Parenting is tough, no matter how famous you are or not. What everyone knows about celebs Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith is that their parenting techniques are quite different. You can even say they’re quirky! However, all Jada and Will have wanted for their kids was to thrive and have a great life.
Jada’s mother thought her approach was “crazy.” Then, as her son Jade approached her with a heartbreaking request, the famous mom was at a loss. What was she going to do? Meanwhile, Will was also facing some difficulties as a dad, so he just told his daughter that she has to learn how to lie. Wait, what?
We all know exactly how famous Will Smith is, so it’s obvious his family was put under the spotlight. This takes us to a very intimate talk where the parents opened up about the difficulties they had encountered over the years.
The episode Jada hosted at her online chat show Red Table Talk was also filled with a lot of tears. Let’s check out all the details about the famous family.
Jada recalled in one of her talks about the conversation she had with Jaden Smith, her son, when he was just 15 years old.
She admitted that when he told her what his intentions were, she was devastated. However, although her heart was broken by what Jaden told her, she tried to understand him. In the end, she used her motherly instincts.
You may have heard of the Smith family. Jaden and Willow are always around their parents. By January 2019, Willow and Jada have gathered over 275 million views on Red Table Talk, an online chat show that’s been broadcast on Facebook.
The mother-daughter duo on Red Table Talk was a success, so the two received a daytime Emmy nomination. What made the show so popular was that no subject was off-limits!
Meanwhile, Jaden invited both his dad Will Smith and his sister Willow on stage when he performed at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival back in 2019.
This performance was very special for Jaden, and he wanted to share the moment with his family. This is why we cannot stop but admire the parents that have been very supportive of their children through their lives.
Will and Jada got married in 1997, and one year later, Jaden was born. Ever since Will and Jada welcomed their son Jaden to their family in 1998 and to Willow in 2000, the parents have been known for having some non-traditional approaches when it came to parenting.
Will also has an older son, Trey, from his previous marriage with Sheree Zampino. The two parents were quite infamous for their parenting techniques!
In 2013, Will told Metro that “we don’t do punishment.” He explained that they’ve taught their kids that they are responsible for their own lives.
“Our concept is as young as possible, give them as much control over their lives as possible. And the concept of punishment – our experience has been [that] it has a little too much of a negative quality,” explained Will.
Will and Jada have encouraged their kids to be open with them, teaching the children that the family is a “circle of safety.”
This has allowed the parents have honest conversations with their kids, without them fearing that they would be judged. However, there was a catch, explained Will in 2016 to Jimmy Fallon in an appearance he had on The Tonight Show…
Will told Jimmy Fallon that in this circle of safety, the kids can tell them everything they did and not get in trouble, then adding…
“The rule is, if we find out after the circle of safety that there was something you didn’t say, there was hell to pay.” But here’s what made Will and Jada regret this concept, although it sounded good in theory!
Will said that when Willow became a teenager, listening to some of her admission was tough. He explained to Jimmy that “as a father, you do not want a circle of safety with a 15-year-old daughter.”
“You do not… I’m like, ‘Baby, you need to start lying!’” said Will, joking that some of these moments were so difficult that he had to pass Willow to Jada: “‘Nope! You and your mom can talk about that one!’”
So, it’s safe to say Will and Jada can never be taken by surprise when it comes to Jaden and Willow’s openness. The parents have encouraged them to express themselves.
And you can see it in the kids’ sense of fashion, too. Although some outfits have raised a few eyebrows, the parents stood by their kids’ choices. Will agreed that it was scary, though…
Will and Jada are proud of their son’s radical approach when it comes to fashion. Will said that Jaden is 100 percent fearless” when it comes to decide what to wear.
“As a parent, it’s scary; it’s really terrifying. But he is completely willing to live and die by his artistic decisions, and he doesn’t concern himself with what people think.”
Supporting Jaden’s desire to be free and express himself only helps him grow as an individual. Will explained that “there’s a really powerful internal quality as an artist that as parents we encourage.”
You gotta get out on the edge, [and] you have to try things. You have to be comfortable doing things that people don’t agree with, and you have to be comfortable doing things that you could fail.”
