Giuliana and Bill Rancic take parenting very seriously.
The TV and entrepreneur power couple manage to make their 6½-year-old son Edward Duke their No.1 priority and not only know how to include him in their daily schedules while traveling, but also how to make it fun.
“[Duke is] fortunate that he gets to come on the road with us,” Bill, 48, tells PEOPLE. “He travels with us and in every city we give him a scavenger hunt. So when he is in New York City, he has to go to the top of the Empire State Building, he has to go to the Statue of Liberty — he’s 6, but we want him to experience these cities and really have some takeaway. It’s experiential learning.”
Giuliana, 44, explains to PEOPLE that her very active son loves to partake in not just their work travels, but also in their careers themselves: “He loves anything to do with our jobs. I have a clothing line on HSN and he watches me on HSN.”
“The other day, I come home from HSN and I’m in my room unpacking and Duke has set up on the coffee table, all the products, and he’s like, ‘Mom, shoot me on your phone’ and he’s doing the presentation of [my] skincare line,” the E! News host says. “Then I asked if he wanted to watch and he said, ‘No, just make sure it gets on TV.’ “
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Duke also likes to lend a helping hand at the family’s RPM eateries. “He loves delivering dessert at our restaurants,” Bill tells PEOPLE. “At RPM Steak, we have a cotton-candy maker and he’ll go make cotton candy and then just bring it out to people randomly and I’m like ‘Duke, they’re still eating their steak!’ “
But Duke doesn’t stop there — the energetic youngster also loves visiting his mother on the E! News set. Last year, Giuliana shared a video of her son playing in front of the show’s TV screens with her co-host, Jason Kennedy.
The TV personality famously took some time away from her hosting job, deciding to scale back on work priorities and focus on family. And since returning to her daily E! role, Giuliana’s lifestyle has changed.
“One thing that has helped is that Duke is now in school — he’s in kindergarten. They have a full day, so during that time I am lucky in terms of my house, so I can be at work while he’s at school,” she explains. “I go in, tape the show in terms of E! News, so it’s great. Then we travel a lot as a family.”
Giuliana goes on to say that her son is not only curious but not shy around adults, attributing that confidence to his worldly experiences. As Bill explained to PEOPLE, “He’s a great traveler, he asks tons of questions — he’s the most inquisitive kid I’ve ever met.”
The family most recently visited Naples, Italy, where Giuliana spent her childhood before moving to the U.S. The special trip marks the first time the Rancics have taken their son to visit Giuliana’s Italian family members and while abroad, the couple also ventured to Capri and took their son to the church where they wed in 2007.
“One of the highlights of our trip to Italy this week was visiting the church we were married in almost 12 years ago,” Giuliana captioned a picture of her family standing outside the church doors. “On that day, Bill and I had no idea that we would be dealt some tough cards, like the struggle to have a child. We thought (like so many others) that our journey would be an easy one.”
“Little did we know, years of heartache, disappointment and many tears lay ahead of us. But now, seven years later, here we are … standing in front of the church [where] we became husband and wife with our little guy by our side,” she added. “It wasn’t easy but somehow we managed to keep our faith throughout the most painful of moments. What’s meant to be, is … and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”
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And when it comes to their 12-year marriage, the couple tells PEOPLE they are “best friends” first and foremost.
“You have to be able to communicate and open dialogue with each other,” Bill explains. “You have to be proactive rather than reactive. We do something called checking in and it’s an opportunity where you can talk about things that are bothering you and even things that you enjoy. A lot of people check in and it’s just the negative, but it’s also a time to re-enforce the positive.”
Giuliana says that in addition to checking in, sharing and finding similar-interest activities always helps to keep things fresh and exciting.
“If you don’t have similar interests, try and find some,” she advises. “It’s fine and important to have your own interests, but take some time to figure out, ‘What can we do together?’ “
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The couple reveal that they recently added a new hobby to their list of things to do together: pickleball.
Laughing about partaking in pickleball tournaments, they say the unique sport is something that they not only look forward to doing together but is just plain fun.
“We’re technically pros,” Bill jokes to PEOPLE.
His wife concludes, “It’s something that we discovered later in our 40s, and we love it and it’s fun.”
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