Kelly Clarkson Says It's 'Crucial' For Young Kids To Stand Up For Themselves

Image via Getty Images/ Gilbert Carrasquillo

She shares how she’s teaching her young kids to be confident

There are a million reasons to love Kelly Clarkson to be sure, but (aside from when she’s singing of course) we love her most when she’s straight-shooting about parenting. Mom to toddlers River Rose and Remi, Clarkson says she’s already teaching them how to stand up for themselves when the occasion calls for it.

She’s also stepmom to two teenagers, for which she saves more in-depth parental wisdom. But she says she feels it’s never too early to start preparing kids for the real world. And that includes things like bullying.

“I said, ‘You tell mommy if somebody does anything inappropriate. You stand up for yourself,'” Clarkson told PEOPLE while discussing three-year-old River, who just started preschool.Even from a young age, I think you should instill that people, your children, should always stand up for themselves or speak out when something is wrong,” she said.

It’s invaluable advice no matter what age we are. Young children are so totally capable of understanding important life lessons, and the sooner we start to instill these ideals the better chance they have at growing into confident little humans.

Clarkson says she’s also teaching River that it’s just as important to stand up for others who may need a little backup. “Not only for them, what’s happening to them, but maybe somebody in the class who you notice,” she said.

Amen. Teaching the importance of empathy is a vital lesson, and it doesn’t matter how young a child is — learning to have compassion and look out for others is what makes a difference in the world.

“I think if we start it at that young age, and you start molding people and growing to these very elevated individuals that help elevate society,” she says. “It’s a really crucial time when you have children right now.”