The parenting style of The Smiths have come into question numerous times in the past few years as their young children, Willow and Jaden, have recently risen to fame and have made their own way into the spotlight. Everything from who Jaden hangs out with to Willow's hair and clothing choices have been a topic of discussion. But, The Smiths (especially Jada) have been deaf ears to the critics and have stood by the way that they choose to raise their family.
In this week's People Magazine, Jada described that she takes less of an authoritarian approach. She states,
On her Parenting style
"I think that old school style of 'I'm your parent and I'm greater than you' doesn't work.What I establish with my children is a partnership."Like many of you, I'm sure, I wasn't raised with my parents having "discussions" with me. Their way was THE way, no room for discussions! My mother did not play! But, perhaps Jada's different approach to parenting is a great way to tap into your child's true character and help them feel more comfortable opening up to you in difficult situations?
Ideally this approach may work, but I'm going to have to disagree with Jada on this one. I don't think that parents come from a 'I'm greater than you' attitude but from a genuine belief that they have more wisdom because of more years of experience on this earth (and, maybe a little desire for dictatorship!). I think that having a solid parental foundation to give children direction can help make some of their adolescent years a bit more manageable into becoming positive and productive adults. While having a discussion is a great way to give your child the opportunity to express themselves, their say should absolutely not be the final say.
On shielding her kids from gossip and rumors
“We can’t control what our kids learn anymore. We have to inform them and have real conversations … and [create] that foundation of them feeling assured in themselves.”I actually agree with this point. It's important to have open discussions with your children about the realities of the world. Sometimes shielding your kids too much puts them at a greater disadvantage as they may not be prepared for difficulties and obstacles that are bound to arise.
I don't believe that here is one way to raise your kids. Motherhood is about trial and error - while praying for more triumphs along the way with less errors. So, I don't know if we can tell someone who is raising children that are happy, healthy, successful and positive people that their approach to parenting is wrong.
What do you all think? Is Jada's style of parenting too lax and in need of more boundaries or can the partnership approach to parenting work? Comment below! I'd love to hear from parents raising kids and singles as well!