As people around the globe celebrated Fathers Day yesterday, Will Smith joined his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith for a special edition of the Red Table Talk, and his parenting was one of the issues discussed.
Will got candid about his journey to fatherhood, recalling how he hoped to do things differently than his father.
Jada asked him, “When do you think your fatherhood instincts kicked in?“, and he replied:
From the time I was six years old, I wanted to be a father. I loved how my family was but there were massive critical deficiencies in my father’s parenting that I wanted to correct.
By the time I was ten years old, I remember looking at my father and thinking that I could do it better than him.
My father had a little bit of a temper. I was a gentle kid. Like, I was not a kid that you had to slap or punch or beat. So growing up in a household where physical aggression was approved of, that really chaffed my hide. That hurt my spirit.”
Reflecting on raising Jaden and Willow, the actor revealed that the latter “introduced me to feelings” and destroyed all his belief systems.
…Because if I don’t care how I feel, I damn sure don’t care how you feel. I would say that ‘Whip My Hair’ thing put a pause button on my overt parenting.
I stopped and I just started watching my kids, and with Willow, I started to see that there was a higher value in talking to her about how she feels about the situation versus how to fix the situation, and it became the new thought process for me.”
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