Kelly Clarkson Says She's Not a Friend to Her Kids & That's 'Key'

kelly clarkson bookSinger-songwriter Kelly Clarkson is one busy lady. In addition to working on a new album and welcoming her second child this spring, the original American Idol has written a just-released children's book. The 34-year-old came up with the idea for River Rose and the Magical Lullaby while traveling with her daughter. Though she's thrilled to add "author" to her resume, it's the titles "mom" as well as "stepmom" (to her husband Brandon Blackstock's 15-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son) that make her the most proud -- and provide her with the biggest challenge. 

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CafeMom had a chance to chat (and eat) with the Grammy winner during a luncheon hosted by Good Housekeeping in celebration of the launch of Clarkson's first children's book.

kelly clarkson book

Clarkson shared that her stepson Seth's reaction to her book served as a great reminder of the importance of making all four of their kids feel special and loved.

"He read it and first thing he said wasn't, like, 'Great job!' It was like, 'Where's my character?'" she recalled.

Being that both Clarkson and her husband come from blended families, the songstress is sensitive to the need to be as inclusive as possible.

"I told him, 'I'll write you in, I'll get you in there.' I might do a brother's thing," she said regarding possible sequels to this tale, which follows a little girl on her magical travels and includes the original lullaby Clarkson wrote to help River fall asleep. 

"I've been a stepkid and it's hard to feel included," Clarkson added. "The hardest part is to make sure everyone feels equally loved and instill that in them, which I feel like my childhood prepared me and him for [pointing to Blackstock] too. We're both from blended families. I can also be like 'Knock it off, you're playing that card. You're making that up.'"

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Being close to her stepchildren is so important to Clarkson that the ambitious mom said she tried her hand at homeschooling them so they could travel the world with her and their dad. 

"That's a whole different education and I think just as valuable as science class," she said. 

The singer made a valiant effort for three weeks before recognizing it was time to call in the pros. (It's OK, Kelly, we know you've got just a few other things going on at the same time. LOL.) But the experience gave her a newfound appreciation for her mom, who was a teacher.

"I call my mom on the regular to say, 'I don't know how you did it,'" says Clarkson, who dedicated her book to her mother.

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When talking about their parenting style, Clarkson said there is no "good cop, bad cop," adding, "We're both bad. We're both disciplinarians."

Recognizing that their kids enjoy many of the privileges she and Blackstock didn't have growing up, Clarkson says her greatest wish is that they each grow up to "have a servant's heart and be respectful." 

"I'm not a friend to them. I'm their mother, which is key," she said, adding that any time her stepdaughter asks for advice she's super-honest. "I think a thing that can get confusing or inconsistent is when mothers, especially, try to be girlfriends to their daughters, instead of moms. They can have girlfriends already. Sometimes you have to say 'no,' and that's because you should, and not because you're not 'the cool mom.' And it's hard. It's definitely hard molding a life."

When asked if she had any advice for moms juggling a career, a teen, a tween, a toddler, and an infant, she laughed and said, "Hang in there!" 

 

Images via GoodHousekeeping

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