Will Smith’s Key to Parenting: Not Looking at Kids as ‘Slaves’ or ‘Property’

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  • One thing you have to say about the Smith family. They keep things interesting, at least to those of us on the outside looking in.

    There’s a new interview out in Haute Living where Will Smith explains how he and wife Jada approach parenting. Also in the article, Mr. Smith tells how filming “After Earth” brought him and son Jaden even closer.

    “My style of parenting is very similar to that of my parents, minus the concept of ownership. 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,” Will Smith, 44, tells the Haute Living. “We respect our children the way we would respect any other person. Things like cleaning up their room. You would never tell a full-grown adult to clean their room, so we don’t tell our kids to clean their rooms.”

    Instead, Will and Jada choose to look at it a different way:

    “We tell our kids ‘you don’t have a room, that’s our room and we are letting you borrow it,’” he explains. “So the same way you would say to an adult if you let them use your car, you say, ‘Yo man, clean my car! Don’t drive around all filthy like that!’ And it’s perfectly reasonable for you to want an adult to clean your car, so we feel it’s perfectly reasonable to ask our kids to clean the rooms that we are letting them use.”

    Oh yeah, just in case you hadn’t heard, Will’s recent comment about 14-year-old Jaden seeking independence was just a joke.

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