Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have tried to do what they thought would be best for their kids. However, let us just say that they have been using parenting techniques that are not exactly common. Fans find it quirky, but even her own mother has said that they are taking a “crazy” approach when it comes to raising the children. The celebrity couple has let criticisms slide most of the time, but Jada was surprised when Jaden had a heartbreaking request for her! There was no way she can ignore it when it came from her very own son.
His Request Devastated Her
Jada talked about the exchange in one of the episodes of Red Table Talk, her own show. In the video clip, you can see her opening up about a conversation between her and Jaden. At the time that it happened, her son was only 15 years old. Years later, she admitted that she felt “devastated” to hear what he asked of her.
Looking At It From His Perspective
Despite the heartbreak that she felt, she knew that she had to look at it from his point of view. In the end, Jada said that she understood where he was coming from even though it was not what she wanted for him. By doing so, she proved to all of us that you really should let someone go if you love them.
The Smith Family
Based on their social media channels and interviews, there is a special bond among the members of the Smith family. Even though a lot of kids try to avoid being seen in public with their parents, Willow and Jaden look like they enjoy the company of their parents! As the children grow up, they have only made Will and Jada closer.
Their Very Own Web Series
By January 2019, Willow and Jada were able to rack up more than 275 million views on Red Table Talk, their web series on Facebook Watch. With their hard work and dedication, the duo has even been nominated for a daytime Emmy Award! On top of that, it feels like no subject is taboo on the show. If you ask us, this only goes to show how great the relationship between them is.
Jaden Is Doing Well For Himself
The women of the family are not the only ones who are doing well! In 2019, Jaden performed to an adoring crowd during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Not only that, but he asked his dad and sister to go up the stage and join him as well! Will delivered a standout set, to no one’s surprise. However, it was truly touching for him to share such a special moment with his very own family.
Always Have Their Backs
It is not a secret that both Will and Jada have been very supportive of their kids from the very beginning. The power couple has always encouraged Jaden and Willow to pursue what their hearts desire. Unlike a lot of parents out there, they have never forced the kids to do anything that they do not want nor enjoy!
Mind you, Jada and Will know what they are doing. After all, they have welcomed two children together ever since they exchanged vows in 1997. The following year, they gave birth to Jaden. Two years after that, the family grew even bigger with the birth of Willow. On top of that, Will also has an older child from his first marriage to Sheree Zampino. He goes by the name Trey.
Their Unconventional Parenting Techniques
Through the years, Will and Jada have earned a reputation for their nontraditional take on how to raise their children. For one thing, the celebrity parents have been open about how they are relaxed when it comes to discipline and punishments in the household. In 2013, Will went as far as to tell Metro,“We don’t do punishment.”
Teaching Them Responsibility
“The way that we deal with our kids is [that] they are responsible for their 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,” he went on.
Circle Of Safety
On top of that, Will and Jada have always encouraged the kids to be as open with them as they possibly can. The couple actually came up with a “circle of safety” when the children were still very young. The logic behind it was that it was a way for the family to engage in honest conversations without any fear of judgment. However, it turns out that the children are not entirely excused from punishments either.
The Only Rule
In 2016, Will appeared on The Tonight Show. He explained the rules to Jimmy Fallon in greater detail. The actor said, “[In the circle of safety, the kids are] allowed to tell us everything that they did, and they can’t get in trouble… 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.”
More Than He Bargained For
If you ask us, this sounds like a pretty good plan. However, the truth was that there were certain things that Will and Jada must have wanted the kids to keep to themselves. For one thing, the loving dad said that he started to struggle with some of her daughter’s admissions when Willow entered her teen years.
Not Equipped To Handle It
When Will was on The Tonight Show, he shared, “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!’” As a matter of fact, he quipped that he would pass Willow on to her mom when he found her admissions too hard to deal with. Will shared, “[I’m like,] ‘Nope! You and your mom can talk about that one!’”
