Will Smith is back with some deep thoughts on parenting. At first I use to think his words were controversial, but now I realize Will Smith ain’t really saying anything profound. I think the Smiths believe they are deeper than what they really are. So during an interview with Haute Living, Will Smith says that you African Americans try to control your kids because you think you own them:
I think that, specifically in African American households, the idea coming out of slavery, there’s a concept of your children being property and that was a major part that Jada and I released with our kids. We respect our children the way we would respect any other person.
Sounds controversial, but when you read the full transcript in context (read it here), his parenting style is NO different from most black folks. He just likes to make it sound profound. His kids clean “their bedrooms” just like your kids:
Things like cleaning up their room. You would never tell a full-grown adult to clean their room, so we don’t tell our kids to clean their rooms. Actually, we tell our kids ‘you don’t have a room, that’s our room and we are letting you borrow it.’ So the same way you would say to an adult if you let them use car, you say, ‘Yo man, clean my car! Don’t drive around all filthy like that!’ And it’s perfectly reasonable for you to want an adult to clean your car, so we feel it’s perfectly reasonable to ask our kids to clean the rooms that we are letting them use.
Isn’t that what most black people tell their kids. They may say it a little differently like, “You don’t pay nary a bill up in this here’n house,” but the concept is definitely the same. I think the Smiths are out of touch with middle class black families. Not all of us still beat the skin off our kids with switches so that they will behave because master is watching. We have evolved somewhat using various methods of parenting, some of us even include communication.