When the topic of parenting is raised with Will Smith, he jokingly comments that he might have gone a bit too far with the permissive parenting of Jaden and Willow, his children with wife Jada Pinkett-Smith. Smith has an older son, Trey Smith, with his former wife, Sheree Zampino. He laughingly admits that he might have made some mistakes.
According to Vanity Fair, BBC presenter A. Dot asked Will Smith about his kids, praising him for allowing them to have such “freedom of expression.”
“Yeah, I think it may have been a mistake. I think we might have gone too far.”
Will Smith is not throwing his children under the bus, but rather honestly expressing the concerns that come with allowing children to have freedom, and how scary it can be for a parent.
“Jaden is 100 percent 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 Smith has been known to fully live out loud, dressing up as he sees fit, sometimes in skirts and in costume. It is the sort of freedom which comes with unconditional parental support that many might question, but unlike many children of celebrities, Jaden Smith has not had public issues with substance abuse or the law.
Will Smith says that he tries to have the same rules for daughter Willow, but the world is sadly a less safe place for a 15-year-old girl.
“We’ve been struggling,” Smith admits as he describes Willow pushing the boundaries of her curfew. Sounds like typical teen stuff to me.
People Magazine is reporting that Will Smith was truly expressing the concerns that all parents have. Did we do okay, and if we messed up,, is it to the degree that it can’t be fixed? It would seem that Smith jand wife Jada Pinkett-Smith have indeed done a good job. A.Dot asked Will Smith how he handles Jaden’s need to express himself in women’s clothing.
“How do you respond then, for example, if you encourage them to have freedom of expression and then people will start making jokes about say Jaden modeling women’s clothes. How do you – as a dad – handle that?”
Smith says he understands it from an artistic perspective.
“There’s a really powerful internal quality as an artist that as parents we encourage,” Smith responded. “You gotta get out on the edge, you have to try things, you have to be comfortable doing things that people don’t agree with, and you have to be comfortable doing things that you could fail.”
Jaden Smith was recently named the face of Louis Vuitton’s women’s wear, a bold decision for the company and for Smith.
“I feel like it’s an honor, actually, for people to think I’m crazy,” the 17-year-old told GQ in October, explaining, “They thought Galileo was crazy, too, you know what I’m saying?”
Will Smith explains that his concerns for Willow are not as much about Willow, as with the rest of the world. As a father, it is quite common to worry a bit more about your only daughter, according to Us Weekly.
“When [the boys] go out, they’re with six or seven dudes so they have a small army,” he explained. “So their freedom is slightly different from Willow’s. Willow’s a 15-year-old girl, so we try to have the same rules, but it’s a different world, so we’ve been struggling with that.”
As is often the case with 15 year olds, Willow Smith pushes the boundaries of her curfew, according to Will Smith. Her Friday and Saturday curfew is 11:30, which seems quite conservative for Hollywoods.
“She keeps calling and adding 15 minutes,” he said.
What do you think of Will Smith’s parenting style with Willow and Jaden?
[Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images]