Willow Smith Revealed the Worst Punishment Her Parents Could Give Her: It’s ‘Like a Knife in My Heart’

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have raised their children in an unconventional way, which has allowed them to develop and grow even though they are in the spotlight. When asked about the worst punishment she could receive from her parents, Willow Smith had an unexpected answer.

Trey Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, and Will Smith attend the World Premiere of Disneys Aladdin
Trey Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, and Will Smith | VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

Jada Pinkett Smith talked about parenting during ‘Red Table Talk’

During a 2018 episode of  Red Table Talk, Jada talked with her children Willow and Jaden Smith and gave fans a look at what it’s like raising kids when they are such a famous family.

Jada shared how Jaden wanted to move out when he was 15 years old and while she called it “one of the most heartbreaking moments” of her life, she didn’t find his request that surprising.

“One thing that I’ve learned is that every child needs something different,” she said. “At 15 years old, Jaden — and I remember this day specifically, it’s probably one of the most heartbreaking moments of my life. You got to a point where you told me straight up, ‘Mom, I have to leave here to live my life.’ And 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’s mother, Adrienne, said she “would have never agreed with that.”

Jada Pinkett Smith said she had to let her son go

Jada explained that she understood why her son wanted to take that independent step. “I told Will when Jaden was smaller, I said we’d be lucky to keep him in the house until he’s 16,” she shared. “Because he was so mature. He was making films, he could really manage his own life.”

“Being in this lifestyle, in this world, is a bubble and he wanted out and I understood that because I didn’t have the bubble and I knew what having my freedom outside of the bubble, what I gained from that,” she continued.

“And I knew that the sooner I let him go, the faster he was going to come back,” Jada added.

Willow Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Will Smith attend the BET's Black Girls Rock!
Willow Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Will Smith | Bennett Raglin/BET/Getty Images for BET

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Willow Smith explained what she feels is the worst punishment

At the end of the Red Table Talk episode, the family each answered a fan question and Willow was asked about her thoughts on parents punishing their kids.

“Is punishment a necessary part of parenting?,” the fan asked.

Willow had an interesting perspective on the form of punishment that is most difficult for her because of the respect she has for her parents.

“OK, for me, disappointment is punishment,” Willow explained. “I respect my parents so much that disappointment is like a knife in my heart. I want to be a person that my parents want to look at, that my parents are proud of.”

Interestingly, Will once said that he and Jada don’t punish their kids at all. “We generally don’t believe in punishment. From the time Jaden was 5 or 6 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,” Smith told the The Sun (via Daily Mail).