Watching Red Table Talk is like being a fly on the wall in the Smith family home. On its newest episode, Jaden and Willow Smith sit with Jada Pinkett-Smith and Smith’s mother Adrienne Banfield-Jones known as “Gammy” to talk about her unconventional parenting style.
Pinkett-Smith said when she was growing up her mother was the authority, which was completely different from the upbringing she wanted to give her children. Smith said she wanted her children to have the freedom to make their own decisions as early as possible, to make sure they experienced life “outside the bubble” of fame and Hollywood. At 15 years old, Jaden became emancipated from his parents and while it was devastating for Pinkett-Smith she realized it was necessary for Jaden’s growth.
“Every child needs something different,” she said to Banfield-Jones. “Being in this lifestyle, in this world is a bubble and he wanted out. I understood that because I didn’t have the bubble. I knew what having my freedom outside the bubble, what I gained from that. I knew the sooner I let him go, the faster he was going to come back.”
Although that was a parenting win, there were times where Jada and Will dropped the ball. Jada said it’s imperative for parents to forgive themselves.
“When you become a parent, you have these huge ideals even for yourself,” she said. “We’re all coming into parenting with our childhood traumas. You’re hoping you can fix all that through your own rearing of your children and you can’t. Your kids are going to have their burdens.”
Watch the full episode below.