Much has been said and debated about Will Smith’s recent comments involving parenting.
In a Haute Living interview, he made a now famous—or infamous comment depending on who you talk to— where he said quote-unquote:
“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.”
Hmm, well, there was a lot of hoopla over Will’s words. But I’m not going to jump into that fray today; instead I’m going to talk a little about some of the parenting dynamics in our community that Will’s words speak to.
Yes there are many black parents who are—how should we say—heavy-handed in their child-rearing approach, though I’m still not clear on Mr. Smith’s slavery connection so I can’t speak to that.
Nonetheless I feel Will—who often praises his own loving parents despite his belief they raised him as quote-unquote “property”—is not saying parents who take this approach are any less loving or effective than those who don’t.
Apparently he is saying children should be respected for the individuals they are and though we are responsible for them, we should not focus on controlling them or viewing them as mere extensions of ourselves.
Okay, I get what Will is saying. But, where do we draw the line on issues like discipline?
For black folk, slavery or not, one of the biggest ‘don’t dos’ in life is throwing a tantrum in public. Children in other cultures can get away with that. Our children? Can you spell T-K-O?
And, you know, Jada is straight out of Baltimore and I honestly can’t imagine her sitting quietly as a young Jaden and Willow trash Macy’s.
There are certain things we just don’t tolerate well, talking back, disrespect, actin’ a fool in public. Still, the take away for me is, when all is said and done, there’s no one standard, proven approach to parenting.
Parents are all different, and so are children. Some children need more attention and discipline than others and, as parents, it’s our job to figure out what approach works best.
And most often it’s a combination of approaches and the development of a feel for when to employ which one for the best result. So it’s up to us to recognize what is working vs. what is not and adapt accordingly.
I’ll close this week with these words from Anne Frank:
“Parents can only give good advice or put children on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.”
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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