Will Smith On Disciplining His Children: ‘We Don’t Do Punishment’

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Will and Jaden Smith


When they aren’t discussing their rumored open relationship, they are defending the decisions of their children. The couple has been highly criticized in the past for allowing their daughter, Willow Smith, to dye and cut her hair in eccentric colors and styles and wearing clothing that is also very creative.

Last year, Jada Pinkett-Smith took to her Facebook page and wrote an open letter to set the record straight about she and Will Smith’s decision to allow Willow to rock her own style. She challenged the idea of using the word “let” to describe what her daughter can and can not do. Pinkett-Smith ended the letter stating: “Even little girls should not be a slave to the preconceived ideas of what a culture believes a little girl should be.”

 In a recent interview with MetroWill Smith and his 14-year-old discussed life, parties, and childhood. When parenting was brought up, Will Smith explained: “We don’t do punishment. The way that we deal with our kids is, they are responsible for their lives. 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.”

Will’s remark comes after Jaden was turned away from a night club when he attempted to party with his best pal Justin Bieber, who has been on a downhill spiral lately.

Do you agree with Will Smith?


  1. Oh really??

    April 26, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    It’s obvious those children are well rounded. I like the fact that they let their children express themselves in their own way. Good for them.

  2. VSR

    April 26, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    I do agree they can raise their kids however they like but Smith’s reasoning for letting his kids run buck wild is ridiculous. What does he do if he disagrees with their position? Anyway, perhaps that’s why those kids are so obnoxious. They’ve never heard the word ‘NO’ and should. One day he & Jada will say if we’d only told them no maybe they wouldn’t have made this bad choice.

    • Hoe4DaLawd

      May 13, 2013 at 12:02 am

      VSR…. who said or what proof do you have that Will and Jada’s kids are running buck wild? What actions were you able to ascertain from the article that supports buck wild or them being obnoxious? And does the actions of Jaden that YOU KNOW OF FOR SURE be reasonably percieved as ridiculous or better yet threatening to his wellbeing? Such comments like yours only reveal the your biased negative judgments, as well as your own limited understanding and cultural conditioning. Its apparent the the Smith Parents have thought long and deeply about what type of children they would like to raise and this is what they have decided. They are well taken care of financially, emotionally, and physically. They appear happy and well adjusted. I have also met those kids before on a few occassion and they are beautiful down to earth and respectful. So unless you and others on this site have a solid better understanding or proof that shows the lack of wellbeing for these kids it would be best to remain silent. Otherwise, you are simply just another HATA– jealous that your own house is not in order.

      • Minister Allen Johnson

        May 26, 2013 at 5:01 pm

        Parenting is something that we learn through trial and error, coupled with how we were brought up as children. I will say this with all do respect to this couple. They are a family who relates to each other, and that is an important factor in their children’s development. Honesty, and communications is the key for understanding their kids, and their kids understanding them. One thing Will said that I agree with is that if you can make sense out of your choices made then I can deal with them accordingly. He did say that punishment is to harsh though and I personally don’t agree with that in whole, but if they haven’t had any extremes with them up to this point then so be it, because it must be working for them so far. My dad told me when I was a teenager that if I could make sense out of the choice that I made good bad or indifferent he could work with that, but if I couldn’t make sense out of them my butt was his. My father spanked me one time in my life time, and he died when I was 33 years old. He lead by example, and I had the utmost respect for him. My mom was another story, but at the same time she always kept it real with and for me. She was true to her word in all things in her life and mine. Don’t get me wrong they had their flaws,trials, and tribulations too. I am an only child, and my parents were married for 48 years when they died 10 months apart. Faith alone in Christ alone my mother always taught me, and she walked that walk too mistakes and all she was accountable to her acts in life. People like to judge people if they are doing things that is different from what they think, but the only thing that will matter in the end is what God thinks. In Christ Jesus and His Loving Grace. Amen

    • khalil Malik

      May 13, 2013 at 2:03 am

      Trust, loyalty, patience comes from a spirit that is alive not trained, experience can go a long way that’s why there are agreed rules, by adhering to the rules establishes success and leaves room for personal creativity. If anyone does anything that is not in harmony with universal law the disharmony will make it’s presents known. A new Day and old way. One planet, One people.

  3. Max

    April 26, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Sounds like Will and Jada have joined some crazy cult. The success of Hollywood has wrapped their thinking. It will be only a matter of time when these kids really start acting up and getting into big trouble then you will see the parents blaming other people for it.

  4. ajana

    April 26, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    I believe wholeheartedly that it is important to instill critical thinking and sound judgement in your children. They need to know that the reasons they make certain decisions should not be based solely on whether they will be punished for them or not. But notice, I said “solely”. There are “punishments” in life- whether they come from an external source or from within. Also, as a parent, our role is to protect, guide, teach, and so on. We aren’t here to sit idly by and watch them fall. Self expression and discovering your unique, creative selves is critical to a well developed and interesting adult. But children need us- not to punish- but to prepare them for what is to come. In addition to putting a roof over their head and feeding them, this is how we show up for them, this is how we love.