The Individuality Of Their Kids
At the end of the day, however, we are sure that they prefer that the kids are honest with them. Will and Jada have instilled the value of self-expression among the kids, after all. This might be the reason behind the bold fashion senses of Willow and Jaden. Even though there are times when people have raised their eyebrows at their choices, Will and Jada have always stood by them on the matter of style.
Jaden And His Fashion Sense
For example, Jaden has no qualms blurring conventional gender lines. He has worn a bunch of things that are usually only worn by women! It is a radical way to approach fashion, and his doting parents could not be any prouder. “Jaden is 100 percent fearless,” Will shared with BBC Radio 1Xtra back in 2016.
Nothing But Support For Him
He continued, “[Jaden] will do anything. 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.” Adding to that, it looks like Will and Jada are completely behind Jaden in his choices to express himself. They believe that it is the best way to go for his personal development.
Letting Him Do His Own Thing
“There’s a really powerful internal quality as an artist that as parents we encourage,” Will continued to explain. “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.”
His Sexuality And Love Life
Aside from his fashion sense, Jaden’s sexuality has been the topic of speculation in the past couple of years. In 2018, it looked like he had come out of the closet during the Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival in Los Angeles. While he was delivering a performance, he referred to Tyler, the Creator as his “boyfriend.” Despite this, it has yet to be confirmed whether the two of them are actually a couple.
Jaden And Tyler
When he addressed the people attending the Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival, he shared, “Tyler doesn’t want to say, but Tyler’s my [boyfriend]… And he’s been my my… boyfriend my whole… life.” Fans cheered him on after the announcement. A video of the speech went viral not long after he delivered it on the stage.
No Denial, No Confirmation
Jaden fueled the rumors some more by taking the matter to Twitter. Even though he deleted the tweet later on, he publicly sent this to Tyler: “Yup… I told everyone – you can’t deny it now.” Tyler responded to this tweet by saying, “Hahaha you a crazy n***a man.” This is not exactly a denial nor a confirmation!
His Vegan Lifestyle
Regardless of where he stands on the spectrum, we are sure that his parents are going to support him no matter what. However, it looks like there are certain things that Will and Jada would not stand for. In 2019, she shared that the two of them had to step in when their son adopted a vegan lifestyle.
It Was Too Much
In 2019, she talked about the incident on Red Table Talk. She said, “Will and I had a bit of an intervention with Jaden because he’s a vegan now, but we realized he wasn’t getting enough protein… So he was wasting away. He just looked drained, he was just depleted. He wasn’t getting the nutrients.”
They Were Concerned About Him
We have no doubt that her mother’s intuition helped Jada pick up on his appearance, but she was not the only one to notice. Let us see what happened when Will appeared on Red Table Talk with Jada and his three children. On the topic of healthy eating, he talks about what Jaden was like at the time. “There was even a little greyness to his skin. We got really nervous,” he shared.
Switching To Vegetarianism Instead
After his parents expressed their concern, Jaden decided to forget veganism and follow a vegetarian diet instead. Even though he still did not eat meat, he did start to consume animal products such as eggs and cheese once more. He said, “I’ll go vegan for a week or so but for the past year I’ve been vegetarian.”
Willow And Her Fashion Choices
Jaden is not the only person who benefits from the wholehearted guidance and support of their parents. Over the years, Willow has received backlash for some of her fashion choices in the past. Luckily, Will and Jada have always had her back. In 2012, the young singer even shaved her hair! When this happened, people started to attack and blame her parents.
Not Letting It Pass
It does not come as a shock that the Smiths did not take these criticisms lying down. In November 2012, Jada even took to Facebook to tell the haters that girls and women have the right to change the way they look without any fear of judgment. “The question [is] why I would let Willow cut her hair. First, the [word] ‘let’ must be challenged,” she said.
Not Hers To Control
“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. 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,” she went on.
Owning Her Body
It looks like Will also believe that Willow is free to do what she wants with her body. “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,” he shared with Parade in 2013.
Not Always Supported By Others
While Jada and Will have encouraged the kids to stay true to themselves, there are still times when this approach has led to certain challenges. There was a time when Jada brought attention to this. By now, you must know that she hosts Red Table Talk with her daughter Willow and mom Adrienne Banfield-Jones. There are also times when they feature other relatives and close friends on the show.
