Usher: I’m Always Giving My Kids Advice

06/12/2012 at 09:00 AM ET
Peter/Startraks

It was father-son bonding at its best.

R&B star Usher tells PEOPLE that he spent Memorial Day having an impromptu water fight with his sons, Usher V, 4½, and Naviyd Ely, 3½.

“We used bottles of water and got totally soaked,” he recalls. “Naviyd won. It was a hot day, and it just happened. I love fun times like that.”

The lighthearted outing was a welcome diversion for Usher, 33, who was in court recently due to a custody fight with ex-wife, Tameka Foster.

But instead of dwelling on the negative, Usher says that he tries to balance the fun times with serious talks with his sons.

“Every time I open my mouth, I try to give as much advice as possible,” he explains. “If my children are unclear on something, I take the time to explain it to them.”

And sometimes, he says, he has to lay down the law ­ despite his boys’ craftiness. “I took them to my mother’s house; she lives about two minutes away from me,” he recalls.

“Naviyd is addicted to peppermint, but he had already had dinner and dessert. So I told him he couldn’t have any candy, and he walked off. A couple of minutes later, when he thought I couldn’t hear, he was asking my mother if he could open a peppermint candy. He was trying to manipulate the situation.” (Usher says he had “a good laugh” at Naviyd’s efforts, but ultimately denied him the candy.)

Professionally, Usher is gearing up for the release of his new album, Looking 4 Myself, which hits stores Tuesday. He promises it’s his most personal album yet.

I do talk about my relationships,” he says. “I talk about my shortcomings, my transitions and my tumultuous story. This album is about my evolution. I like talking about what I feel.”

And when he’s home, he likes playing with his sons. “The last game we played was ‘it.’ You know, like tag,” he says. “The boys love to run around and play games with me; I’m a kid at heart.”

– Steve Helling

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Showing 9 comments

Shannon on

I’m sure Naviyd get his way with grandma when dad isn’t around!

fff on

Advise is he nuts?? They are 3 and 4 they wont even listen when they are 20 and 30. Bag the advise and enjoy your kids it goes so fast and in the end they always do what they want anyway just like we did.

James Sevell on

2 things: The kids are 4 and 3, not 4 1/2 and 3 1/2. Whoever wrote this article must also be 4 1/2. Second, it’s his freakin’ job to teach his flippin kids. The author of this article and this idiot dad think Usher is doing something new here. Write about something a little more important.

Mom Of Twins on

@fff, what’s wrong with giving your children advice. No they may not listen. If a child comes to you with something they want to talk about, they want to know what’s your thoughts/advice on it.

Jennifer on

HEY LOOK EVERYONE, THERE’S URKEL!!!

True on

He can raise his kids any way he likes and is doing a great job. Advice can go a long way if you start at a young age and beleive me at 48 I’m still getting advice from my mother and am happy to have her here to give it. Usher keep on doing what your doing you will appriciate your kids when they come to you for your advice trust me.

True on

Yeah and I bet you wished you had urkels money.

Amber on

“train up a child in the way that they should go, when they are old the will not depart from it” proverbs 3:6

Teach your boys early usher!!!

Calinative on

That’s sweet. But wait unitl turn into teenagers, different story.

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