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Ciara on singing with her kids, moving her family to Denver and her son's reaction to her Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover

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Welcome to So Mini Ways, Yahoo Life's parenting series on the joys and challenges of child-rearing.

Last month Ciara was one of four women to grace the 2022 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover, an achievement the singer had long considered a "big, big goal." The steamy shoot got glowing reviews, but how did her three kids — Future, 8, Sienna, 5, and Win, 1 — react?

"When I do the things that are a bit more spicy, they're kind of like 'eurgh' — they do that kind of funny stuff," Ciara says, pulling a face. "But Sienna did think Mommy was beautiful. Future's the one that if I'm like 'pop, pop,' he's like, 'stop, stop.' He's funny like that, like, 'ugh, Mom ... '"

All jokes aside, the Grammy winner counts herself lucky to have kids who are "so supportive and so proud of me." She's hopeful that going after her own goals — landing an iconic magazine cover, writing a new hit — will model for them what success and self-confidence can look like.

Ciara opens up about moving with her family to Denver and empowering her kids. (Photo: Getty; designed by Quinn Lemmers)
Ciara opens up about moving with her family to Denver and empowering her kids. (Photo: Getty; designed by Quinn Lemmers)

"It's always sweet to feel their love and to see when they're proud of me because I hope that when they see me doing my thing, they can be inspired and know that hey, anything you dream of is possible. If you believe in your dream, that's where it starts. And if Mommy did it, why can't I do it?"

Ciara tells Yahoo Life's So Mini Ways that she wants her kids to have a "why not you attitude" to help them realize that they have within them the ability to pursue their goals. Fittingly, Why Not You? also happens to be the title of the children's book she and husband Russell Wilson released earlier this year to empower a broader audience of kids. At home, the "Level Up" singer says she pays attention to the things her own children are drawn to; for Sienna, it's gymnastics, while Future is a natural athlete with "incredible hand-eye coordination" who can also play the piano. The next step, she notes, is to nurture that interest with encouragement and the resources, such as lessons or a relevant camp, to take it further.

"You just kind of, like, read them," she says. "And I think time always tells you what the best thing is for your babies. I think the most important thing is, whatever they choose to do in their life, they've got to do it because they love it and they can be great at it."

Not surprisingly, music is another passion in the Wilson household — so much so that Ciara tapped Future and Sienna to join her in recording the single "Treat" for her new partnership with Kellogg's Rice Krispies Treats; the brand's anthem contest will give fans the chance to submit a TikTok entry that'll appear in a music video for the song she describes as "fun and light." Working on the song together was a "great family bonding moment" for the kids, who love challenging each other (and sometimes even baby brother Win) to beatboxing competitions and are allowed to be "little DJs" when their hitmaker mom drives them to school.

Like most moms, Ciara considers homemade Rice Krispies Treats a classic crowd-pleaser, but otherwise, she's subject to the whims of three youngsters' palates.

"My kids are funny because you know, they like cheese, but then they don't like cheese if it's melted ... they just get really particular," she says. "So that's always an adventure because I'm like, 'you liked melted cheese last week. Now you don't like it this week. Like, what's going on?' So they send you on this whole rollercoaster ride with that kind of stuff."

On the bright side, the kids have handled the family's recent big move to Denver — where Super Bowl champ Wilson has signed on as the new Broncos quarterback — like pros.

"You never know how your kids are going to react when you say you have to make a big move, like moving from one state to another, and our babies were so excited. You would've thought we'd told them that they were going to go to Disneyland for one week straight or something," she laughs. "They were so excited. And the idea of going to a new school and meeting new friends was exciting for them as well. They're excited for dad and his having new teammates, and everything that we get to experience in moments like this has really been a treat for us. So far the kids have been adjusting well. I was just saying to someone how I think I'm even more of an outdoorsy girl already."

—Video produced by Kat Vasquez

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