In a 2019 episode on the Red Table Talk, Jada revealed that, while she’s always supported her kids, she had to step in.
She said: “Will and I had a bit of an intervention with Jaden because he’s a vegan now, but we realised he wasn’t getting enough protein…” So what did they do?
“He was wasting away. He just looked drained, he was just depleted. He wasn’t getting the nutrients,” recalled Jada. Will was also at the table and all three children talked about healthy foods.
“There was even a little greyness to his skin. We got really nervous,” said Will. Jaden decided to abandon veganism and go for a vegetarian diet where he’d also consume cheese and eggs. But what about Willow?
In 2012, Willow shaved her own hair, and this incident was mentioned in recent a Red Table Talk episode. Jada took to social media back in 2012 to explain that women and girls are allowed to change their appearances without being judged.
“The question [is] why I would let Willow cut her hair. First, the ‘let’ must be challenged.” Jada explained that “this is a world where women [and] girls are constantly reminded that they don’t belong to themselves – that their bodies are not their own nor their power or self-determination.” But she promised herself Willow should not go through this.
“I made a promise to endow my little girl with the power to always know that her body, spirit and her mind are her domain. Willow cut her hair because her beauty, her value [and] her worth is not measured by the length of her hair,” said Jada.
Will shared his wife’s belief and said in an interview with Parade in 2013 that “when you have a little girl, it’s like, how can you teach her that you’re in control of her body? She can’t cut my hair, but that’s her hair… She has got to have command of her body.” But let’s jump to Jaden’s decision that made Jada cry during the show!
Jada’s mom Adrienne Banfield-Jones joined her daughter and granddaughter to co-host Red Table Talk. In 2018, Jada talked about parenting and invited her children to join her. That’s when she recalled how her kids grew up.
The teaser for that episode said: “At the Red Table this week, Jaden Smith and Willow Smith reveal what it’s like growing up in one of the most famous families in America. Adrienne Banfield Norris (Gammy) wonders if the kids may have been granted too much independence by their parents…”
While Jada and Adrienne sat to talk about the family, the kids seemed to run behind schedule. Jada explained to her mom that the kids are working. “We’re going to be talking about parenting, the joys… and pitfalls of parenting,” said Jada.
Then, the two kids show up and the episodes starts with Jada delivering some context of her family’s dynamic. “Jaden’s my baby boy – my firstborn. He’s one of the most loving, gentle creatures that I know. Jaden’s a musician, an actor and an entrepreneur. He has a clothing line… his own record label, and a sustainably sourced spring water company, because he cares about making the world a better place.”
“I’m a proud mama when it comes to Jaden and Willow – of their successes and their compassion,” said Jada. However, as happy as she is her children are successful, she recalls “one of the most heartbreaking moments of [her] life,” caused by Jaden.
She looks at Jaden and tell him “you’re our special guest today.” Adrienne informed the viewers that Jaden was back from Japan, and he says he’s glad to be back. What he doesn’t know is that this episode will be very emotional…
Adrienne explains that Jaden’s and Willow’s childhood was so much different from their mom’s. She said that “we didn’t give kids a whole lot of choice… I felt like you guys had too much say over your own lives.”
Jaden and Willow laughed, then listened to what Adrienne had to share. “[Jada] treated you like adults, and I just felt like, ‘He’s eight!’ He’s going to tell me what time he’s going to bed? It was their idea of parenting, [it] was so different to what I was used to. I was like, ‘These people are crazy!’”
However, Jada explained that this approach was to prepare her kids for life. She explained that “I don’t want to make decisions for you. I want to prepare you as quick as possible and start to give you as much power over your life as quickly as I can.”
But here’s what Jada didn’t expect to see. The mom revealed that she may have given Jaden the tools for being independent, and he was ready to use them at the age of 15! She said that “it was probably one of the most heartbreaking moments of my life.”
Jaden asked his mom if he could move out of their home and start leaving his life. He was only 15, recalled Jada: “You got to a point where you told me straight up. You were like, ‘Mom, I have to leave here to live my life.’”
