I came across an article that offered up a compilation of parenting tips from Will and Jada Smith. Now before I get any hate mail about how I’m being judgmental and how parents should stick together…hear me out. I’m all for parents doing what works best for their families. There’s no manual for being a parent and so I get why the Smiths would try doing their own “thing”. But I can’t help but wonder if all of this free-range parenting has more to do with the fact that they’re filthy rich, instead of it being about actual parenting. If Will and Jada were average middle class parents living in modest means, would they follow their own advice?
To be quite honest, I don’t know too many families who could afford to follow advice like treating your child as you would an adult, avoid punishing them, and having a “truth circle” with no consequences. I’ve only been a mother for a short while, but that advice doesn’t help all the problems we’ve been having in the African American community with our children! How many times have you heard (or even thought) that what the African American community needs is more guidance for our children and teaching them that there are consequences when you do something wrong? And now we have Will and Jada (two prominent African American parents) yapping about how they basically let their kids roam around thinking they’re the next Galileo or shaving their head for a weekend trip.
So what am I really irritated about? Mostly that we don’t have more high-profile African Americans giving truly helpful advice and guidance that will help encourage and uplift. Obviously we can’t rely on anyone to tell us how to be great parents and results may vary. But how nice would it be to look at an African American couple who could give good advice because they subscribe to the simple values of safety, responsibility, honesty, and handwork? I was optimistic when I began the article about Will and Jada, but was sorely disappointed.
Check out the article and tell me what you think. Would you follow Will and Jada’s parenting advice? Am I off base? Or, am I right on the money?