Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Jaden Smith wants parent emancipation

Jaden and WIll Smith

Jaden Smith wants to be emancipated from his parents for his 15th birthday.

Hollywood stars Will and Jada Pinkett Smith have two children together, Jaden, 14, and 12-year-old Willow. Both have followed in their parents' footsteps, with Jaden an actor and Willow a singer.

Jaden is gearing up for his 15th birthday in July and has surprised his father with his choice of gift.

"He says, ‘Dad, I want to be emancipated.’ I know if we do this, he can be an emancipated minor, because he really wants to have his own place, like ooh," Will laughed to British newspaper The Sun.

“That’s the backlash. On the other side, if kids just want to have command of their lives, I understand.”

The father and son have a close relationship and have worked together on several occasions. In their new movie After Earth, Jaden's character Kitai Raige has to prove he is as tough as his legendary father Cypher.

Will is in no doubt that Jaden drew on personal experience while shooting.

"It’s very similar for Jaden and me — your father’s the biggest movie star in the world, and you’re struggling for your little piece of dignity in this extreme shadow," he explained.

Willow's love of fashion and style has landed her in the headlines before, especially when she opted to shave her head. Will and Jada believe in allowing their children to express themselves, in the hope this will ensure they stay on the right track.

Alongside this, the parents don't overly discipline their children and take a novel approach when one of them misbehaves.

"We generally don’t believe in punishment. From the time Jaden was five or six we would sit him down, and all he has to do is be able to explain why what he did was the right thing for his life," Will explained.

"I think it’s a much more difficult question to ask someone — ‘Why was that right?’ — than to try to show them why it was wrong.

“Nobody wants to be wrong, all parts of yourself fight like crazy to not be wrong. So I’ll say to Jaden, ‘Why was that the right thing to do for your life?’ and if he can explain why kicking his sister in the chest was the right thing to do, we can see to it that he understands that it wasn’t so smart.”

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