Will Smith: 'Our lenient parenting style may have been a mistake'
Are Will Smith's kids just enjoying their freedom of expression or are they spinning out of control?
Growing up in the public eye can be tough. While most of us had the luxury of making youthful mistakes in private, Hollywood’s teens have to go through all of that, with the whole world watching.
Teens growing up in Hollywood are almost expected to be quirky and somewhat odd, but Jaden and Willow Smith seem to have taken it to whole new level.
Over the past few years, the public has taken notice of how they are so self-assured that it borders on “arrogance”.
Many say they get their “overinflated self-perception” from their parents, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith, who recently boycotted of the Oscars because apparently, they took offense that Will had not been nominated.
But Will clarified to Vanity Fair that this “wasn’t about him” but it was about a larger “narrowing” of the “imagery” and “tolerance in America.” He adds,”Hollywood is supposed to lead and be the most diverse and the most inclusive.”
Though they are one of Hollywood’s most powerful couples, incidents such as this one further highlights how extreme they can be.
The two, who are home-schooled, told the New York Times, that they prefer this set up, saying that “conventional education is over-rated and depressing.”
Then, they went on about why Willow writes her own novels instead of reading them, the complexities of quantum physics, and how they can manipulate time itself.
Though teens are commonly curious about exploring unconventional ways of relating to the world, these comments by the Smith kids have been described to be ‘immeasurably bizarre’.
One has to admire their individuality and confidence. But there’s a fine line between being self-assured and coming off as arrogant.
The general public perception of the two teens now is that they are sorely lacking humility and self-awareness.
Jaden has been known for starring in big budget films such as Karate Kid and After Earth landing major fashion campaigns such as Louis Vuitton all while challenging gender norms.
Willow burst onto the scene with her chart-topping single, “Whip My Hair” in 2011 and has been named Chanel’s new “ambassadress”.
When the New York Times asked what themes run through her work, she yet again responded cryptically, saying “the feeling of being like, this is a fragment of a holographic reality that a higher consciousness made”.
Jaden then revealed his ambition to be “the most craziest person all the time”, it sounded off alarms in many people’s heads. When asked about how his present work reflects his past work, Jaden revealed another goal which is to “imprint (himself) on everything in this world”.
How he plans to do this is anybody’s guess.
Will Smith opens up on his ‘parenting mistakes’ on the next page
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Will Smith admits that he has thought about how their “lenient parenting style” didn’t have a favourable outcome.
With a chuckle, the actor shares that the “freedom of expression” they encouraged in their kids “may have been a mistake”.
He adds that he thinks he and his wife, Jada, may “have gone too far”.
Will’s aware of his kids “haters”. Despite this, he continues to root for them, as one would expect from a dad. “Jaden is 100 percent fearless, he will do anything,” said Will, taking on a more serious tone in the same interview. “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.”
There are rules in the Smith household, Will affirms. But he is a little stricter when it comes to Willow, saying that Jaden usually goes out with a group of guys who are like a “small army”, so he isn’t too worried for him.
Willow is having none of this ‘double standard’, naturally.
“We’ve been struggling,” Will admits, revealing how Willow consistently keeps pushing the boundaries of her curfew.
Chalk it up to a typical teenage search for identity. Will Jaden and Willow grow out of this phase of “hyper-awareness” and intense self-love? Only time will tell.
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