Deeper Than Anticipated
In 2018, Jada decided to be candid and talk about this issue of theirs in an episode of the show. She brought both of her children onto the show so that she could get a balanced look at her parenting skills. However, there was a time when the conversation between Jada and Jaden went deeper than expected.
Growing Up Smith
If you want to check it out, the title of the episode in question is “Growing Up Smith.” Here is the teaser posted by the Red Table Talk page: “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…”
The Kids Are Busy
The episode starts in what looks like the Smith home. Jada and Adrienne can be seen sitting as they wait for Jaden and Willow to arrive. The kids are allegedly “running behind schedule.” When it comes to the tardiness of the two, Jada says, “Well, you know, they’re working… [Willow] and Jaden have rehearsals.”
No Time For Small Talk
While they wait for the arrival of Jaden and Willow, Jada tells her mother, “We’re going to be talking about parenting, the joys… and pitfalls of parenting.” When the siblings finally show up at the table, Jada does not waste a single second! She gets down to business right away. First of all, she gives the viewers more information about the family dynamic in the Smith household.
Introducing Jaden Smith
When it was time to introduce Jaden at the beginning of the episode, his mom says, “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.”
It Was Not Always Easy
“I’m a proud mama when it comes to Jaden and Willow – of their successes and their compassion.” But while Jada is able to rejoice in her children’s successes as artists and individuals, she also opens up about the pain they have caused her as a parent. Because as the chat progresses, the doting mom reveals how Jaden caused “one of the most heartbreaking moments of [her] life,” Jada went on.
Their Special Guest
Before they delved deeper into more difficult matters, the doting mother welcomes Jaden to the show. Jada then tells her son, “You’re our special guest today.” After that, Adrienne informs the Red Table viewers that her grandson is “just in from Japan.” Jaden then says, “I’m so glad to be back.” At the time, he was probably unaware that the conversation would get very serious later in the day.
Not How She Did It
Adrienne is the one who gets the ball rolling by talking about how different the upbringing of Jaden and Willow had been to the way she raised Jada. In the video, she also says, “We didn’t give kids a whole lot of choice… I felt like you guys had too much say over your own lives.” However, this revelation of hers is met with laughter from both Jaden and Willow. The kids can’t seem to believe what they just heard!
Too Much Independence
Before anything else, Adrienne explains why she believes that Jaden and Willow were given too much freedom and independence. She tells them, “[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!’”
Preparing Them For The Future
As a response to what her mother just said, Jada explained that she and Will did this in order to prepare Jaden and Willow for the future. She explained, “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.”
Too Quick Even For Her
However, it would seem that Jada and Will had given Jaden the tools that he needed for independence more quickly than she planned. We are saying this because the loving mom revealed that Jaden approached her when he was 15 years old with a request. He asked to be set free! In the episode, Jada says, “It was probably one of the most heartbreaking moments of my life.”
His Shocking Request
All of a sudden, Jaden asked Jada if he could live on his own and move out of the house. When she narrates what happened a few years ago, Jada tells her son, “You got to a point where you told me straight up. You were like, ‘Mom, I have to leave here to live my life.’” It seems that Jada did not misremember anything about the incident. Jaden can be seen agreeing with her and saying, “Totally.”
Agreeing With Him In The End
It was true that Jada was heartbroken to hear such a thing from her beloved son. Despite this, she reacted in a way that you might not expect. Here is what she says when Jaden asked permission to be independent: “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.’”
Not Her Style
Not everyone in the immediate family is as understanding as Jada, however. Adrienne interrupted the conversation to say, “I would have never agreed with that.” However, Jada explains why she agreed to the request by her son even though he was only 15 years old. It turns out that Jaden had always shown maturity ever since he was very young.
She Knew It Would Happen
During the episode, Jada also admitted that she knew that it was going to come sooner or later. She even says, “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.”
