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As we take the time out to wish Jada Pinkett Smith a happy 43rd birthday (September 18), we also wanted to honor the role of step-parents this week as we celebrate National Stepfamily Day.
While many may or may not agree with the parenting style of the Pinkett Smith’s we must admit they seem to be a happily blended family with Jada being very vocal over the years as to how she co-parents with Sheree Fletcher, the mother of Will’s first child, Trey.
Here are four top quotes and tips from Jada on the role of a step-parent and how to make blended families truly blend.
A few years back, Jada penned an open letter in response to a friend asking her how to handle loving her husband’s other children from a previous marriage. The response that Jada gave was not only invaluable but truly on point.

“Blended families are NEVER easy, but here’s why I don’t have a lot of sympathy for your situation because… we CHOOSE them. When I married Will, I knew Trey was part of the package…Period! If I didn’t want that…I needed to marry someone else. Then I learned if I am going to love Trey…I had to learn to love the most important person in the world to him…his mother. And the two of us may not have always LIKED each other… but we have learned to LOVE each other. These are the situations that separate the women from the girls.” — Huffington Post/Black Voices 

When asked why it was so important to her that “make things good” with Will Smith’s son, Trey, Jada discusses the scars that her parents divorce left on her:

“I wanted to do anything in my power to make sure Trey didn’t go through what I went through,” Jada said. “I had to learn to get out of my own ego and remember it wasn’t about me.” — Today’s Modern Family

But as we all know these things take time and adjustment on the behalf of everyone. Jada went on to explain that it wasn’t just about becoming a [step-parent] that took some adjustment on her part. It was having to understand that Will was going to have a relationship with Trey’s mom because they share a child. She said she had to support him in doing what was right even though it wasn’t easy.

“Greatness doesn’t come from ease. You want to do great things and you want it to be easy?? These don’t go hand in hand, but the fact that we enjoy holidays together with Trey’s mom and her new husband makes the tough part worth it. Trey knows we all get along, and that creates stability for him.”

And for those of you who are thinking that it maybe best to just “drop it and forget it” when it comes to the other parent, Jada will tell you that, that’s a definite  No in her book: Jada has also been quoted saying that she actively included Sheree in their family unit in order to keep Trey from feeling torn between them.

“I refused to have Trey feel like a step-child. He is not from my body, but he is a huge part of my spirit and soul. I wanted him to feel like he was a part of this circle. In order to do that, I had to make his mother a part of this circle, because your mother is your pulse to the world. Your mother is your everything. How can I truly appreciate and love Trey without embracing his mother?”  Atlanta Black Star 

Additionally, she never wanted to treat him as a step-child and doesn’t like using the term. Instead, she calls him her bonus son.

Honestly, whether you’ve got a blended family or not, there are some real gems here from Jada.

 

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