Will and Jaden Smith Talk Parenting and Independence

Jaden Smith, Will Smith

Will and Jaden Smith Talk Parenting and Independence

Will wants children to have as much freedom as possible if they're willing to accept responsibility.

Published April 24, 2013

If Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith aren't being criticized for how they conduct their grown relationship, then they're being told that their parenting skills are way too lax. During an interview with Metro to promote their latest film, After Earth, Will and his son, Jaden, talked about the freedoms the children receive and the 14-year-old's thoughts of becoming an emancipated minor.

"We don't do punishment," Will said when his eldest son was asked about the last time he was reprimanded. "The way that we deal with our kids is, they are responsible for their lives. Our concept is, as young as possible, give them as much control over their lives as possible and the concept of punishment, our experience has been — it has a little too much of a negative quality. So when they do things — and you know, Jaden, he's done things — you can do anything you want as long as you can explain to me why that was the right thing to do for your life."

Jaden said he often questions his decision to attend parties or hang out with his peers and will leave if he doesn't feel comfortable.

"Other teenagers go to parties and sometimes I be like, 'Why am I here right now?' And most of the time, I just leave right then and there," he said. "Some things I don't like to do, that other teenagers do. Everyone thinks that since you make movies, you go to parties, and I like to party, but not normal teenage parties."

He's also toyed with the idea of becoming an emancipated minor with his parents' permission and it sounds like Jaden has proven himself to be very responsible even at such a young age.

"I want him to have as much command and freedom if he is willing to accept responsibility," Will added. "Those are two concepts that are inexorably bound. So he's a very responsible young man so he's entitled to the maximum freedom."

Do you think a 14-year-old is ready for the responsibilities that come with adulthood? Tell us what you think in the comments.

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(Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Sony Pictures)

Written by Dorkys Ramos


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