Coming To Terms With It
Not just that, but she was also aware of just how hard it is when the spotlight is on you. She understood why Jaden wanted a space of his own. “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 explains in the episode.
Not The End Of Their Relationship
In the end, she knew that giving him that much freedom did not mean that they would have to cut ties. When Jada talked about why she allowed him to move out of the house, she explains, “I knew that the sooner I let him go, the faster he was going to come back.” In the end, she got that right.
He Denied The Reports
In July 2013, reports said that Jaden filed for emancipation from Will and Jada as his 15th birthday gift. When he appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show later that year, the child star denied these claims. Aside from that, he seemingly denied that he had plans of leaving his home. What was the truth?
He Liked Living There
Jaden set the record straight on the talk show. “See, here’s the thing that you need to understand: I’m not going anywhere… The thing that people don’t get is [that] 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,” he said.
Only Left Years Later
The truth is that Jaden actually stayed at the Smith residence in Malibu until June 2017. Even then, the young man did not venture too far from his parents. He only relocated to a mansion in Hidden Hills, Los Angeles. The house reportedly costs $4 million or so. The gated neighborhood is an exclusive enclave that has been home to the likes of Kanye West, Jessica Simpsons, and Kim Kardashian.
Making The Right Call
This means that Jaden had almost been 19 years old when he ended up moving out of his parent’s house. He was older than the first time he asked for permission to leave the nest. In the end, it turned out that his decision to live on his own had been a good one. It changed how he viewed the family!
His New Outlook On His Family
In the same episode of Red Table Talk, he talks about how moving out of the house changed his views. “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,” he says.
What The Kids Had To Say
It looks like Will and Jada got it right when they decided to give Jaden the space that he needed to decide for himself. However, their parenting techniques have not always met the approval of their children. As a matter of fact, both Willow and Jaden have suggested that it felt like they were pushed into the limelight before they were fully prepared for it.
Too Early To Start Her Career
In 2010, Willow earned household name status at the tender age of ten with her song, “Whip My Hair.” When she talks about this part of her life on the show, she says that it was a “really terrible experience.” She also says, “The values of the people that were around me should have been the opposite.”
They Were Not Always Right
The mom then tries to get some clarification about what her daughter meant by that. Jada says, “You’re feeling about that was that you felt like you were put in the game too soon.” The mom reflects on it and continues, “I think all that came with it was too much.” After that, she says that she and Will had been under the impression that they had been on the right track by being supportive of Willow’s dreams.
Why She Shaved Her Head
Jada adds, “Your dad and I, we were like, ‘Oh man, she’ll be set up for life. This is her start.’” But Willow says that she ended up shaving her hair because of the “upset” that she went through from her early music career and the attention that came with it. The singer explains, “There’s a Nirvana lyric that says, ‘I shave my head, and then I’m not sad.’”
His Struggles Were Similar To Hers
Just like Willow, Jaden also got his start in the entertainment industry when he was still young. Let us not forget that he appeared with his father in The Pursuit of Happyness! He starred in other movies when he was still a little boy as well. He struggled with the pressures that came with fame too. As a matter of fact, there was a particular movie that made him feel like it was all too much. Can you guess which one we are referring to?
Pushing Him To His Limits
When he appeared in Red Table Talk, Jaden chimes in, “I went through the same thing that Willow went through with ‘Whip My Hair’ with The Karate Kid. It was happening at the same time.” It turned out that his work on the hit action movie similarly pushed the child star to his limits. We are glad that they could finally talk about something that had been bugging them in the past.
He Did Not Give Up
Jada shares, “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.’” Even though Jada was ready to get her son out of the movie, he decided to simply soldier on. His 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.’” It must have been tough to see him so tired at such a young age, but she was probably proud of him for getting back on his feet.
One Size Does Not Fit All
Even though they took on a radical approach to raising their kids, Jada and Will are not that different from other parents. They have also experienced successes and failures when it comes to parenthood. With that said, Jada has been careful not to hand out advice to other parents. She is of the belief that “every child needs something different.” If you ask us, we can see why she and Will have raised such lovely young people!