Celine Dion has won countless awards and is recognised as one of the world’s leading female vocalists. Since the death of her husband and manager, René Angélil, in 2016, she’s brought up their three sons – René-Charles, and twins Eddy and Nelson – alone. Determined to give them a normal upbringing, her approach to parenting is straightforward and realistic.
1Encourage kids to follow their dreams
Every child should feel free to walk their own path. Dion made it clear to René-Charles after his father’s death that he should never feel he had to fill his shoes. He should pursue whatever he wanted for himself in life – not what anyone else expected.
Dion doesn’t want her kids to feel they have additional responsibilities because their dad is no longer around. She’s delighted that one of the twins is already a keen gymnast, while the other wants to play the piano. René-Charles is a keen hockey player – and his mother is his biggest fan.
2Self-pity is pointless
The death of her husband was devastating, but Dion is determined to show her children that there is no point in dwelling on things you can’t change. She’s admitted she has to try hard to be positive and strong, as it would be ‘toxic’ to keep thinking of what she has lost.
She is teaching her sons to live as happily as possible, knowing that nothing is perfect and not everything that happens is what you want.
3Take things down to their level
After their father died following a long battle with cancer, Dion had to find a way to explain death to her then-five-year-old twins. After doing some research and reading various books on the subject, she turned to one of the family’s favourite movies – Disney’s Up.
The kids understood that one of the characters, Ellie, had died and they couldn’t see her. Dion told the twins their father was ‘up’ with Ellie, where nobody gets sick. She suggested they could send him messages using a helium balloon, which they did as an acknowledgment that their dad had gone forever.
4Remember half-siblings are family too
René Angélil had three children before his marriage to Dion. After his death, they were included in as she thanked people for their support and were present at a special memorial to her husband. They joined her on stage, along with her own children, and have also been part of several family trips.
By including them in their lives, Dion is demonstrating to her sons that their half-siblings are part of the family, and important in their lives.
5There’s nothing wrong with an age gap
Dion’s eldest son, René-Charles, was born in 2001. The twins are ten years younger. The age gap was intentional, and the singer says she believes it has made life easier. Because René-Charles was older, he had already enjoyed his parents’ undivided attention. He was able to understand the concept of siblings and not feel left out. On the other hand, Dion has been able to give her youngest sons plenty of quality time of their own.
6Languages are a good skill to have
Dion is French-Canadian, as was her husband. Their children are naturally bi-lingual, speaking French and English fluently, as the couple made a point of communicating in both languages. The singer believes this will help them later in life and feels parents should encourage their children to learn different languages.