her to "make sure everybody has access" to fertility treatments. "Coming to terms with not being able to carry again is still really difficult for me because I feel so healthy. I'm like, why?" she said. "But then I think about it as my uterus is just not cooperating with me — and it's not a failure."
Speaking of conceiving Luna and Miles via IVF, Teigen said: "I'm so lucky for that. I just think of it in terms of how blessed I am already, and also there are so many ways to have a child nowadays... whether it's surrogacy or adoption. For me what's really important is being able to make sure that everybody has access to those ways and making sure that people are able to make their dreams come true. It would just be a beautiful thing. It's so incredibly expensive to freeze your eggs and to harvest them. IVF isn't an option for a lot of people and it needs to be. It shouldn't be such an expensive endeavor for a woman trying to conceive a child."
Teigen revealed that she and Legend are honoring Jack with a special tree planted inside their new home. "It's important for us in Thai tradition that we always embrace the ones we've lost, and they're never, ever gone. This tree being planted inside the home, the whole reason why I wanted it was so Jack's ashes could be in that soil and he could be with us all the time and grow through the beautiful leaves in this tree," she said. "The way Miles and Luna talk about him is so beautiful and reminds me of when I was little talking to my grandpa who was just sitting bedside next to my mom in a little urn. It's all beautiful, and I love that tradition carries down."