Ever since she became a mom, Kelly Clarkson has remained refreshingly candid about her children and how she approaches motherhood. The American Idol alum also has no problem sharing her parenting philosophies — even if they go against the popular opinion. Although she has received flak in the past for her thoughts on discipline, that hasn't stopped this The Voice judge from speaking her mind. And, in my opinion, Kelly Clarkson's thoughts on her kids hitting each other are actually totally legit.
Parents of young children know all too well that kids will always find something to fight about. And when they're really little, they might not react in the best ways when a sibling takes away a toy or gives them a little push. In the heat of the moment, it's pretty typically for toddlers and preschoolers to get frustrated and whack one another. The way Clarkson sees it, sometimes this sort of behavior is totally warranted, as Us Weekly reported.
On Thursday, the mom of two — River Rose, 3, and Remi, 2 — appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and the duo got on the subject of River's "authoritative" tendencies, particularly when it comes to manhandling her younger brother. "He will just full on punch her," Clarkson told DeGeneres. "I don’t know what to do. Cause you want him to defend himself. She’ll wait until your back is turned and she’ll push him. She’ll push him down and think we won’t figure it out."
It’s a fine line of stick up for yourself and then don’t hit people. But if she knocks him, I’m like, "Well, you asked for it."
As a mom of three kids — ages 6, 4, and 2 — navigating the whole hitting-amongst-siblings business can be tricky. On one hand, it's not OK to get physical. On the other hand, a kid needs to learn that if they're going to dish it out, they shouldn't be horribly surprised if they get the same in return. With that said, hitting in retaliation still isn't right. When my 4-year-old daughter smacks her toddler sister, I make it a point to explain that it's not OK to hit. If her little sister takes away a toy or does something she doesn't like, then she should come to mommy or daddy, and help her with the situation. Because hitting her sister only teaches the 2-year-old that hitting is acceptable.
At the same time, though, I'm right there with Clarkson when the 4-year-old knocks down the 2-year-old, and then the toddler retaliates. (Because at that age, they don't really understand.) During these situations, I'm all like...
In the past, Clarkson has also been vocal about other aspects of parenting — such as like spanking, as Billboard reported. During a January interview with New York's 98.9 The Buzz, Clarkson explained that she "is not above spanking," when it comes to disciplining her children. “I don’t mean hitting her hard,” Clarkson said, reference to River Rose. “I just mean a little spanking ... My parents spanked me and I did fine in life. I feel fine about it, and I do that as well." She continued:
I warn her. I'm like, "Hi, I'm going to spank you on your bottom if you don't stop right now, this is ridiculous," and honestly it's really helped. She doesn't do that kind of stuff as often.
It's worth mentioning the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strongly opposes striking a child for any reason. "Whenever a parent strikes a child, it may undermine the relationship of trust that the child needs to thrive," the AAP explains.
Tackling another controversial parenting subject — getting babies/young children to fall asleep and stay asleep on their own — Clarkson has also shared that she's definitely not a proponent for bed sharing, as People reported. During a 2015 interview with Radio Disney, the singer explained that sleeping in the same bed with her infant daughter just wasn't for her.
“A friend of mine was like, ‘Our kid sleeps with us every night; it’s this whole new way of life,’ which is great for her," she said at the time, according to People. “But in my world, we’re sleeping. I don’t want my kid rolling over and hitting me in the face. That’s not good sleep.” Clarkson continued:
She’s been in her own bed; she’s never slept with us ever. I’m just very adamant about that, even to create her independence and her own identity and to be safe in her own room ... I don’t want to create a kid that’s stuck to my leg.
Whether or not you agree with Clarkson's parenting choices, one thing's for sure: this mama is consistent. She has her own way of getting things done, and her children know what to expect. And as I've learned through the years, consistency is one of those parenting skills that can be particularly difficult to master.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.