Jada Pinkett-Smith Says She's Her Children's Partner Not Parent

The actress says, "I'm not necessarily dictating what is happening in their lives."

Posted: 11/01/2012 12:36 PM EDT
Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, Jaden Smith

Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett-Smith are pretty laid-back parents that give their 14-year-old son Jaden and 12-year-old daughter Willow Smith a lot of freedom of expression. Pinkett-Smith recently spoke with People magazine about her parenting style and revealed that she tries to be a partner to her children rather than a parent.

"I think that old school style of 'I'm your parent and I'm greater than you' doesn't work. What I establish with my children is a partnership. I'm not necessarily dictating what is happening in their lives," she says.

Rather than talk down to her kids, Pinkett-Smith says she hopes that by approaching them as one of their own and treating them as equals, they will be more likely to take in their message and not fall into outside pressures. On the same note, she says that being open and honest about rumors helps them make informed decisions and assures them that they can go to their parents with any issues they might be confronting.

By "instilling in [Willow] the power for individuality, we … communicate with our kids in a way that our message overpowers any other message that they get out there," she adds.

What do you think of the Smiths' parenting style? Would it work for you?

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(Photo: HRC/ WENN.com)

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