Will Smith Doesn't Believe in Punishing Children: They're 'Entitled to Maximum Freedom,' Actor Says

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    (Photo: REUTERS / Mario Anzuoni)
    Actor Will Smith poses with his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, son Jaden and daughter Willow at the premiere of the documentary "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never" at Nokia theatre in Los Angeles February 8, 2011. The documentary opens in the U.S. on February 11.
By Christine Thomasos, Christian Post Reporter
April 23, 2013|11:41 am

Will Smith, the 44-year-old actor who shares two famous children with 41-year-old actress Jada Pinkett Smith, does not believe in punishing his children.

Smith and his 14-year-old son Jaden are currently promoting their joint movie "After Earth." After the father and son duo were questioned about when Jaden was last punished, the Smith patriarch admitted that his family does not utilize punishment methods in their home.

"We don't do punishment. The way that we deal with our kids is, they are responsible for their lives," Smith told Metro New York recently. "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. 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."

While Jaden insisted that the concept worked well in their household, he spoke about having an awareness that his father kept tabs on all of his activities.

"This is what I've realized: No matter what I do or how I do it, he knows 100 percent of what's going on," the younger Smith told Metro New York. "There's no point in hiding anything because he knows. Whether he acts on it or not, he knows."

The elder Smith seemed confident about his son being a responsible individual, which he said gives the budding actor, musician and designer more freedom from his parents.

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"I want him to have as much command and freedom if he is willing to accept responsibility. Those are two concepts that are inexorably bound," Smith told Metro New York. "So he's a very responsible young man so he's entitled to the maximum freedom."

The Smith matriarch seemed to echo her husband's sentiments when she previously spoke about being her childrens' partner.

"I think that old school style of 'I'm your parent and I'm greater than you' doesn't work," the 41-year-old previously told People magazine last year. "What I establish with my children is a partnership."

Smith told the publication that she lets her children express their individuality and emphasized how vital communication is in parenting.

"We … communicate with our kids in a way that our message overpowers any other message that they get out there," she told People last year. "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."

 

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