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Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Parenting Style: ‘We Don’t Believe in Punishment’

Will Smith doesn’t punish his children.

The 44-year-old actor and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith are eager to teach their children, Jaden, 14, and Willow, 12, the rights and wrongs of life by allowing them to make their own mistakes instead of using traditional disciplines such as sending them to their room and taking away their luxuries for the day.

He said: “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.”

Smith – who also has 19-year-old son, Trey, from his previous marriage with Sheree Zampino – wants his children to take responsibility for their own lives and has revealed the extra freedoms they have been allowed has encouraged his actor son Jaden to ask for a house of his own for his 15th birthday in July.

In an interview with The Sun newspaper, Smith explained: “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.”

The Men in Black 3 star’s own father Willard – who ran a refrigeration installation business in Philadelphia after leaving the U.S. Air Force – was a very strict parent who believed his son should be seen and not heard. So Smith was keen for his own offspring have a completely different upbringing to him.

He said: “I was brought up with, ‘You don’t even talk to your parents about what your opinion is, you are not allowed to have an opinion. When you pay some bills, you can have an opinion.’ … My parents let me talk now.”

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