By Brad Smith
A Heartbreaking Request
Jada Pinkett and Will Smith have sparked some criticism with their “odd” ways of dealing with their children. Jada’s mother previously described their parenting methods as “crazy”! However, the Smiths were confronted with one of their most difficult trials to date when their son, Jaden, approached his mother with a devastating plea during an episode of her talk show. Fans, though, were taken aback by her reaction.
In an episode of her online chat show, Red Table Talk, Jada talked about her conversation with Jaden. And she frankly acknowledges that what Jaden said left her “devastated.”
She Was Devastated
What Jaden shared with his mother was so heartbreaking that Jada claimed it to be one of the worst moments of her life. Even while the mother says she anticipated her son’s decision, it didn’t make things any better.
Despite Jada and Jaden’s closeness, the moment was still a total shock. Jaden – and his sister, Willow – seem to enjoy their mom’s company, whereas many kids avoid public appearances with their parents.
A Close Relationship
Despite the fact that few moms or sons would dare to divulge their deepest secrets on TV, Jada and Jaden appear to have no such reservations. On Smith’s Facebook Watch show Red Table Talk, almost no topic is off-limits.
Jaden has also appeared frequently on the family show. And it’s clear that he values his relationship with his family. For example, when the young musician played in front of a large crowd at the 2019 Coachella Festival, he cordially allowed Will and Willow to join him on stage. His mother, on the other hand, was conspicuous by her absence.
Their lives have both been marked by Jada’s and Will’s constant support for Jaden and Willow. It is their goal to encourage their children to follow their own interests instead of forcing their own interests on them.
Jada and Will are no strangers to the world of parenthood. After all, they’ve had two children together since marrying in 1997. Will also has a younger son, Trey, whom he shares with his first wife.
Will and Jada have become well-known for their unconventional approach to raising their three children. For example, the celebrity couple has been candid about their easygoing attitude toward discipline in their home. Will told Metro in 2013 that “we don’t do punishment.”
“The way we deal with our kids is that they are responsible for their lives,” Will continued. ” Our aim is to offer our children as much influence over their lives as possible while they are still young. And we’ve found that the concept of punishment has a bit too much of a negative connotation.”
Circle Of Safety
Additionally, Will and Jada encourage openness and transparency with their children. When the kids were young, the couple created a “circle of safety.” The idea was that this would allow the family to have honest and transparent conversations without fear of being judged.
Not So Good In Practice
Theoretically, the circle of safety sounds good. However, as the children grew older, there were some details that their parents wished they would keep private. Will, for example, stated that he difficult to listen to some of Willow’s disclosures as she grew older.
“As a father, you don’t want a circle of safety with a 15-year-old daughter,” Will said on The Tonight Show. Will joked that he’d had to send Willow off to Jada because he’d found this time with her so challenging. “I’m like, ‘Nope!’” he admitted. That’s something you and your mother can discuss!”
A Strained Relationship
Willow has admitted, however, that her early fame strained her relationship with her father. She admitted in December 2018 that it took her years to trust Will after her early ventures into the music industry. On the show, she said to Jada, “I absolutely had to forgive you and daddy for that entire ‘Whip My Hair’ incident.”
Willow went on to say that the stress she was under came from Will rather than Jada. “It was largely because Daddy was so harsh at times,” she explained. She didn’t go into any more detail about what had transpired with her father, though.
They Should Have Seen It Coming
Willow, on the other hand, implied that she didn’t want her career to go the way it began. “It was a couple of years,” she admitted. “Trying to regain trust after not feeling heard or that no one cared about how I felt.”
Will and Jada have long supported self-expression, so their children’s openness should come as no surprise. But the proud parents had always supported their children’s decisions, even when they were unconventional.
Jaden, for example, has been known to blur lines by donning unconventional clothing. And it appears that Will and Jada are ecstatic about their son’s bold dress choices.
“There’s nothing Jaden wouldn’t do, and as a parent, it is terrifying,” Will added. “However, he is entirely willing to live and die by his own decisions, and he is uninterested in what others say.” Additionally, it seems that Will and Jada fully embrace their son’s right to self-expression, believing that it helps him grow as a person.
They Were Good Parents
“As parents, we foster a really tremendous intrinsic characteristic as an artist,” Will continued. “You have to push yourself to the limit and attempt new things. You must feel at ease doing things that others may not agree with, as well as doing things that may result in failure.”
So, regardless of Jaden’s choices, we can only assume that his parents will be behind him. Despite their history of always standing by their children, Jada and Will were supposedly obliged to intervene when Jaden went vegan.
“Will and I did a bit of an intervention with Jaden because he’s a vegan now, but we noticed he wasn’t getting enough protein,” Jada says in a 2019 edition of Red Table Talk. As a result, he was always tired. He simply appeared exhausted and spent. He was deficient in nutrition.”
Will, together with his wife and three children, was coming on the Red Table Talk to talk about healthy eating. “There was even a little greyness to his complexion,” he adds of Jaden in the video. We became quite concerned.”
Standing Up For Them
Jaden decided to switch from veganism to a vegetarian diet as a result of his parents’ intervention. He continues to avoid meat but eats other animal products such as cheese and eggs.
Will and Jada have also supported their daughter Willow when she has received opposition for her decisions. When she shaved her hair in 2012, for example, her parents were the ones who were chevaliers. This incident was also discussed in a recent Red Table Talk episode.
Freedom Of Choice
The Smiths, on the other hand, didn’t take the criticism lying down. Jada took to Facebook in November 2012 to remind her detractors that women and girls have the freedom to alter their appearances without fear of being judged.
