An Idol's idol: Candice Glover's mom knows how to raise star

eshaw@islandpacket.comMay 10, 2014 

Carole Glover of St. Helena Island is a mother of seven, including "American Idol" Season 12 winner Candice Glover.

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When Carole Glover goes out near her home on St. Helena Island, she is recognized by almost everyone she passes.

"Hey, Ms. Glover!"

"Hi, Ms. Glover!"

"Ms. Glover! How's my girl doing?"

By "my girl," people are, of course, inquiring about Glover's oldest daughter, Candice, who won "American Idol" last year, became a celebrity and recently released her debut CD.

Like any proud parent, Glover stops to chat about Candice and how she's out in the world achieving her dreams. It's something Glover hopes for the six other children she still has at home.

"We love kids," Glover said of herself and her husband, John. Glover worked at a day care for nearly 20 years. After having two biological children, Candice and her brother, Jonathan, the Glovers decided to become foster parents.

"We did that and fell in love with the children. It was so hard for me to let them go. That's when I decided to adopt," Glover said.

Soon she added Shaquoya, Carlos, David, Careme and Bethany to the family.

For Candice, having spent five years as an only child, the new additions were a big change.

"Candice was alone for so long, so she was spoiled. Then to bring all these children in ... but Candice doesn't like to be alone as of today. She does not," Glover said.

Each transition was also difficult because most foster children aren't used to structure or parents telling them what to do. Things like taking a bath every night, brushing their teeth and doing homework after school were foreign concepts to them, she said.

But Glover, who describes herself as a loving but firm mom, wanted to make sure all of her kids were raised with discipline and values. Her house rules provided that needed structure.

Beds are to be made every morning before school, and homework is to be done the first thing after school. Everyone eats together for dinner, and after dinner, the girls do the dishes while the boys take out the trash. On Saturday, or "cleaning day," every child has an assigned chore to do. Sundays are for church.

"We do not miss church," Glover said.

There is evidence of the Glovers' faith all around their small, but impeccably tidy home.

A handwritten sign on the refrigerator reads, "As for me and my home, we serve the Lord." There are taped Bible verses on the children's doors. When Candice was living at home, hers was Psalm 139:14: "I am wonderfully and fearfully made."

"I believe Candice made it this far because of the Lord," Glover said. "You are who God made you to be. And that's what I teach the kids."

She also teaches them to make good choices.

"Do whatever you want to do, but make something out of yourself. God didn't make you to sit around and be nothing. The world can be better because of you. I believe it," she said.

Now that six of her children are teenagers, her lessons are cemented. They know what to do, and Glover and her husband can leave and have a date night and not worry about the kids.

Accepting that freedom was hard-fought, especially when Candice left for "Idol," the longest any of her kids had ever been away from home, Glover said. "It was a process for me to let Candice go for that long."

But her strong family ties kept Candice grounded while she was away. When she was on "Idol," and even after she won, she never forgot where she came from. "Idol" judges remarked at how humble she was on the show. In the liner notes of her first CD, Candice took the opportunity to let her parents know how much she appreciated them.

"As a child you guys disciplined me the right way, and it has made me the young lady I am today. You guys believed in me and stood by me no matter what, and I would literally not be here if it wasn't for you," she wrote.

Her mother in particular taught by example, Candice said recently. "My mom is a tough, strong woman, and her class and sophistication taught me what a real woman should be."

Now Candice is off on her own, singing, recording music and dabbling in acting, but she still calls or texts her mom every day. Sometimes her mother travels with her. Before "Idol," Carole Glover had never been on an airplane. Now, she loves traveling. She said she'd like to do more of it in the future, and continue to work with kids -- by either going back to work at a day care or opening one of her own.

"I just love working with children," she said. "It's my heart."

Follow reporter Erin Shaw at twitter.com/IPBG_ErinShaw.

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