Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith are known for their unique parenting techniques. Their kids earn more money than most adults, so it appears to be working. But if one of the kids ever goes off the ranch and makes really bad decisions, critics are going to be standing there waiting to say something about it.
This week, the couple who famously alluded that they have an open marriage shared more of their parenting perspectives with the world. Will is on tour with his son to promote his new film, “After Earth,” and talked a bit about his parenting philosophy. In an interview withHaute Living magazine, Smith discusses some of the things that you might have been curious about.
One of the more interesting perspectives Will has on parenting relates to his fellow African Americans. Smith seems to believe that black people see their kids as property, and that slavery is the cause of this belief.
“I think that, specifically in African American households, the idea coming out of slavery there’s a concept of your children being property and that was a major part that Jada and I released with our kids. We respect our children the way we would respect any other person,” he said.
We certainly hope that Will isn’t saying that we should raise our kids like white people. You know, that little kid who cusses his mother out in the grocery store and gets hooked on drugs in college because he’s never been taught responsibility?
Will goes on to say that his whole comment about his son Jaden seeking emancipation from his parents was just a big joke.
“Yeah, that was a joke! I made a joke. He is definitely not going anywhere; he is so scared of being out on his own. Willow is probably going to be emancipated before Jaden! I think I was in Tokyo where I made a joke that if he has a day where his movie is bigger than one of mine then there’s no reason for him to live in my house. His 15th birthday is coming up so he can probably be emancipated.”
One really powerful thing that Smith said is that he encourages his children to have very big dreams. He says that if you set modest goals, you can end up feeling disappointed when you reach the goals, because you’ve then run out of things to do.
“I was just saying to Jaden and his friends the other day to make sure their dreams are impossible, because they have to sustain them for a lifetime. My dream was that I want to be the biggest movie star in the world and I set out to just make big movies. But the worst thing that can happen is that you actually get to where you wanted to go. Three years ago, I had Hancock and I Am Legend in a six-month period and I felt complete. And then I was like ‘Uh-oh,’ and had to really go back to the drawing board of my dreams. I even realized that material world dreams are dangerous. You have to be really careful with material world dreams on both sides: achieving them and not achieving them.”
Do you think Will and Jada have a healthy approach to parenting?