Will Smith is admitting that his laid back parenting style has its downfalls, and it sounds like he even has a few regrets about how he has handled his kids’ teen years. In an interview with BBC Radio1 Extra host A. Dot, Will said that he and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, may have “gone too far” with their hands-off approach to raising their teen offspring, Jaden, 18, and Willow, 15.
While Will and Jada allow their kids to spread their wings creatively, the Concussion actor now jokes that he may have allowed his kids a little too much freedom of expression.
“Yeah, I think it may have been a mistake. I think we may have gone too far.”
Will Smith stands by the fact that he and his wife want to encourage their kids to try new things, even if they’re outside the box. And he still says he wants his children to be comfortable doing things people don’t always agree with. But Will also admits that it can sometimes be scary to parent teens who think so far outside the box.
“Jaden is 100% fearless, he will do anything. So as a parent it’s scary, it’s really terrifying – but he is completely willing to live and die by his own artistic decisions and he just doesn’t concern himself with what people think.”
Jaden has made headlines for everything from his bizarre fashion choices to his views on driver’s education. Last year, the son of Will Smith told GQ that he plans to be “gone” in 10 years from now, and he teased that no one will know where he is. But he promised to leave a trail of “symbols and things” in his wake.
“It’ll be kind of like Banksy. But in a different way. More of a social impact. Helping people. But through art installations.”
Jaden Smith has even compared himself to an iconic Italian astronomer. In the GQ interview, the then 17-year-old revealed that he doesn’t care what people think of him, and he said he’s honored to be known as an unusual person.
“I feel like it’s an honor, actually, for people to think I’m crazy. They thought Galileo was crazy, too, you know what I’m saying?”
In an equally bizarre interview with the New York Times, Jaden and his sister, Willow, said that most of today’s music and books really aren’t up to their standards. So instead of reading or listening to or reading inferior stuff, they just write their own.
Of course, if the Smith teens have an unconventional way of thinking, it’s undoubtedly due to Will and Jada’s unconventional parenting style. In an interview with Haute Living, Will Smith said that his style of parenting is very similar to that of his parents, minus one really big aspect.
“My style of parenting is very similar to that of my parents, minus the concept of ownership… 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.”
While Will and Jada definitely have some unique parenting circumstances, some teen parenting issues are the same for everyone. Although their daughter has a set weekend curfew, Will says Willow pushes it just like any other 15-year-old girl does. Smith says his teen daughter always calls and tries to add 15 minutes to her curfew time.
Take a look at Will Smith’s full interview with BBC Radio1 host A. Dot in the video below.
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]