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Jada Pinkett Smith Recalls ‘Heartbreaking’ Moment When Son Jaden Announced His ‘Devastating’ Decision

September 17, 2020

Fans are absolutely fascinated by everything the Smith family says and does. Maybe it’s because all of them are involved in the entertainment industry. Or perhaps it’s just because they’re unapologetically different and aren’t ashamed to play by their own rules in life.

Most recently, Will and Jada’s marriage became the focus of scrutiny after her former alleged lover, singer August Alsina, came forward with details of their relationship. But even before that “entanglement,” the Smiths were making headlines with their radically unusual lifestyle.

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith encouraged their kids to make mistakes

The Smith family
Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith, Willow Smith, Jaden Smith, and Trey Smith | Jim Spellman/WireImage

Having two celebrities as parents probably wasn’t easy. However, Will and Jada didn’t overcompensate for their children’s financial privileges by enforcing strict rules. Instead, they allowed Jaden and Willow to do whatever they wanted and figure out consequences by themselves.

“We don’t do punishment,” Will told E! News. “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.”

He continued: “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 Smith decided to emancipate himself at 16

Jaden Smith
Jaden Smith | John Sciulli/Getty Images for McDonald’s

RELATED: ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’: Will Smith Told Jaden Smith He Had to Get Out of His House Under 1 Condition

No rules for the kids led to the Smith children making some truly shocking decisions. One of the biggest surprises happened when Jaden chose to become emancipated as a teenager and move out to live on his own. His mom Jada didn’t take that announcement well, she admitted during a 2018 Red Table Talk.

“I remember this day specifically. It was probably one of the most heartbreaking moments of my life,” Jada recalled while sitting at the table with Jaden, Willow, and her mom Adrienne Banfield-Jones, E Online reported.

She continued: “You got to a point here. You told me straight up—you were like, ‘Mom, I have to leave here to live my life.’ I remember thinking to myself, as devastated as I was, I was like, ‘He’s right. The time is now. He’s 15. It’s time for him to leave the house.”

Jada Pinkett Smith was sad but not surprised Jaden wanted to move out

Jada Pinkett Smith and Jaden Smith
Jada Pinkett Smith and Jaden Smith | Emma McIntyre/VMN19/Getty Images for MTV

Even though the news hurt Jada’s heart, the request early departure from home wasn’t exactly unexpected. “I knew. I told Will when Jaden was smaller. I said, ‘We’ll be lucky to keep him in the house ’til he’s 16 because he was so mature,” she said. “He could really manage his own life.”

She concluded with a bit of wisdom. “Being in this lifestyle, in this world is a bubble and he wanted out and I understood that. I knew that the sooner I let him go, the faster he was gonna come back.”

Because Jada allowed her son to make his own choices, the two still have a close relationship today. E Online reports that Jaden moved out in early 2017 at the age of 18.


Will Smith Was Uncomfortable With Teenage Daughter Willow Telling Him Everything — ‘Baby, You Need to Start Lying!’

Amanda Harding | MORE ARTICLES

August 29, 2020

Fans of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith already know that they have an unconventional relationship. The pair made headlines recently after rumors of Jada’s affair with singer August Alsina started circulating, calling into question whether their marriage was on the rocks. The pair said they’re stronger than ever and unconcerned with any of Jada’s “entanglements.”

The Smiths also takes a unique approach to parenting. Instead of being strict with Jaden and Willow, the parents famously allow their children to live without consequences. It’s all part of being in their so-called “circle of safety,” which allows the kids to share absolutely anything with their parents.

The only problem? Will sometimes got a little bit too much information from his teenage daughter.

Will and Jada Pinkett Smith embraced unconventional parenting

The Smith family
The Smith Family | Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for Environmental Media Association

Hollywood kids are destined to live atypical lives, especially when both parents work in the industry. For Will and Jada, parenting meant giving their children lots of freedom and very few rules.

“We don’t do punishment,” Will explained to E Online.  “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.”

However, the lines of communication always stay open. The Men in Black star continued, “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.”

The Smith family created a circle of trust

Will and Jada Pinkett Smith
Will and Jada Pinkett Smith | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

RELATED: Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Marriage Is Weirder Than Anyone Realizes

The no-rules philosophy grew with the family and became a very different proposition once Jaden and Willow became teenagers. The teens learned to open up to their parents rather than hiding thanks to the family’s “circle of safety.”

“They’re allowed to tell us everything that they did and they can’t get in trouble,” Will explained during a Tonight Show appearance in 2016. “The rule is, if we find out after the circle of safety that there was something you didn’t say, there was hell to pay.”

The policy created awkward moments between Will and Willow

Will Smith and Willow Smith
Will Smith and Willow Smith | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Though some parents might be thrilled by the idea of their teen telling them everything, in Will’s case it led to some uncomfortable conversations with his daughter once she became a teen.

“As a father, you do not want a circle of safety with a 15-year-old daughter. You do not,” he told Fallon while laughing. “I’m like, ‘Baby, you need to start lying!’” He went on, discussing how he pulled Jada into those talks. “[I’m like] ‘Nope! You and your mom can talk about that one!’”

Will followed his own advice on that by not asking prying questions and leaving some conversations to Jada. “As a father, if she needs a ride from the mall, you go pick her up, and you don’t say a word,” Jada advised. “You don’t ask her anything. Don’t talk to her. Don’t ask any questions…You wait until she comes to you and wants to talk to you. And that’s my advice to you. Moms know girls.”

It’s not the parenting style for everyone, but it seems to work for the Smiths

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