Jada wrote, “This is a world where women and girls are constantly reminded that they don’t belong to themselves – that their bodies are not their own nor their power or self-determination. I made a promise to endow my little girl with the power to always know that her body, spirit, and her mind are her domain. Willow cut her hair because her beauty, her value, and her worth are not measured by the length of her hair.”
Her Body Her Choice
And Will seemed to agree with Jada that Willow’s body is hers to do with as she pleases. “When you have a little girl, it’s like, how do you teach her that you’re in control of her body?” the actor told Parade in 2013. “She can’t cut my hair, but she can cut hers… She needs to be in control of her body.”
While the Smiths have encouraged their children to be themselves, some of their choices have resulted in some difficult situations. In her Facebook chat series Red Table Talk, Jada addressed one such occurrence. Jada hosts the web show with Willow and her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Jones, as you may know.
So, in a 2018 episode, Jada focused on her own family and discussed parenting in detail. She requested Jaden and Willow to appear alongside her in order to provide a fair perspective on her parenting abilities. And at one point, the mother and son’s chat became quite lengthy.
“Growing Up Smith!” was the title of the Red Table Talk episode in question. “At the Red Table this week, Jaden Smith and Willow Smith tell what it’s like growing up in one of America’s most famous families,” said a preview for the show. Adrienne Banfield Norris (Gammy) worries if their parents gave their children too much independence…”
The episode opens inside what looks to be the Smith family home, where Jada and Adrienne are waiting for Jaden and Willow, who are “running behind schedule,” to arrive. “Well, you know, they’re working,” Jada says to her mother, explaining her children’s delay. Willow and Jaden are attending a rehearsal.”
“We’ll be talking about parenting, the joys… and problems,” Jada says. And when the two young Smiths eventually arrive at the table, Jada doesn’t waste any time getting right to work. First, she provides some background on the Smith family dynamic.
Setting Things In Motion
“Jaden is my darling son — my firstborn,” Jada begins. ” He’s one of the most lovely and caring creatures I’ve ever met. Jaden is a musician, actor, and businessman. Because he cares about making the world a better place, he owns a clothing line, his own record label, and a company that sources spring water responsibly.”
“I’m a proud mama when it comes to Jaden and Willow — of their successes and compassion,” Jada continues. While Jada can celebrate her children’s achievements as artists and people, she also discusses the agony she has had as a parent. Because, as the conversation progresses, the adoring mother explains how Jaden was responsible for “one of her lowest moments.”
“You’re our special guest today,” she informs Jaden. He is, however, completely oblivious of the traumatic memories that his conversation with his mother is about to elicit.
Adrienne continues by explaining why she believes Jaden and Willow had too much independence. “Jada treated you like adults, and I just thought, ‘He’s eight!’. Is he going to tell me when he goes to bed? It was their parenting style, which was very different from mine. I was like, ‘These folks are crazy!’”
Set Him Free
Jada, on the other hand, appears to have given Jaden the tools he needed for independence far sooner than she expected. Because the caring mother recalls how Jaden approached her at the age of 15 and asked to be set free. “It was probably one of the worst times of my life,” Jada says in the video.
He Was Mature
Surprisingly, while Jada was clearly upset by her son’s request for freedom, her reaction in the video isn’t what you’d anticipate. “As sad as I was, I remember thinking to myself, ‘He’s right.’ He’s 15, and the moment has come. He needs to get out of the house,” she said.
During the Red Table Talk episode, Jada acknowledges that she predicted Jaden’s bid for freedom. “I knew,” the mother explains. ‘We’ll be lucky to keep him in the house until he’s 16,’ I warned Will when Jaden was younger. Because of his maturity. He was directing movies… he was in charge of his own life.”
Allowing Jaden some freedom didn’t mean losing ties with him permanently, as Jada realized. “I knew that the sooner I let him go, the faster he was going to come back,” the actress says in the video, explaining why she let her son move out. And it appears she was correct.
Setting The Record Straight
“See, here’s the thing you have to understand: I’m not going anywhere,” Jaden emphasized. People don’t realize that everything in this place is for free! So I’m going to stay here for another 20 or 30 years because I can have anything I want.”
A New Perspective
In fact, when Jaden ultimately moved out of his parent’s house, he was approaching his 19th birthday, making him a year older than when he first sought to leave. However, attaining freedom appeared to be advantageous to him, particularly in terms of how he viewed his family.
They Were Not Ready
So it appears that the Smiths got it right when it came to providing Jaden the freedom to choose his own path. However, the couple’s parenting methods have not always been well received by their children. In fact, both Jaden and Willow have expressed their dissatisfaction with being forced into the spotlight before they were ready.
“You’re feeling about that was that you felt like you were pushed in the game too soon,” Jada says in the episode, clarifying what Willow meant. “I suppose all that came with it was too much,” she continues. The mother, on the other hand, adds that she and Will believed they were doing the right thing by encouraging their daughter’s ambitions.
A Similar Experience
Willow was not, however, the Smith family’s sole child celebrity. Jaden, like his sister, has been popular since he was a child, appearing in films such as The Pursuit of Happyness. He, too, battled with some of the demands of fame. Indeed, there was one film in particular where he felt everything was a little too much for him.
“I remember the moment because I asked Jaden, and he went into the full split and was in tears,” Jada explains. ” And I said to myself, ‘I’m done.’” Jaden, on the other hand, was determined to persevere even when Jada was ready to give up. “He looked at me and said, ‘Mom, I’m good,’” the mother said. “‘Let’s do it again,’” he said as he stood up.