While in Toronto for a benefit supporting War Child, Sarah McLachlan sat down with ET Canada‘s Sangita Patel where she opened up about starting her career as a young artist and what’s it like now raising two daughters.
With the #MeToo movement taking over social media and the entertainment industry, McLachlan reveals she’s happy it’s finally a conversation. “This is a floodgate that needed to happen a long time ago, and I’m happy it’s happening now.”
She admits how “lucky” she was when starting her own career: ” I got signed when I was 19, and I got in with a bunch of guys who weren’t sexist,” she recalls. “And never gave me any indication that I should dress a certain way or put my hair a certain way. They just let me be who I was.
“I sort of went along with this naive notion that that was how the world worked. With every generation, it gets a little better. And we have the luck of geography. Being born in Canada, the rights of women are so much further ahead than most countries.”
Now raising two daughters, India, 15, and Taja, 10, the 49-year-old Canadian icon wants her children to grow up understanding the importance of an organization like War Child: “Talking to my girls, I do tend to harp sometimes, ‘I hope you realize how good you have it. When you start complaining about something. Do you understand that there are so many women that don’t get to go to school… No honey, you do want to go to school, you want to be educated because education is power.'”
And while McLachlan realizes teenagers “push the buttons,” she believes keeping them grounded requires understanding, “I try really hard not to judge them. I try to keep my mouth shut ’cause you’ll get way more.”
That style of parenting is something she didn’t learn from her own mother: “She taught me how ‘not’ to be. She was extremely harsh and a very hard woman… It made me incredibly compassionate for people. I’m very empathetic because she was incapable of that.”
Watch McLachlan’s full interview in Toronto above and catch ET Canada weeknights at 7:30 p.m. ET on Global.