That Might Be The Problem: Jada Pinkett Says She’s Her Kids’ Partner Not Their Parent

October 31, 2012  |  

Source: WENN

Will and Jada have been getting the side-eye for their parenting style ever since their daughter Willow went from whipping her hair back and forth to rocking technicolor low-cut fades every other week and posing next to stripper poles. Both parents have spoken out numerous times about their take on self-expression and what they do and don’t allow their kids to participate in, but I think Jada Pinkett just provided the last piece of the puzzle regarding her approach to raising two pre-teens.

PEOPLE caught up with Jada at a Yes to Prop 35 event hosted by The Moms Monday afternoon and there Jada presented this take on motherhood:

“I think that old school style of ‘I’m your parent and I’m greater than you’ doesn’t work. What I establish with my children is a partnership. I’m not necessarily dictating what is happening in their lives.”

A lot of parents would likely disagree with that approach, especially when we’re talking about a 14-year-old boy (Jaden) and a 12-year-old girl (Willow). I wouldn’t say most mothers and fathers completely dictate their children’s lives but they do set age-appropriate parameters, which in this case most of the general public believes Willow and Jaden are lacking. In my mind, being a parent as opposed to a partner doesn’t mean I’m greater than you, it means I’m older and I know a little bit more to guide you through life and help you make good decisions. Jada, on the other hand, thinks approaching her kids as peers increases the likelihood that they will listen.

By “instilling in [Willow] the power for individuality, we … communicate with our kids in a way that our message overpowers any other message that they get out there.”

In the same token, they don’t limit the information their kids come across, even when it includes rumors and gossip about their family.

“We can’t control what our kids learn anymore. We have to inform them and have real conversations … and [create] that foundation of them feeling assured in themselves.”

“I think for our children … they feel like we really care and they come to us and go, ‘Mommy, I’m having this problem,’ and it’s like, ‘Okay, let’s figure this out together.’ And it empowers them.”

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  • Children NEED and WANT boundaries. I hate to inform Jada, Will, and those on here to “don’t see a problem,” a parent’s job is to guide and direct their children in the right path. Only lazy parents take the “I’m not the parent approach.” We will see how they turn out.

    People say that because they are celebrities, their lives and beyond the rest of those humans on planet earth. HAVING MONEY DOES NOT MEAN AN THING. They are CHILDREN. Their status in life doesn’t dictate the fact that they are still CHILDREN. Yes, their PARENTS have money. They have access to what many “regular” folks don’t, but that does not mean those facts make them adults.

    If a parent’s stance is, “My kids will raise themselves,” you have FAILED as a parent. Your kids are NOT supposed to be raising themselves.

  • JaneDoe

    Its her children. Whatever floats the Smiths boat

    • chanela

      thanks for that captain obvious! i’m sure the author already knows that it’s jada and will’s children. the article is put here simpy to start a conversation about parenting. it’s unnecessary and silly to think you’re making a point by saying ” it’s their kids” – _ –

  • get real

    I thought only white women took this dumb approach but I see blk women are jumping on the train.

  • hollyw

    I see how this method has worked for Will and jada thus far, and i especially liked Will’s response to allowing Willow do whatever she wants w/ as a way to empower her, i.e. if he dictates how she can do her hair and clothes, then she’ll think it natural for any man in her life to exhibit control over her body.

    However, as a child behavioral therapist, i find it hard to see this working into their teen years w/ the extremities they’ve chosen. They’re still at the stage where their parents’ advice and influence is naturally the most important b/c they’re physically smaller and not as rebellious. When they begin completely disregarding Jada, how much you wanna bet they change they tune lol!

  • Ann

    We will find out later in life as they get older if that approach works…………………………….when they decide to run her and tell her what to do.

  • FromUR2UB

    Whatever. I agree with some of their positions and disagree with others. But, those are their children and they have the right to raise them the way they want to. They seem engaged in their children’s lives, so it’s not like they don’t care about or guide them. Once the kids grow up, it’ll be easier to see if their methods worked.

  • Ms_Sunshine9898

    I don’ know, when kids seem to think their on the same level as you, after a while, parenting which seems non resistant goes down hill when children began to realize they can do what they want because you allowed them to at an early age. . .

  • sunrae22

    These kids are not living typical lives. They have access to things and resources that most children their age do not have. I think that taking a different approach to their upbringing is in line with the atypical lives they lead. As celebrities, and young ones at that, they will need an insight, self- control and maturity level that far surpasses an average persons at any stage in their life. I think Will And Java choose to guide then through the experience of their autonimies versus making all their choices for them.

  • Meyaka

    Oh between willow’s tongue piercing controversy and jaden hanging out with Justin beiber on a boat with those little fast girls in bikinis,I figured out that jada and will were anything but parents,I don’t have any children so I guess my opinion doesn’t matter,I was raised in a household with rules and where you had to face consequences for misbehaving,nowadays these children act a good goddamn fool and their parents are trying to be their homies,whatever…

  • Yvette

    I don’t see a problem. They both seem to be very well rounded and positive teens. I must admit though at first I did have some concerns when I first saw Willow’s hair but then I put things in perspective and realized that Jada and Will are very much creative and artsy folks (especially Jada) and that they would welcome that form of self expression. Plus, there are worse things that this young lady and gentleman could be doing besides expressing themselves through hair and clothing so obviously their parents are doing something right. Those kids are the epitome of the term “do you”. As long as they are not hurting themselves or others, I say carry on!

  • silkynaps

    “That might be the problem…”
    What is the problem exactly? I don’t see any issues with Jaden or Willow. They are millionaires. They aren’t being arrested. You don’t see them smoking blunts on Instagram. They aren’t posting naked photos of themselves on the internet. What’s the issue? If the girl wants to cut or color her hair, what’s the problem exactly? I’d rather see her with a little pink pixie than all weaved-up with tracks running down to her behind looking like a 12 year-old prostitute.

    • guest

      want there a tiny controversy with willow on a stripper pole at one point and something bout a tongue ring too? they seem to be good kids but a 10year old shouldn’t be having those types of controversies to begin with, millionaire or not. a little more boundaries might be useful.

    • chanela

      like i’ve mentioned in another article… as long as the people have money then everything they do is A okay to folks in the black community