Do you think Jada Pinkett-Smith and Will Smith's kids are in the spotlight too much? Are they pushing their kids too early, too hard? Why do Jada and Will think their kids are so damn special?!? Jada's heard it all. YES, she wants her children to be outstanding, and she's not apologizing for it.
In an interview Jada Pinkett-Smith said she expects her children "to be giants." That's right. Not model citizens, not dutiful and obedient. GIANTS. Ka-blam! That's some power parenting. I'm almost intimidated, I have to admit. Here's the full quote.
I say I understand. I definitely get that. But as a parent I will never ask my children to be less. I will never decrease their power or their opportunities because of obstacles that other people will create for them, because that is life…. I’m going to educate my children and empower them in a way that they can have whatever, because when you want to be a giant in this world you gotta be able to confront all of that, and I expect my children to be giants, in whatever nature they decide.
You know what? I actually love how she puts this. She wants her kids to realize their full potential. She's not saying she wants them to fit into a particular mold, or achieve any sort of greatness that she defines for them. She's saying she wants them to become their best selves, and to feel powerful. How often do we ever hear parents saying they want their kids to extend their power? I wish I'd been encouraged to be giant while I was growing up.
I think the message we get more often is that we should decrease kids' power because we want to control them (that's what obedience is all about). And I think that often backfires. You get a kid with amazing energy, and you try to repress that, and you've got a kid who acts out all the time.
No half efforts. Anything worth doing is worth doing well. Give it 110 percent -- we've heard the same idea many different ways. But Jada is also talking about teaching her kids how to handle obstacles, which I think is crucial to raising strong, self-actualized kids.
Jada adds that she doesn't care if being "giant" means owning a gas station. It doesn't matter what they do, just that they give it their all. I don't think I've ever given my son this message, at least not in that exact way. I'll say things like "try your best" -- but what if I started telling him to be giant?
Do you expect great things for your kids, or do you feel like you'll be lucky if you can keep them alive until graduation?
Image via TheGrio.com