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 also 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.
“He is definitely not going anywhere; he is so scared of being out on his own, he says. “Willow is probably going to be emancipated before Jaden!”
Will goes on to say that he and his Jaden are even closed these days. As you’re no doubt aware, they play father and son in the in the new sci-fi film, “After Earth.” Will says it was a bonding experience. (The two first played father and son in the 2006 drama “The Pursuit of Happyness,” which was Jaden’s acting debut.)
“He was seven years old in The Pursuit of Happyness, he is 14 now,” Will explains. “There’s something really powerful about a 13-year-old going out to learn how to hunt with his father. I consider myself a warrior, and I’m a Samurai teaching my son how to fight, how to love, just really helping him develop in a young man. It was our version of a bromitzvah!”