Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Willow Smith doesn't have any rules at home?

I read something interesting yesterday that I want to share with you.

Have you heard of Willow Smith? She’s the youngest spawn of  Will “Sexy” Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. Of course you’ve heard about her and how she’s whipping her hair back and forth! This 10 year old has an a-m-a-z-i-n-g voice and a unique fashion sense.

Photo taken from digitalspy.com
And Willow is signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. This girl is something serrrrious if Jay-Z signed her!!

So yesterday I read an article about an interview Style Magazine had with Jada Pinkett Smith who stated that “doesn't enforce rules on her daughter Willow.” I was like whaaat, so I kept reading. Apparently Jada negotiates with Willow rather than making her abide by rules. Jada’s reasoning is that she would like to "guide her children through life than impose strict rules upon them.”

She continued telling Style magazine that "we don't have rules. We come up with agreements. Kids are little people, and we're in life to guide them.”

Things that make you go hmmmmm.

And apparently when situations come up, she has the kids punish themselves.

I have never heard of this craziness parenting style before and thought about it last night. I have rules in my house that my daughter needs to abide by like:

-No shoes around the house
-No shoes on the couch
-No food in your room
-Clean up your toys when you’re doing playing with them

Then I got to thinking could I remove these rules and replace them with negotiations. With a 5 year old this doesn’t seem to be the ideal parenting style…for me. I really don’t like when people like to tell me I spoil my daughter or that I’m too soft with her. This is my parenting style that works for me and my family. Other people may not think it’s correct, but it works for us. And no family is perfect!

And my daughter would probably punish herself by eating ice cream, lol.

What’s your parenting style? Have you been put on the spot because of it?
What do you think of Jada’s “no rules” parenting style?

And don't forget today is the last day to enter the Girls Hold Up This World boo giveaway! Click here for more details and to enter!!


  1. Hmm, that's a little crazier than what I thought it was. I once saw an interview with Jada and Will, and at the time, they said they don't have rules, but they have consequences. Personally, I think you're doing your kid a disservice if you never have rules. It may work for your household, but believe me the WORLD has rules! And your kids will probably have a difficult time making the transition...

  2. Thanks Chela, and you make a great point. Are they as parents doing their children a disservice by enforcing no rules? You're right, the world has rules...alot of them, and if you don't abide by them then there are consequences, and you can't choose them. But because they have no rules to break are we to assume that Willow and her siblings are all pretty well-behaved children?

  3. That's interesting, I don't personally believe in that. I come from a more structured, rules are a good thing school of thought. But, that being said, I try not to judge other families either, provided their children are doing well (sounds like little miss is) and are, generally, respectful and well behaved (I'm assuming she is?) So maybe it is the best arrangement for them.

  4. I definitely think that it depends on the family, and like you said, what works for THEM. What may work for one family, may not work at all for another. I have set rules in my house to that I expect my son to follow, like "we don't climb on furniture, we don't play in the 'dangerous' cabinet" and things like that. But instead of "punishing" him if he doesn't listen, we talk about it... as well as I can w/a 3-year-old. like, I like to show him what happens when he doesnt follow rules (ie: our furniture will be ruined and we wont have it anymore so instead why dont you climb on your toy teddy bears or something." For the most part he gets it. And that works for us.

    I try not to punish him, but explain the consequences of our actions and explain WHY those rules are in place in the first place. I feel that if I punish him, then it'll be one power struggle after another. Like he'll think "yea, she can make me stop climbing on the furniture, but she can't make me stop throwing toys." Then we have to focus on throwing toys. LOL. I don't want it to be like that -- one power struggle after another, or him always wanting to get revenge or something like that. I want him to UNDERSTAND why we have certain rules and what truly happens when the rules are broken (not that he will be punished, but that our furniture will be ruined, makes sense?) I feel that that way he will internalize it more. And he has. Like I said, for the most part, he follows 'em.

    Some people think I spoil him b/c I'm "understanding" or b/c I dont punish him, but this is what works for us. And if it ever stops working, i'll switch it up and we'll come up with something that does work. Okay... this comment was pretty long. Sorry. LOL.

  5. This parenting style is not for me. I feel children need to respect their parents rules and ways. It's also part of growing up! I followed a strict curfew, had to keep my room clean, always had to finish my homework before going out, and had chores around the house to do. I feel my parents still did a great job guiding me through life. They did so without ever letting my "negotiate" with them. What my parents always said was law. I could never take advantage of them. We have a great relationship today. To me is sounds like the Smiths are more preoccupied with trying to be their kids' friends rather than their kids' parents.

  6. I can't relate to Jada on this. I'm a pretty strict Mama, so my issues lay in how to soften up a bit. I do give my 3 year old choices, but not always. There are certain things in life that are non-negotiable (you will not play with fire), and my opinion is that when children learn how to respect other people's rules they grow up to be law-abiding, productive members of society. I'm just old-fashioned that way in that one respect.

