Singer Monica has been giving her fans a small glimpse into her personal life on the reality show T.I. & Tiny: Friends and Family Hustle, but that doesn’t mean anything goes when it comes to her three kids.

While stopping by ESSENCE’s Yes Girl podcast, Monica confirms that despite what people might assume, she never likes to use what’s happening in her personal life (namely her pending divorce from basketball player Shannon Brown) for TV or as inspiration in her music. “I never want people to merge the two,” she told ESSENCE’s Love & Relationships Director Charli Penn. “None of the records I’ve been blessed enough to say were hit records were based upon anything that was happening other than the music being solid.”

In addition, Monica believes her children deserve a certain level of privacy, which is why she’s careful not to pressure them to appear on her reality show. “Even though they’re on television, I give them choice. Sometimes you’ll see my daughter more than you’ll see my sons because if they just want to play football, and my oldest likes to focus on his production, I don’t force them on television. They have choice in that, because they don’t necessarily want to be me. That’s cool. I enjoy that.”

We also learned that Monica has a 100% honesty policy with her children. “We have open dialogue,” Monica explains. “I have a teenager now. We talk about dating. I talk about drugs [and] everything you can think of with my children including the five-year-old. They’re picking things up whether they’re at school, basketball game or camps. I would rather raise my children than things amongst them be raising. When they listen to rap music, they know exactly what those guys are talking about and they know the repercussions of it.”

Watch Monica’s Yes Girl interview below.

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