As news broke that Will and Jaden Smith’s new film, After Earth, is being pushed up a week to May 31, the duo begins their promotional push. This week, the guys appear in New York’s Metro newspaper, in which they discuss a number of topics from girls to living with Jada Pinkett Smith, who according to them calls family meetings to discuss what she’s planning to post on Facebook.
But perhaps, the most interesting part about their hour-long and light-hearted interview is Will’s take on parenting.
When asked if he’s ever punished Jaden, Will says he and Jada “don’t do punishments.” Instead, the couple let their children be responsible for their own 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,” said Will. “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 decision for your life.”
Freedom of choice is something the Smiths seem to embrace. But it seems Jaden may be thinking of escaping the Smith household before his 18th birthday. When the reporter asked what he’s going to do when Will kicks him out at 18, Will said with a laugh, “…He’s been thinking about becoming an emancipated minor.”
The reporter then makes a remark about a movie in which a girl divorces her parents. Will jumps in, “No, it’s not like that. More the idea that I want him to have as much command and freedom if he is willing to accept responsibility. Those are two concepts that are inexorably bound.” Will says Jaden is very responsible so he’s “entitled” to have the max amount of freedom.