Julie Jordan
April 18, 2018 12:00 PM

When it comes to raising her kids, Pink has learned a thing or two about the importance of rules.

Having grown up in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, the singer insists her father Jim “was really strict,” she tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story. “He’s military, so it’s just a certain way that you’re brought up. But I’m glad. It gave me a lot of discipline.”

Now the Grammy winner, currently on her Beautiful Trauma tour, is “a tough mama” to son Jameson Moon, 15 months, and daughter Willow Sage, 6½, with husband Carey Hart — but an honest one as well.

“I’m a truth-teller,” says Pink, 38. “I tell my daughter the truth. I let her be 6, but I want her to know about fairness and kindness, and that you have to fight for your rights, and that sometimes girls aren’t paid as much as boys for the same job, and girls aren’t treated the same and that they have to work harder for everything.”

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Peggy Sirota

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As for raising her son in today’s world, Pink wants to ensure that Jameson is “allowed to be sensitive,” she says. “There’s a documentary called The Mask You Live In that’s incredible and how ‘be a man’ are three of the most detrimental words that can be said to a little boy.”

“I’m all about crying. I think everybody should cry more,” she adds. “Willow’s kind of tired of my tears. She said the other day, ‘Mama, I promise to tell you more about my feelings if you promise to tell me less about yours.’ ”

So how would she describe her kids’ personalities? “Willow is very literal,” Pink says. “She’s got a scientific brain. She’s really funny, really sassy, a little too smart.”

Watch the full episode of People Cover Story: Pink – How I’m Raising Strong Kids, streaming now on PeopleTV.com, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite device.

Peggy Sirota

RELATED VIDEO: Pink is PEOPLE’s Beautiful Issue Cover Star! Breaking Down Why the Rock Star Mom Was the Perfect Choice

Jameson “is a hambone,” the singer adds. “He’s the most social baby I’ve ever met in my life. I’m trying to say, ‘Stranger danger!’ And he’s like, ‘What?! Strangers are only strangers ’til they’re your friends.’ He’s a hilarious baby. With a temper. He bit me! I got bit yesterday for the first time in my whole life. I couldn’t believe it.”

For more from our Beautiful Issue, pick up the magazine when it hits newsstands on Friday and check out all of our coverage on PEOPLE.com.

And while timeouts “don’t really work” for Willow “because she’ll sit there and sing,” Pink makes a point of never “talking down” to her kids while explaining there are rules and consequences.

“I’m a tough mama,” she adds. “I expect a lot. I have a high bar for myself and for others, and it’s not easy to be loved by me. But she gets it and she’s smart, and thoughtful because of it.”

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