Brandy & Ray J: A Family Business has focused a lot on the tension in Brandy and Sonja Norwood‘s relationship, and an interview with Brandy in Parade suggests that said tension has informed the way she’s raising her own daughter, Sy’rai. Says the singer, “I love being a mom and I’m raising her in a different way than how I was raised. Some things that my mom did with me, I do with my daughter — it’s just a different dynamic.” She then elaborates on exactly what she’s doing differently:
“A lot of mothers feel like they’re the mom first, with that authority. But for me, I’m a friend first. I believe that just being there for my daughter as a friend more than ‘I’m in charge…’ causes her to be more open with me as a person. That’s just what our relationship is. Of course, there are times when I have to discipline her — I’m mom. But there’s still that nurturing and love there that we have. I know I’ll probably get flack for being a friend first, but it really works. She’s really honest with me. I’m just teaching her how to trust herself. I tell her all the time that my life is not your life — you have your own life.
At the end of the day we’re going to be friends. When she grows up, it’ll be about that friendship that we’ll have. She’ll come to me for any problems that she has. If I have an authoritative wall up, she’s going to rebel and not come to me and I don’t want that.”
In her own quiet way, this seems like a rebellion against the very concept of authority. Pretty sneaky, sis.
Brandy also describes her hopes for future collaborations with her brother Ray J, including a sitcom and a joint album. “It’s always been our dream to be like the new Donny & Marie,” she says. That’s the Norwoods, for you: always giving you something to look forward to. [Parade]