Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have always marched to the beat of their own drum when it comes to parenting. They have talked openly and freely about how they have raised their three kids — son Jaden, 23, and daughter Willow, 20, as well as Will’s son Trey, 28, from his first marriage to Sheree Zampino — and let’s just say they took a lot of heat over the years for saying they allowed their children to make their own choices and not suffer any type of punishment if they misbehaved. But people might have misinterpreted what they were really trying to say.
The couple’s philosophy is pretty simple: be present, stay flexible, be accountable — which is something many parents already incorporate in their households. The Smiths were just ahead of their time in having difficult (and often raw) conversations about their family and upbringing. They never told any of us how to raise our kids, but instead, were sharing some of their experiences — both good and bad. “First of all, I don’t give parenting advice per se, because it’s such a unique task,” Will told BET. “The greatest human task is to render a human being into the world.”
From Jada’s Red Table Talk show with Willow and her mom, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, to Will’s Bucket List show on Facebook Watch, we’ve been able to gather a lot of insight on how they parent — and it’s not just for raising a family, it’s about taking care of yourself along the way. Read on for Will and Jada’s best parenting quotes to see which one resonates with you the most (hello, self-care) and one that just might surprise you.