Will Smith just keeps talking about his hands-off parenting approach. He wants to spread the word that children are little adults, a believe that is firmly rooted in the Scientology cult. Smith is so convinced that he’s right about parenting that he compares other parenting styles to slavery. It’s a shame that one of our most beloved actors is using a slippery slope argument to make his convoluted point, but there it is. He’s promoting his movie After Earth, and since his son Jaden is co-starring he keeps bringing up parenting and talking about how he wants to make his family into an acting dynasty. He may well succeed. (Will made some of these comments late last week, but some of them are new.)
“My style of parenting is very similar to that of my parents, minus the concept of ownership. I think that, specifically in African American households, the idea coming out of slavery, there’s a concept of your children being property and that was a major part that Jada and I released with our kids. We respect our children the way we would respect any other person. Things like cleaning up their room. You would never tell a full-grown adult to clean their room, so we don’t tell our kids to clean their rooms.”
“We tell our kids ‘you don’t have a room, that’s our room and we are letting you borrow it. So the same way you would say to an adult if you let them use your car, you say, ‘Yo man, clean my car! Don’t drive around all filthy like that!’ And it’s perfectly reasonable for you to want an adult to clean your car, so we feel it’s perfectly reasonable to ask our kids to clean the rooms that we are letting them use.”
“I grew up in a family business. So it’s like everybody works together and that’s how the family bonds and communicates and how we eat. In my mind, I’m a warrior and I’m teaching my son how to hunt. And how else would I teach my son how to hunt other than bring him with me and we’re in an interview and this is what I do and this is the business I work in. To me, I can’t imagine what the other option is.”
“The major difference is I’m trying to release the sense of ownership. With our kids, Jada and I believe that it’s their lives and we are helping them with their lives. And they’re not our property. They are people that are deservant of our respect and consideration in the same way that any other human being should be.”
I don’t get it. He’s saying he does tell his kids to clean their rooms, but he appeals to their sense of doing good or something. Some people are strict with their children and want them to be well mannered and respectful of adults. That doesn’t mean that they consider them property. Telling your child to do chores or clean up after themselves is part of many, if not most families’ lives, especially when they don’t have help at home like the Smiths. Children don’t have an adults’ sense of responsibility or purpose. They do need a sense of independence and ownership in their lives, but they also need boundaries and guidance. It’s not about treating kids as property, it’s about being responsible for them and ensuring that they’re safe and well cared for. It’s a low blow to compare stricter disciplinary styles to slavery.
I don’t understand why the Smiths keep talking about this. Do they think they’re going to earn converts? Because if anyone treats children like slaves, it’s Scientology.
Will and Jaden, 14, are shown at a photocall in Russia for After Earth. Credit: WENN.com