Celine Dion has suffered a lot of hardships in the past few years.
In early 2016, her husband, René Angélil, died following a long battle with throat cancer. The couple were married for more than two decades. Soon after that devastating news, Celine also lost her brother to cancer.
Then in early 2018, the vocal powerhouse revealed that she's been fighting an illness that's causing inflammation in her throat muscles.
Despite all these struggles, Celine has remained strong for her kids. She describes her 17-year-old boy René-Charles, and her 7-year-old twins Eddy and Nelson, as the most important people in her life.
We've been inspired by her ability to stay strong, and we should also be inspired by the way she raises her kids.
1. The Afterlife
Celine's children knew that their father was battling cancer for many years. Once he passed away, the singer wanted a good way to explain what happens after you die to her young twins.
She opened up about the experience on Good Morning America, where she revealed that she compared death to the animated movie Up.
"Then I said [to the kids], 'Do you remember the movie Up?' It's one of our favorites, and they said, 'Oh yes, Ellie went up with the balloons,' and I said, 'Well, you know, today Papa went up, because Papa was very sick.'"
Celine told her kids that their father went up to the sky to another world, just like the main character's wife did. She also reassured her kids that they can send balloons to him so that he knows they are thinking about him.
The mother of three didn't just want her kids sending helium balloons to remember their late father.
Celine wanted her boys to keep their beloved father's memory alive by mentioning his name every night before they go to bed.
“We kiss him every night,” she told The Sun. “We have a little ritual where we say goodnight to him with a little picture. Then the kids talk to him. And they write words, put them in balloons and we send the balloons to the sky.”
She also reminds them that "Papa is in your heart."
Celine's idea to keep their father's memory alive every day is simply beautiful. There are a lot of parents who avoid speaking about a deceased loved one to avoid the painful reminder that they're gone.
"He left me with all of his strength. Every day we live with him, just not physically. I'm thankful that he does not suffer anymore," Celine told Good Morning America.
3. Sleeping Together
Two young boys losing their father is a lot to take in, and Celine wants to make sure her twins feel safe and loved every night.
Cuddling has been proven to release feel-good hormones that eases pain, boosts the immune system, and reduces fear and anxiety.
But sharing a bed with her boys isn't only helping them cope with the loss of a loved one. Celine told The Sun that she "needs them close" and that they "comfort" her during this difficult time.
“When it’s time for them to say they want their room, their room’s ready. But we watch a lot of TV together."
4. Hair Length
If you didn't know that Celine has three boys, you'd probably look at her photos with her kids thinking that her twins are girls.
Celine has said on many occasions that she likes to give her kids the decision to choose what they want.
Her firstborn grew his hair until he was eight years old, but he didn't decide to cut it himself at that time, it was apparently against "school regulations."
The twins have also grown out their hair like their older brother, but have cut their wavy locks in early 2017.
5. Naming Kids
Nowadays you'll hear the most bizarre celebrity baby names, as famous parents look to find the most unique name for their children.
Celine told Oprah Winfrey in 2011 that she and her husband had a very hard time choosing a meaningful name for their twins.
They gave them nicknames at first, but then it got really confusing.
“It’s like, ‘Was the hat switched? I thought this was Baby A,’ ” she said. “And I’m like, ‘Stop [with] the As and the Bs. I’m going to do C [and] Ds right now. My name is Céline Dion with a C and a D, so don’t push me because I’m close to the edge!’"
Eventually they agreed on naming their kids after heroes.
Nelson was named after former South African president, Nelson Mandela. Eddy was named in honor of Eddy Marnay, the famous French-Jewish songwriter, who produced the singer's first five French albums.
It's hard to teach your kids two languages when you have a busy work schedule, even if you and your husband speak the same foreign language.
Celine and her husband worked hard to make sure that all her kids would be fluent in both French and English, since they were both raised in the French side of Canada.
The twins apparently were able to communicate in both languages at only four months old!
The couple believe that bilingualism will help their kids communicate better with their peers and family members.
“Communication. Anything talking, communication. [It’s key] for marriage, for children, for anything," she told Access Online.
7. Becoming An Adult
When most teenagers think of adulthood, they think of legal drinking, but of course, it's more than that. There's a lot of responsibility that comes with growing older.
Celine wanted to teach her oldest son, who is turning into a young adult, the importance of responsibility. Not many people would give their kid the task of reading a eulogy at a funeral, but Celine did.
Celine revealed that her oldest son was hesitant to deliver such a profound speech, but she told him that she believed he was mature enough to do it.
René-Charles wowed the world when he gave an emotional eulogy in 2016 during his father's funeral. He was only 15 years old at the time, but his speech was worded so beautifully that it sounded like it was coming from the mouth of an adult.
Read this part of his touching speech:
“You left me now with enough good memories of you to share with my younger brothers. As they grow older, without you being around, I’ll make sure to pass on what I’ve learned from you. You are a tough act to follow, but with your help, everything’s gonna be fine. Dad, I promise you here that we’re all going to live up to your standards."
8. The Importance Of Family
I've always wondered how one of the biggest superstars in the world has so much time to spend with her family. But knowing Celine, there's nothing that she values more than her loved ones.
Birthdays don't simply consist of cake and balloons, it's all about fun!
For one of the twins' birthdays, they all dressed up as Michael Jackson, and I'm sure they had a great time singing and dancing to his signature songs.
Spending time with family during the holidays is also very important to the mother of three.
Because the twins love Disneyland, Celine loves going there too. Even their big brother comes along for the fun.
9. Being Humble And Grateful
Rene-Charles isn't your average celebrity kid. Sure he has backstage photos with celebrity musicians and actors, but you'll never see an inappropriate photo of him on social media.
Celine's boys could be described as miracles, because she had to undergo surgical procedures to help her become pregnant - twice!
She was in her early 40s when she had her twins, meaning her babies were at high-risk of Down Syndrome and she was at risk of preeclampsia, which is a pregnancy complication that causes damage to the organs.
"At night I go to bed and my kids are sleeping and I can’t wait for tomorrow to have my coffee and my kids. It’s the simple pleasures of life that make the most sense," she said.
These simple pleasures also inspire her kids to be grateful for the smallest things.
10. Follow Your Dreams
Whether it's matters of the heart or what you want to do for the rest of your life, the singer believes her kids have the right to choose how they want to spend their time on Earth.
She still clearly remembers the day her mother disproved of her marriage to René , even though she was head over heels for her late husband, who was 26 years her senior.
"In my early 20s I fell in love with René but we were hiding it from the world because it was impossible to fall in love with a man who had three children and was married twice. It was a no-no with my mum," she recalled.
The five-time Grammy winner is okay with her firstborn pursing hockey, one of her twins pursing gymnastics, and another playing the piano.
"I would never want you to feel the pressure of being the man of the house; you have your own dreams and he is always with you in your heart, and I am here for you,’” she told her eldest son.
How does Celine Dion inspire you?