The Will Smith Parenting Style

neat-beach-bedroomRecently, I read an article (or two) about Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s parenting style. He was quoted as saying, “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.” The article goes on to mention that Willow and Jaden, twelve and fourteen years old respectively, are taught that they are taking care of their parents’ property, which they do not own.

In a different article, Will Smith makes a similar statement. He explained his parenting style saying, “We generally don’t believe in punishment. From the time Jaden was five or six we would sit him down, and all he has to do is be able to explain why what he did was the right thing for his life.”

Generally, I like Will Smith. I must admit that I was a bit surprised at the statements. Several things flitted through my mind as I considered what he said. My first thought was, “I wish I didn’t have to tell the kids to clean their rooms or anything else for that matter!” I do agree with several principles behind the statements Will made; but, I had a difficult time making them work in my family.

I was wondering what you think of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s parenting style. What parts do you agree with and would you consider incorporating into your own style? Which parts do you disagree with and feel aren’t right for your kids? Share your thoughts below.

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  1. I think each family has to find what works best for them. It sounds like Will and Jada had this parenting style from the get-go and by implementing it with their kids from an early age it seems to work well for them. Once boundaries are set and kids know what to expect and what is expected of them, they typically will go with the flow. I’m not saying they won’t try to push the line sometimes as that’s how kids learn but overall, they tend to follow along with what is expected of them. But again, I believe the key is to start early, be consistent and make adjustments as needed.

    My husband and I didn’t issue a lot of punishment either but then, we didn’t need to. Our kids knew what we expected and when they did something we felt was ‘wrong’, we talked through it. Many times we found that just because we didn’t particularly like something, it wasn’t actually ‘wrong’ and did not require punishment. That’s not to say there was never any punishment, but usually it was saved for big mistakes.

    Parenting is a learning adventure for everyone. I learned as much from my kids as they did from me.