Jada Pinkett-Smith is a parent, but she’s no dictator. The mother of two recently told PEOPLE magazine that she and husband Will Smith do not raise Willow,12, and Jaden,14, in the grand ole fashion of “I’m the parent, you’re the child. Know your place.” As Jada explains, “I think that old school style of ‘I’m your parent and I’m greater than you’ doesn’t work. What I establish with my children is a partnership. I’m not necessarily dictating what is happening in their lives.”
In not dictating every move, Will and Jada have opted to treat Jaden and Willow as young adults, discussing life in its rawest form. “We can’t control what our kids learn anymore,” says the actress. “We have to inform them and have real conversations … and [create] that foundation of them feeling assured in themselves.”
So, is the new parenting approach working for Jada? Yes. “I think for our children … they feel like we really care and they come to us and go, ‘Mommy, I’m having this problem. And it’s like, ‘Okay, let’s figure this out together.’ And it empowers them,” explains Smith.