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Jada Pinkett-Smith: I don’t punish my kids

Jada Pinkett-Smith is the opposite of a helicopter mom. In fact, she opened up about her liberal parenting techniques in which she doesn’t punish her kids but allows them to learn cause and effect on their own. Does this type of parenting help prepare her kids for the real world, as she says it does, or does the lack of boundaries set them up for failure?

I’m all for learning some degree of cause and effect when it comes to raising children. For example, my son had insane crazy bedhead one morning, but didn’t want to brush it. I was sick of nagging him and told him he didn’t have to brush it, but he would get some crazy looks since it looks like he stuck his finger in a light socket. Looking confused at my “old person” reference to a light socket, he didn’t brush it, got some weird looks (and I admit, a few admiring looks — I suspect from some girls who are fans of Harry Styles‘s crazy hair) and later asked if he could get his hat out of the car. I smiled smugly, thinking I won… until I realized he still won’t brush his hair, he will just wear a hat. Moving on…

There are some things, however, that I refuse to let cause and effect happen. For example, I would never let them have free rein on the computer and let them give out personal information and, in fact, I don’t let them have any type of social media account until they are older. The effect, especially in this internet age, could be too long lasting.

When you are a celebrity parent, you would think you would have to be even stricter as to what your kids do online, especially with the temptations and fast lifestyles that go along with Hollywood. Celeb mom Pinkett-Smith, however, takes a different approach. In fact, she raised some eyebrows recently when she let her 13-year-old daughter Willow post this picture of her lying in bed with 20-year-old actor Moises Arias.

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When the picture came out, Pinkett didn’t bat an eye about it. She also lets Willow have free rein over her fashion choices, including shaving her head bald and posting a picture showing off her tongue ring when she was 11 years old  (she later admitted it was fake), as well as letting Willow and Jaden sleep with snakes (OK, my boys would probably love that too).

Pinkett-Smith’s rationalization for her hands-off approach?

“I think we have to have more trust in our children. People have always gotten on us about not punishing the kids, and let me just talk to you about that for a minute. We raised three kids before Willow and Jaden, and especially on my goddaughter, I put so many boundaries on her — “No, you can’t do that, you can’t do this.” And everything I tried to control, every freakin’ thing I was trying to avoid, happened,” she told Health magazine.

“I learned a lot from that experience and realized that while Willow and Jaden are still with me and have a safety net, I want to give them the opportunity to make mistakes and learn how to put boundaries on themselves. So by the time they’re out of the house, they fly,” she said.

Tell us: Do you agree with Jada Pinkett-Smith’s “cause-and-effect” parenting approach?

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