He may have grown kids, but that hasn’t stopped Lionel Richie from having a bit of fun with them, as he says he still tries to embarrass them whenever he gets the chance.

“I’m a tough dad, but what I realize in life is that you have to approach it with a tad bit of humor,” the 70-year-old told People about his parenting style when it comes to his three famous children: Nicole Richie, 37, Sofia Richie, 20, and Miles Richie, 24. “With my kids, I know their job is to completely scare me to death. And they’re doing a great job, by the way.”

“I told this to Nicole the other day, my job is to embarrass them as much as I could, as long as I’m here. They’re trying to do the same to me, so I think it’s an equal swap right now,” he added. Yet, the music legend thinks back at his childhood when it comes to him tackling parenthood. “I remember the look on my parents’ faces when I tried explaining to them that we’re The Commodores, and we’re the Black Beatles, and we’re gonna take over the world,” the hitmaker said of his old singing group.

“It’s the same look I have on my face when Nicole, Miles and Sophia come to me with their ideas,” he added. “I kind of use that as my centering point before I completely go off … I’m gonna have to kind of sit still at this point and kind of let it happen to me as it happened to my parents.”

Lionel Richie
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The American Idol judge adopted Nicole with first wife Brenda Harvey and shares the two other children with his ex-wife Diane Alexander. All three of his kids are quite successful in their own careers. This isn’t the first time that the record producer has opened up about family and what they mean to him.

“The humbling part about all these successes is that my name at the end of the day is Dad and Papa,” he once exclusively told Closer Weekly. “There is a family of people who are going to be in that room with you on the last days of your life. If you made sure they’re there for you and love you, that’s a great achievement, and everything else is icing on the cake.”