Jaden recalls that moment and heard Jada admitting that her request has broken her heart. Jada said that “I remember thinking to myself, as devastated as I was, I was like, ‘He’s right. The time is now; he’s 15. It’s time for him to leave the house.’” But Adrienne had a different opinion.
“I would have never agreed with that,” said Adrienne. However, Jada explained that she wanted to know why her son wanted to leave home. After all, Jaden did show that he was able to manage his own life.
Jada said that she had known Jaden would ask her that sooner than later. “I knew. I told Will – when Jaden was smaller – I said, ‘We’ll be lucky to keep him in the house until he’s 16.’ Because he was so mature. He was making films… he could really manage his own life.”
Aware that they were celebrities, Jada knew that her son would want his own space. She explained that “being in this lifestyle – in this world – is a bubble. He wanted out, and I understood that because I didn’t have the bubble.”
“And I knew what – having my freedom outside of the bubble – what I gained from that,” she added. So, Jaden got his freedom.
Jada knew that if Jaden would get some freedom, her son may have the reaction she hoped for. “I knew that the sooner I let him go, the faster he was going to come back,” she said.
And she was right! Jaden got emancipated at 15 years old in July 2013, but this was only the beginning…
Jaden showed up on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2013 after turning 15, and addressed his choice of leaving home. What did he say about that?
It looked like he wasn’t really ready to leave home. He told Ellen “See, here’s the thing that you need to understand: I’m not going anywhere…” Why?
“The thing that people don’t get is everything at this house is free! So I can get anything and everything at this house, so I’m going to be there [for] 20 [or] 30 more years,” said Jaden in 2013.
Actually, he moved out in June 2017! Jaden chose to relocate to a Los Angeles’ Hidden Hills mansion in an exclusive gated neighborhood where famous celebs had lived there in the past – including the likes of Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and Jessica Simpson.
Actually, Jaden was 19 when he moved out of his parents’ home, so Jada got four more years to enjoy having her son around!
Jaden explained that gaining independence has made life better for him, especially when it came to how he viewed the concept of family. Here’s what he said during the Red Table Talk episode.
“It just makes you appreciate being at home, being with your parents [and] spending quality time with family. You get out into the world, and then you just kind of just understand things,” said Jaden.
Giving him the space he needed, the couple managed to make Jaden thankful for the time he got to spend with his parents.
However great at parenting Will and Jada were, Jaden and Willow said that they felt a bit pushed into the spotlight, although they weren’t exactly ready for it.
Willow recalls the 2010 single “Whip My Hair,” saying it was a “really terrible experience,” explaining that “the values of the people that were around me should have been the opposite.”
Willow explained that “all that came with it was too much,” and Jada said that “you’re feeling about that was that you felt like you were put in the game too soon.”
The mom told Willow that she and Will thought they were only supporting their daughter’s dream, but actually Willow was quite upset…
“Your dad and I, we were like, ‘Oh man, she’ll be set up for life. This is her start,’” said Jada. But that’s when Willow explained that her pop career had made her so upset that she shaved her hair.
“There’s a Nirvana lyric that says, ‘I shave my head, and then I’m not sad,’” explained Willow. Jaden also struggled with the pressures of fame.
Jaden also appeared in movies like The Pursuit of Happiness and he also felt like everything was too much. “I went through the same thing that Willow went through with ‘Whip My Hair’ with ‘The Karate Kid’, said Jaden.
“It was happening at the same time,” recalled Jaden during the Red Table Talk. Jada recalled that moment too.
“I remember the moment, because I asked [Jaden], [and he] went into that full split, and he was in tears. And I was like, ‘I’m done,’” said Jada. But when Jada said it was done, Jaden told her he’ll continue.
The mom recalls: “He looked at me, [and] he’s like, ‘Mom, I’m good.’ He got up, and he said, ‘Let’s do it again.’”
Jada and Will’s parenting method shows us they’ve been successful and have also faced some failures as parents when they raised their kids.
What Jada wants to show is that “every child needs something different,” and there’s no recipe on how to approach family life, after all!