Her musical talent took Kelly Clarkson from working as a telemarketer, waitress and promoter in Burleson, Texas, to a pop star glamming it up in L.A. But it’s still not the career path she wants for her two kids.
The original American Idol, 36, discussed the topic during a press conference Tuesday following the season finale of The Voice. For the second year in a row, someone Clarkson coached — this time, 16-year-old Chevel Shepherd — won the singing competition. (In 2017, the victor was 15-year-old Brynn Cartelli.)
She added that she often acts like a stage mom for members of her team on the reality show, especially if they win. “I get so excited and I’m afraid of what kind of mom I would be,” she continued, explaining that she worries her support would come with strings attached.
“I think I would be my mom … She would be like, ‘I have heard better but it was solid!’ ” she quipped.
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Even though this approach made Clarkson work harder and always keep pushing herself, she said she “[doesn’t] want [them] to have to do that.”
“I hope they are teachers or doctors or something … It’s a hard industry,” she mused.
“I warned Brynn’s mom … I’m like, ‘Hold onto them!’ ” Clarkson continued. ” ‘Hug them and tell them really nice things because people are mean.’ That’s horrible, but it is reality.”
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“Teacher” and “doctor” are expanding the list of acceptable jobs for Clarkson’s kids. Early this year, she told PEOPLE exclusively that she thinks her daughter River will grow up to be a CEO.
“She will run a company one day because there’s no way she’s gonna work for anyone,” the “Love So Soft” singer said during an interview for The Beautiful Issue. “She does not heed advice very well. She’s just very ballsy, which is awesome.”
Clarkson is encouraging her daughter in her individual growth, too, by helping her answer questions about the person she wants to be — with a couple of strong female role models thrown in for good measure.
“I’m like, ‘Was that brave,’ or ‘Was that nice, was that kind?’ ” she said. “And she goes, ‘I’m not Wonder Woman.’ I’m like, ‘You are Wonder Woman,’ because she loves Wonder Woman … and she’s like, ‘I River. But I’m like Merida, I brave.’ She’s very cute, [but] she’s very manipulative because she’s 3.”
The Grammy nominee added that there’s a “fine line” between helping her daughter feel empowered and making sure she stays within the parenting-rule lines, but that “every mom figures it out” even though they “screw it up” sometimes.
Clarkson went on to share that her son Remy is the “sensitive soul” of the bunch (she’s also stepmom to husband Brandon Blackstock‘s children, Seth and Savannah, from a previous relationship).
“You will melt, you will be like, ‘Ugh,’ ” she said.