    • Hoe4DaLawd

      May 13, 2013 at 12:13 am

      Ajana, just because there are punishments in life does not neccessarily make it sound and reasonable. For example, even when people commit crimes and abuses against others, they are jailed; which is seen typically as punishment. Yet what it the purpose of punishment? Apparently to increase a greater awareness, self examination, responsibility and rehabilitation of behavior. However, such punishment, is not statistically always the best method. We still have a high rate of repeated offenders and prisoners returning to jail. The Smith’s are clearly not watching their children do what they want, idly, but are providing nurturance and guidance as well. These kids learn in a plethora of ways, like the role modeling of their parents and the myriad of human expressions that they see in their culture, that is both positive and negative. They are intelligent to know what is sound and not. They will make mistakes and hopefully learn from them. Most of man’s greatest wisdom and achievments has come from making mistakes. I think overal, these parents are showing these kids how to TAKE OWNERSHIP of their lives, and march to the beat of their own drum, instead of the same of ole drum that everyone else feels is right for everyone else.

  5. PastorMic

    April 26, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Will and Jada both have the right to raise their children anyway they choose, but I can assure you that grave consequences will follow. The bible speaks about the role of the parent and child, and I know for sure that God is not wrong since He is the creator of all who are here. What Will and Jada are doing is setting their children up to believe that this is the way that things happen in the real world. Neither Will or Jada, with the mass amount of money they have, can do what they want (even if they can explain it to the judge) without being punished. The papers are full of headlines that prove this to be the case. Even science proves that children’s minds are not developed enough until a certain age to reason correctly. Anyone who was punished, disciplined, or spanked correctly will tell you that they did not agree with it while it was happening, but are grateful at an older age that it did. This is just a reminder that being rich, a celebrity, or living a certain lifestyle does not qualify a person to be a leader or mentor, or role model!

  6. Wen Wen

    April 26, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    Will and Jada, children, teens need guidelines, you have to train them up in the way they should go. You don’t have to beat’em, but they do need rules…That little Beiber dude is little out of control, Not a good example for your son. You don’t want your children’s name in the news everytime you turn on the radio or Tv…it’s not called punishment, it called “GROUNDED”. Sometimes we have to ground them, but if you train them right and they don’t become follower’s and maintain leadership, they will be well rounded children…mine’s are…they grew up to be awesome…and I gave them a foundation in church…introduced them to God…

    • khalil Malik

      May 13, 2013 at 2:11 am

      Wise heads will always seek guidance, that desire harmony, but like all things in nature I’m sure their nurtured until they sprout wings strong enough to fly. “The ability to respond”.

  7. Rev. George Brooks

    April 27, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Who on earth decided to ask Will and Jada about how to raise children when these two believe in and practice marriage where each of them can go out and sleep with others, and it’s okay with the both of them? That tells you that, while they have a right to live as they want to, they are not exactly living normal lives. So oddball thinking with regares to their children, should not be reasoo for any one to be shocked. But these kind of topics should be asked of, perhaps, several couples, and not merely ONE couple who are sort of “residents of the moon,” so to speak. And I say that with a laugh, and no disrespect of Will and Jada. But I strongly disagree with them on how they are raising their kids. And sice we have yet to see the end results, I will say to others to be careful following this path which has not proven itself one way or the other. — Rev. George Brooks

  8. Obed Norman

    April 28, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    I agree 100% with Will Smith. I will not go as far as sayimg no punishment but DEFINITELY NO PHYSICAL PUNISHMENT. It may be easy to argue with me and Will Smith but try arguing with the American Association of Pediatricians. They strongly recommend that parents not use physical punishment in raising their children. There is reason to heed what the doctors are saying. We are one the most violent country in the industrialized world. We have to consider that beating children might lead them to regard violence as a normal part of human interaction. Why not? What is more remarkable and commendable about Will and Jada’s parenting is that it involves a lot of talking through things and giving reasons for behaviors and actions. The difference between kids that do well at school and those that do not do so well is how much or how little parents spoke and reasoned with them. The more you talk to your kids about a variety of issues, the more words they will hear before starting school. And that difference in the number of words learned makes a great deal of difference as to how well kids do at school. Let’s have a discussion. Push me on the ‘spare the rod, spoil the child’ meme.

    • depro

      April 28, 2013 at 11:12 pm

      Do you believe you should not correct your children? This is more than just “sparing the rod”; this is letting them run crazy, which is what they do until you teach them another way.

      And one of the most prominent pediatricians every, Dr. Benjamin Spock, later recanted his own advice regarding child rearing, saying it created a generation of spoiled brats.

  9. depro

    April 28, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    correction: ever, not every.

  10. Erica

    May 13, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Let the people raise their kids how they choose, are the kids hurting you or society? No, worry about what is happening in your house and deal with that and leave people’s business alone.

