Being a strong person doesn't mean that you don't have emotions and vulnerabilities, which is not an easy lesson to learn sometimes. But if there's anyone who can teach it, it might just be Pink. In a cover story interview with People, Pink shared how she gets her kids to talk about their feelings and know that having them to begin with doesn't make you "not strong." And for the pop star, that all starts with vulnerability.
Pink said in her interview with People that she was raised in a military family, which meant that her dad had a lot of rules and was pretty strict. She also told People that she's also a "tough" mom, but she tries to make sure she's as open as possible with her little ones, 6-year-old Willow and 15-month-old Jameson. The 38-year-old mom told the publication, "I’m a truth-teller. I tell my daughter the truth. I let her be 6, but I want her to know about fairness and kindness." Her theory seems to be that if you're honest, they'll be honest, too.
She added in the same interview that she also talks about the realities of being a young woman in this world, making sure that Willow knows she has to "fight" for her 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.” That way, she'll know it's alright to get frustrated about things or speak up when she has to.
Then again, Willow gets a little sick of talking about feelings all the time.
Pink joked in the same interview with People:
I’m all about crying. I think everybody should cry more. 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."
Don't worry — she's not just teaching her daughter about how to be real, cry, and share her feelings. According to People, Pink also hopes to raise her son Jameson so that he knows "being a man" isn't about being a tough guy or never opening up. She explained in the same interview that she's teaching him to know it's alright to be "sensitive" and recommends that moms of sons watch the documentaryThe Mask You Live In, which she called "incredible." Pink added that she's learned "be a man" are "three of the most detrimental words that can be said to a little boy.”
That kind of attitude is definitely in line with other things Pink has shared in the past about how she wants to parent her kids. Last year, she stirred up some controversy among fans when she said that she wanted to raise her kids to be gender neutral. Some who didn't really understand that that we socialize kids to be gendered in the first place left some nasty comments on her social media pages, mostly because they seemed to not understand that gender and sexual orientation have nothing to do with each other.
But, really, making sure that a boy knows that he can cry and a girl knows she can speak up about what she's feelings (even if it's to tell her mom to stop bawling) is all gender neutral parenting really means. It's that simple. Pink said last December in an interview with Sunday People that she and husband Carey Hart strive to live in a "label-less" household. So far, things seem to be going as planned.
That doesn't mean they don't have their family moments. As sensitive as Pink is raising baby Jameson to be, she shared with People that he bit her recently, though whether he was trying to be funny or mean is still up for debate. According to People, she shared:
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.
See? Every family has their ups and downs. But Pink encouraging her kids to talk about how they feel and stand up for themselves is a great foundation to start from. The world could all use a few more open minds.
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.