How Kelly Clarkson Says Her Messy Divorce Has Impacted Her Kids

Kelly Clarkson was known for singing many heartbreak anthems during her career, and it looked like she had finally found love when she met her now ex-husband, Brandon Blackstock. The two first met in 2006 at the Country Music Awards, but Blackstock was married at the time. Clarkson reconnected with him in 2012 and they married a year later. The couple went on to welcome River Rose in 2014 and Remington Alexander in 2016.

Unfortunately, Clarkson and Blackstock's marriage didn't make it, and the "Since U Been Gone" singer filed for divorce in 2020. Us Weekly reported that Clarkson was given primary custody of their children, with the documents reading: "The level of conflict between the parents has increased. The parties have a difficult time coparenting due to issues of trust between them."

Clarkson later opened up during an appearance on the "We Can Do Hard Things" podcast about wanting to stay in the marriage for their kids, despite her issues with Blackstock. "I don't want my kids to be those kids at school ... when you come down to daddy-daughter dances and you don't have anyone show up. You have to think of all those things and I think you play it out differently in your head, too," she shared. Inevitably, she admits the divorce did have some negative effects on River and Remington, and the singer has been open about her struggles raising kids of divorced parents.

Kelly Clarkson's kids were sad about the divorce

The number one priority for Kelly Clarkson amid her divorce from Brandon Blackstock was their two kids. "The hardest for me is the kids. That's the hardest for me. I think, as women especially, we're trained ... to take it all on, and you can deal with it, and you're fine, but it's your babies that you worry about," she stated on "The Kelly Clarkson Show." She revealed to Extra that she had consulted professional help and added, "We have a lot of help as far as therapists or child psychologists 'cause we want to do it right ... Everyone's sad and it's okay to be sad."

Clarkson shared on the "Angie Martinez IRL Podcast" that she tries her best to validate her children's feelings. "I literally ask my kids every night when we're snuggling up in the bed, 'Are you happy? And if you're not, what could make you happier?'" the singer told host Angie Martinez. Clarkson confessed that River and Remington don't always answer affirmatively and noted that it was a current theme in the few years after the divorce. As much as it pained her, she never wanted to shut the conversation down and went on to say that her kids would tell her, "You know, I'm just really sad, you know. I wish Mommy and Daddy were in the same house." The divorce also opened up conversations about love, and Clarkson found herself answering her kids' heartbreaking questions about why she doesn't love their dad anymore.

Kelly Clarkson's kids were worried her love for them would change

Kelly Clarkson's divorce was hard for her kids to understand and she revealed that they questioned what love meant for her in an episode of "Podcrushed." The "Already Gone" singer disclosed that her kids told her, "Wait, so you don't love Daddy anymore," to which she replied, "I love Daddy. I love that Daddy gave me you two. We just don't like each other like we did. It's just different now." She shared in the podcast, "You can see it on their face. They question, 'Can your love change for me?'" Clarkson also had to talk about her estranged relationship with her father after her kids asked why he wasn't around and told her, "You told me love is different with a parent and a child than with a husband and a wife. But it's not because your dad left you."

Clarkson continues to try to be a positive influence on her children and told Audacy in a conversation about mental health that she's in awe of how they handle their emotions. "I think it's just a really cool thing that my little girl or my little boy will walk in the room and be like 'Look, I'm feeling angry right now, and I don't know why,' or 'Look, I'm feeling hurt right now, or this hurt my feelings.'" She stated that she didn't grow up learning those tools and enjoyed her kid's ability to be open about their emotions.