  7. I dont know where I fall yet- because E is just one and gaining her independence.. but I know Im willing to give her more lee-way than her dad.. and I allow her to explore more than her grandmother does. I dont know.. things that bother other people dont bother me too much.. as long as she isnt putting it in her mouth..or its not going to harm her.. im cool with her touching and exploring. Key things to me are Happiness and Manners!

    as far as rules. There will be definite rules... but they will be made based on where she pushes the boundaries.. which I think is how it should be.. if your kid doesnt give you problems about something then why create these laundry list of rules to prevent things that they werent doing in the first place.

    I 100% agree with Chelita- its important to establish rules... because the world is guided by them.. but I also think its important to tailor rules to your child and their personality and what stage they are in their life, so I see why perhaps the Smiths adopted this style with their kids. Everything I have read about willow everyone says she is extremely well behaved, well spoken and polite. So maybe this is what works for them NOW that she is older.. I doubt it was that way when they were toddlers testing their boundaries..this is just how the parenting style has evolved. who knows. My only problem with the article- is the loosness around education.. even Willow admits she is behind in school.. thats not cool.

    but as far as parenting styles- to each its own...cause I pity the fool who tells me what to do with my babycakes. lol

    Great topic!



  8. Let me start by saying that the Pinkett-Smith's have always seemed like a family of douchbags to me. That may seem harsh but they are all seem so smug. I just don't like them. And it's stuff like this that helps explain why.

  9. I do agree with some of what Jada was saying, although I don't agree 100%. We do set up structure in our home, but we do have negotiable things in our family. The structure is based on our non-negotiable like, bedtime, bathtime, respectful behaviors and certain responsibilities. Everything else is discussed as a family and decided on as a family.

  10. That rule definitely wouldn't cut it in the household I grew up in. I don't have any children but I know that this will not be the rule of our household when we do.

    Parents are supposed to be adults and not necessarily "buddies" with their children. I mean it's important to have a good relationship with one's children and to be open so that they can share information (good or bad) with parents. However there has to be some boundaries. On the other hand structure is good but there needs to be a balance.

    I also must say that Mrs. Smith is wrong. In pediatrics one of the first rule that is taught--children are not little people. They are children and unfortunately this mistake is made often. Now as for her parenting style if that is what she chooses to do, so be it but I don't see too many people in our community jumping on the bang wagon with that one.

  11. I'm not a mom yet, so it's hard to say what my parenting style will be when the time comes, but I will say if there was a "like" button for Ro's comment up there, I would have SO clicked it! That was exactly my parents' method: "I'll trust you until you give me a reason not to," and I like to think my siblings and I turned out pretty well! :)

  12. Thank you all for your comments. I know that growing up this no-rules would NOT fly at-all. My Mom was strict, strict, strict with me and all of my siblings. She definitely wanted us to respect her and in a way fear her authority I think.

    @TheBabyMamaChronicles - I'm with you, I also dont agree with it, but to each his own!

    @Alicia - OMG we share such similar parenting styles!!! I love when you said "but explain the consequences of our actions and explain WHY those rules are in place in the first place" I think its so important to keep an open dialog open with our kids!

    @Danielle-Marie - You said you think that this parenting style may be due to the fact that Willow's parents "are more preoccupied with trying to be their kids' friends rather than their kids' parents." This is an interesting idea. You clearly think that parents want their kids to respect them, and obviously it will be harder for kids to respect their parents if they view them as equals.

    @SingleMamaNYC - Totally agree with you on this point "certain things in life that are non-negotiable". I think that it is crucial to set rules and boundaries for our kids. Not saying we need or want to control them, but we do it for their safety and growth.

    @Ro - Im with you! I have always been pro-exploring with my daughter, I've been told its not good, but you know what she's my daughter! And guess what at 5 she has manners, and is extremely kind without being rude or out of control.
    I had NO idea that Willow has admitted to being behind on school. I'm not surprised, but this also reflects on her parents. So maybe their no rules thing isn't working. Yes she has a seemingly budding career, but at 10 shouldn't school be her biggest focus?

    @KRock - I have to say, when I first read your comment I just laughed. Not laughing at you, but I appreciate your honesty. There has definitely been an air of....fakness around them, and I can see where your coming from.

    @Yvonne - I love that you discuss things as a family and come to decisions together! I think its so important!

    @Mrs.K - Yes! Its crucial to have a balance! What an interesting piece of information that is shared. That children are not little people. I totally agree. Children are children, there are so many mental, physical, and emotional differences between a CHILD and an ADULT.

    @ Andrea - I def like Ro's comment too! I definitely think that your parents' method is how I'm leaning towards my daughter.

  13. I cannot relate to Jada on this issue AT ALL. This would not fly in my house. I was raised with strict rules and serious consequences. I'll be raising my son the same way. **smh** Some things really don't need to be re-evaluated or changed with time. Children are children and it's up to adults to raise them. Wow.

  14. This wouldn't work in our home either. I'm all for my daughter helping to make decisions in her own life but Jada's style is extreme for me. But to each her own. Thanks for sharing. =)


I love your comments!