*The Smith family is quite obviously the unconventional type, with very expressive children making their own mark in the industry at tender ages.
In a recent conversation with Metro New York, Will and his 14-year-old son Jaden chatted about their new movie, “After Earth.” But the dad also revealed he and his lady don’t like to punish their children.
On Punishing His Kids
We don’t do punishment. 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. 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 on Partying
Not at all. I go out and skate every night. Hang out with people, skate, hang out with more people, skate to their house.[…]It’s not like I don’t want to go to parties because I need to study and go to college; I just don’t wanna go. If they’re gonna play house music, I’m maybe interested, but if it’s some random place and they’re playing Waka Flocka Flame….[…]Other teenagers go to parties and sometimes I be like, “Why am I here right now?” And most of the time, I just leave right then and there. Some things I don’t like to do, that other teenagers do. Everyone thinks that since you make movies, you go to parties, and I like to party, but not normal teenage parties.
Will On If Jaden Being an Emancipated Minor
[Laughs] No, it’s not like that. More the idea that, I want him to have as much command and freedom if he is willing to accept responsibility. Those are two concepts that are inexorably bound. So he’s a very responsible young man so he’s entitled to the maximum freedom. [To Jaden] I said “inexorably.” You heard that? Someone Google that for Jaden.
On Jada’s Facebook
Jaden: [impersonating Jada] “I don’t care what people say. If we get hit for this, this is what the truth of the world is.’”Uh, okkkkay mom. She’ll be on the phone with a manager, “I don’t care what they said, I’m posting this on Facebook.” I think she should write a book.
Will: Jada is very serious and opinionated and she loves Facebook because it’s the only place she’s ever had where she’s felt like all of her can be received. She’s struggled her whole life where only a part of her is OK.
Meanwhile, last week Jada took to Facebook to clarify ‘Will can do whatever he wants‘ comment, which somehow or another opened up a whole new can of worms in the press. She wrote:
I am addressing this issue because a very important subject has been born from discussions about my statement that may be worthy of addressing. The statement I made in regard to, ‘Will can do whatever he wants,’ has illuminated the need to discuss the relationship between trust and love and how they co-exist.
Should we be married to individuals who can not be responsible for themselves and their families within their freedom? Should we be in relationships with individuals who we can not entrust to their own values, integrity, and LOVE…for us??? Here is how I will change my statement…Will and I BOTH can do WHATEVER we want, because we TRUST each other to do so. This does NOT mean we have an open relationship…this means we have a GROWN one.