How Kelly Clarkson Is Raising Her 'Ballsy' 3-Year-Old Daughter to Be 'Kind' and 'Brave'
Kelly Clarkson‘s two children (and two stepchildren) all have their own unique personalities, but at 3½, one of them is already showing future CEO potential.
“She will run a company one day because there’s no way she’s gonna work for anyone,” the singer shares of daughter River Rose in an interview for PEOPLE’s The Beautiful Issue. “She does not heed advice very well. She’s just very ballsy, which is awesome.”
Clarkson, 35, 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?’ ” says Clarkson. “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.”
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The Voice coach says 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.
“I love that [River] is very bold, and she’s progressive for 3,” says Clarkson. “She watches Jurassic Park and loves it, and Harry Potter … it doesn’t affect her and she’s just very grown up and very boss.””I don’t want my daughter to be a pushover when she’s older. So that’s an awesome thing, it’s an awesome aspect of her character,” explains the star, adding, “At the same time, you also want to have an adult that doesn’t think they’re right all the time. But toddlers are just so egocentric and it’s just a stage that some people don’t grow out of, let’s be real. But mine will.”
River may be the Jurassic Park fan in the household, but her 2-year-old little brother Remington “Remy” Alexander could very well be taking a few of his own destructive cues from the dinos on screen.
Clarkson tells PEOPLE that while her youngest is the “sensitive soul” of the bunch (she’s also stepmom to husband Brandon Blackstock‘s children from a previous relationship: Seth, 11, and Savannah, 16), he’s not afraid to get a little rowdy with his activities.
“You will melt, you will be like, ‘Ugh,’ ” she says. “[But] like our oldest, I think he’s gonna be more the athlete, just like, ‘How can I knock something over?’ He’s like the Tasmanian Devil — anything that can and will be destroyed, is.”
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.
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While Clarkson does share photos of her kids on social media, she’s not obsessed with it — and in fact, thinks worrying about getting a certain number of likes “creates so much anxiety” for kids and teenagers.
“I am one of those people that can’t stand social media, sorry world,” she says. “I just feel like it’s vanity run amok, and I also feel like sometimes [with] kids our oldest daughter’s age, around 16, it’s like nothing is real unless it’s been validated on Instagram or liked. And I’m like, ‘What? That’s ridiculous.’ ”
“I try and teach them I don’t need somebody to tell me that,” Clarkson adds. “I think I’m awesome, I think I’m doing all right and I love myself for me, and that’s a really hard thing to teach this next generation because of social media.”