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