“Just recently our nanny told me that an older kid was mean to my daughter [3-year-old River Rose] at the park and that she just crumbled,” Clarkson told the magazine.“I’m glad I wasn’t there, because I wouldn’t have handled that well. I totally went off on that 6-year-old in my head!”
This isn’t the first time the star has spoken out about bullying. Earlier this year the star told Variety it’s something she faced from record executives early in her career, recalling a meeting in 2004 where she was talked down to and her talents were belittled. "A group of men thought it was okay to sit around a young woman and bully her. I was told I should shut up and sing," she said.
Clarkson has grown a lot since that meeting, but is teaching River Rose, and 1-year-old Remington, along with her stepchildren, Savannah, 16, and Seth, 11, how to deal with bullies.
In an interview with PrideSource the star revealed that Savannah had been on the receiving end of some cyber-bullying in the form of passive-aggressive and hateful comments from an adult. Clarkson says she got real with her stepdaughter.
“I said, ‘This is gonna happen so often, so this would be a good time to learn to take the high road. Block them or whatever you want to do to not see it, if you don't want to see it,’” she recalled.
The star, who calls herself a Mama Bear, says she wants to protect the children she shares with husband Brandon Blackstock from everyone and everything that could hurt them, but knows that River Rose and Remy will meet more mean kids on the playground before they get to be Seth and Savannah’s age, and hopes to give all her kids the skills and resilience to deal with bullying as it comes.
“It's an epidemic that's horrible and it needs to be addressed,” Clarkson said, “But at the same time, when you have kids coming to you, I just have to teach her to rise above it.”
Experts agree, and say parents need to be having conversations about bullying even when it’s not an issue for their own child, as it has ripple effects on entire communities.
It’s probably a good thing Clarkson wasn’t there at the playground when River Rose was bullied, and the fact that it happened at all signals a need for societal change. That 6-year-old likely wouldn’t have benefited from the wrath of Mama Bear Clarkson, but it sounds like they could benefit from some of the lessons she’s teaching her own kids.