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

    1. 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 a slave.. Is that not what master said to his slaves, that you can stay in that shack but it not yours and that I own everything on this plantation. It seems to me that Will is taking a page from slave master book.

    2. It’s amazing that everything a Black Person do in this country is somehow trace back to slavery. That we didn’t develop parenting skills. Correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t it the slaves that had to raise a lot of the Master childrens. And I guess a slave wrote spare the rod spoil the child. Because of this new way of raising our children they respectful then ever…yea right

    3. hmm, i don’t know him or his children personally however his children in the public eye seem very cynical and bitter already for their young ages. i’ve listened to a couple of his daughter’s songs on youtube and that little girl sounds like she is really crying out for help. mr. smith entitled to his parenting style of course, but there’s no way in God’s earth I would take this man’s parenting advice lol

    4. I agree!!! 100%..Been saying it for years..They/We Also beat our children to plant fear in them as slave masters did to our ancestors..I have NEVER and will NEVER beat my seeds.

      • CHECK YOURSELF BEFORE Will Smith BEFORE U WRECK YOURSELF: Will Smith’s parenting comment is a DIRECT ATTACK on my MOTHER & father rearing of me. Will Smith need to teach his children to BE BLACK. Look at his son’s BLEACHED HAIR. Many yrs. ago I told my father that I wanted my hair “dyed & fryed & laid to the side” and my father told me “Nay, son be proud you’re BLACK.” Look deeply into what Will Smith is saying; he is actually saying that OUR PARENTS taught US wrong, which is NOT to be accepted, bec. OUR parents taught us HOW to endure RACISM, Be Proud of your BLACKNESS; STAND-UP & FIGHT; and MANY other VITAL LESSONS of LIFE which is not to be CONDEMNED by Will Smith’s scientology perspective on life.

    5. I agree with Will’s parenting style. Many parents, especially black parents are still raising their kids to be seen and not heard, don’t question and just do what I say. That doesn’t work anymore. Marshall and Monique you must be uneducated, country bumpkins. Commenting on his kid’s appearance or supposed religion is just ridiculous. Shame on you!

      • @pallas: I mean no harm, my intentions are not malice, though it probably appears that way. It’s just an instant knee-jerk impression I get EVERY time I see their children. The most recent pics of their son with the BLONDE hairlights makes him look very odd; and he looks OLDER than his father & he looks unhealthy/malnourished. It appears that we are in a time when BLACK PEOPLE do not desire to look BLACK anymore as Michael J had disdain for his African/Black features as well.

      • @pallas: “Honor thy father & thy mother that thy days may be long….” [4th or 5th Commandment of the Bible] is NOT done by u and Will Smith taking issue with method[s] ur parentus used to keep u ALIVE in this evil world. U and Will Smith are not factoring into ur CONDEMNATION of ur parents methods of parenting their INTENT which is WHERE GOD dwells…any just judge looks at the INTENT a person did such & such BEFORE rendering judgment of that person. u and Will Smith are BLATANTLY WRONG to CONDEMN ur parents, who did the BEST they coiuld for u to be the success u are today & now u THANK them by CRITIZING ur parents is dirty-and-low-down-no-good-for-nothing–snake-in-the-grass-gratitude.

    6. From a different perspective “slave masters” owned everything and let slaves know quite often that they were not just ‘borrowing’ but had no rights to ownership. Being accountable for a child is very different from ownership. However, the constantly reminding a child that this is mine and not yours is just yet another form of enslavement. Therefore, based on the article (and that’s just based on this one facet of reading), I fail t see any true difference in the way WS is raisng his kids.

    7. Why their kids look so weird-looking? Does scientology have something to do with how weird those kids look?

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