Brad Paisley: It’s ‘Hard’ to Let My Boys Make Their Own Mistakes

01/29/2014 at 01:00 PM ET

Brad Paisley The Night That Changed America Scott Kirkland/PictureGroup

He may be a huge country star, but Brad Paisley is a father first — even if it’s not always easy.

“They’re growing up,” Paisley, 41, told PEOPLE Monday at the taping of The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles, which airs Feb. 9 on CBS. “I see so much of me [in them].”

Paisley, who has two sons, Huck, 6½, and Jasper Warren, 4½, with his wife, former Nashville star Kimberly Williams-Paisley, has had to learn not to be an over-bearing parent as his boys continue to grow up.

“It’s hard not to tell your kids, ‘Don’t do that. I’ve made that mistake,'” Paisley said before performing the Beatles hit, “Here Comes the Sun,” on stage with Pharrell Williams. “You can tell them that all you want, but you’ve got to let them do it.”

And that’s not the only thing Paisley lets the boys do.

“My favorite thing right now is actually to go out and throw a football around with them,” he says with a smile. “They have to get past me at the goal line and they have to organize an offense against me. I let them win.”

When it comes to reading though, Paisley says Huck and Jasper are the ones beating him!

“They’re trying to learn how to read like every other 4 and 6 year old. They’re already reading better than me, but that’s not saying anything,” he jokes.

— Matthew Cole Weiss

Video Flashback: Kimberly Williams-Paisley Introduces Jasper

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Bee on

I’m confused – it’s hard not to let them make mistakes? At 6 and 4? Like what which crayon to choose? I think Brad is a bit ahead of himself – just wait a few more years Brad and then tell us if it’s still hard!

Mel on

Bee- I’m guessing you don’t have kids. Just because kids don’t make “adult” mistakes and decisions doesn’t mean they don’t make mistakes. Losing friends, wasting money, choosing a toy you know will break in 2 days, falling into the advertisement trap, standing by while they break rules, taking a toy outside of your home even though you’re certain it’ll get forgotten or broken…the list goes on and on. Learning from those mistakes will help them deal with “adult” decisions later on.

c.a. on

I have kids and don’t agree with or appreciate what Brad is saying here in terms of parenting. Brad Paisley says: “It’s hard not to tell your kids, ‘Don’t do that. I’ve made that mistake,’” “You can tell them that all you want, but you’ve got to let them do it.” Brad, you and Kimberly should “train up a child in the way he should go”. Part of the reason that you’re the parent is that you have the life experience to guide them. There’s a difference between guiding and being “overbearing”. Kids want and need direction and guidance from their parents.

Just Me on

c.a. you’re either reading way too much into this or you are an overbearing parent. He’s talking about letting kids be kids. Read Mel’s post, it’s right on the money.

manomer on

Oh my gosh c.a. get a grip! You do realize when they get interviewed and asked questions there are normally giving tongue and cheek answers. I am sure they are raising them just fine just like every other loving parent raises their kids.