Since Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith had their children, Jaden and Willow Smith, they have been open about using unusual parenting tactics when it came to raising their kids.
While most of us had to adhere to certain rules and regulations growing up, the Smith family had a much more free-flowing household where they allowed their children to express themselves emotionally and creatively without boundaries.
Still, the Smiths’ alternate parenting views have certainly earned them a great deal of criticism over the years. In fact, on a recent episode of Red Table Talk, Pinkett Smith revealed she was horribly mom-shamed for several reasons.
Jada Pinkett Smith does not pry into her children’s lives
In addition to creative expression, Pinkett Smith and her actor husband do not believe in disciplining their children. “We don’t do punishment,” the Bright actor explained on Red Table Talk. “The way that we deal with our kids is, 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 — it has a little too much of a negative quality.”
This includes treating their children as equals and not prying into their lives when they don’t want to share certain things. During an interview on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Pinkett Smith gave the talk show host some advice on parenting his daughter. She said,
As a father, if she needs a ride from the mall, you go pick her up, and you don’t say a word. You don’t ask her anything. Don’t talk to her. Don’t ask any questions … You wait until she comes to you and wants to talk to you.
Jada Pinkett Smith has always wanted her children to be open about their sexuality
Both Willow and Jaden have been able to live their lives through a lens of authenticity, especially when it comes to their sexuality. For the Set It Off actor, it was especially important for her daughter to feel freedom when it came to expressing herself.
“I did not want Willow to have shame of any kind,” Pinkett Smith explained on Red Table Talk. “She needs to be at that table to hear it all. If I have to sit up here and tell her how she has to be careful in these streets because of all the harms that may come to her because she is a woman. Then, I am d*mn sure not leaving out the good stuff.”
Jada Pinkett Smith says she was mom-shamed for her parenting choices
Though Jaden and Willow are now grown-ups who make their own choices, Pinkett Smith talks about being mom-shamed for approaching parenting differently.
On an episode of Red Table Talk, she spoke openly about being attacked when Willow shaved her head at age 12, when she decided to homeschool her kids, and when Jaden posed in a skirt.
“I got shamed a lot for Willow,” she said. “But Jaden — that was hardcore. I think as Jaden got older, and he did the Louis Vuitton, and he was wearing a skirt and then he isn’t what people consider your typical Black man, which is like, what is that supposed to mean?” She added,
For me, looking at how my children were being affected, that’s what counts. When people are like, ‘Oh, my God! I can’t believe you shaved Willow’s head.’ If they could have seen this child’s expression of freedom, looking at her hair falling to the ground, so me as a mom looking at that, experiencing that with her, there is nothing that anyone could say to me to tell me that it was wrong.
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