  11. Jim Brown

    May 13, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Good luck in the real world where laws and right and wrong have meaning. If they don’t get punished, what happens when they get a job and do whatever they feel like? If they do something wrong they will get fired, how will they deal with that punishment?

  12. Eileen Russell

    May 13, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Hummm make their own decisions as long as they can explain why this was a right thing to do for THEIR life.. so Jaden thinks going to a club at 14 is good for his life.. did he explain why before or after he was turned away from an environment that has smoking,drinking, and possibly other adult activities going on

  13. Madeline Malicdem

    May 22, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Earlier, Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez revealed that they have split up their own relationship over Justin Bieber close friends Chris Brown, Lil Wyane and Sean Kingston. Justin and Selena which is known as Jelena apparently concluded their relationship after a concert of Selena Gomez in Florida together with Sean Kingston. It also seems Selena doesn’t like Justin Bieber to hang with his friend Lil Wayne, who has bad background of drugs possession as well as Chris Brown. Selena also claimed that by next coming days She will try to keep her relationship with Justin Bieber as normal as possible.`-.;

    http://www.caramoan.phCurrent blog post straight from our own web-site

  14. Dorothy Boyd

    May 26, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    I should’nt even be commenting, i made mistake after mistake. I’ve seen some of worst parents turn out really great people and some good people from a cross the board like preachers,teachers, stars even those that run the country and don’t get me started on the doctors and lawyers. Parents can not always be the blame when children are influenced by society or just let me say from everything like music,videogames,movies&tv.But i will say that the job of a parent is to be able to give postive guidence while navgating through lifes rough terrain. We got to pray and pray some oh you pray while you cry too.

  15. cat

    May 26, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    people are so closed minded. Think outside the box. They didn’t say there would be no consequences. Get a grip and stop bringing the bible into it.

  16. Ladymichelle75

    May 26, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    A lot of people r not bringing up kids like back n the days. That’s why we see kids younger than 21 n jail, juvenile or dead. Even when you raise them the right way they may stray away.But when u bring them up n church they may stray but they eventually come back. Its up to the parents to teach them right or wrong.If you let them get away with things who’s to say that child may think its ok to say whatever to mom or dad or do whatever to mom or dad. Nothing wrong with a whipping n my kids know I mean what I say n say what I mean. My son 15 n he’s not a loud to walk up n down the street or hang out with a group of boys, my daughter will be 17 soon n I have a 19 year old n people think I am their sister I let them know I am the mother n they r all respectful because they r never too old to get in trouble.

  17. Lynnette

    May 27, 2013 at 7:07 am

    I think Will and Jada are doing a excellent job at raising their kids. You do not hear anything about his children. They are well behaved children and I would be honored to meet the Smith family because they are so down to earth. You can tell that they know right from wrong. I think Jaden and Willow have more respect for their parents now and throughout the rest of their lives because Will and Jada are showing them respect.

  18. Roselind Espinosa

    May 27, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Well there is not real way to raise kids these days. Parents just need to try different ways to raise their kids. If this works for them, then let them be.

  19. Lynn

    May 27, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Man up, Will Smith. That’s a chickenshit way of ‘parenting’. ‘Oh, no, my kids won’t be my bestest friend if I tell them what to do! I will let them be my co-parents!’ If you are crystal clear about what is acceptable and what isn’t, punishment isn’t necessary because you’ve raised them from the start to respect your authority. They need and want boundaries. They don’t have the maturity, experience, hormonal stability or capability to act as their own parents. It’s irresponsible and something young parents do out of ignorance.

  20. Terrence

    May 27, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    So many people, so many judgements. WE don’t live their lives nor do we contribute to the upbringing of their children We all, as parents, have to decide what we feel is the best effective way to properly raise our children. There is no perfect guide to parenting. Our children will make mistakes. We all have made our own. Judgment is the easiest thing to past onto others and the hardest thing to accept from others. Remember where you come from before you try to judge someone else’s life. WE act as if we are God. Let him be judged when his time comes.

  21. Stephanie Hutschneider

    May 28, 2013 at 9:17 am

    I don’t think it’s anyones business how they decide to raise their children. Families need to do what works within their own family. No one else has to like it, agree with it or approve of it. I wouldn’t want someone telling me how to raise my daughter. I do the best I can and as I learn better I do better. I think people shouldn’t judge and should be open to other ideas…you just never know what you can learn. I have learned a lot of what to do and what not to do by my own experiences and also by watching and hearing other peoples stories. Do the best you can, make the best of every situation. Every experience whether good or bad is an opportunity to learn and grow. My daughter is 5 years old and I pray that she is not only healthy, safe and happy but secure enough with herself to try new things whether it goes with the majority or not. Bravo Will and Jada – keep doing your family your way!

  22. Tawanya Burkes

    May 28, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    Ok……so……the GOOD BOOK (The Bible) says train your child up, NOT let them train themselves. And……..Spare the Rod and
    spoil the child, is there really more to say……

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