Jada Pinkett Smith Has Some Parenting Advice for You & It's Right On

The Pinkett-Smith Family

There's no denying that motherhood is no easy feat and certainly an underrated one, at that. The thing is, it doesn't necessarily get easier with time; the challenges just transform with each phase in your child's life. But when it comes to raising kids, some aspects are more difficult than others, and Jada Pinkett-Smith has just nailed one of the biggest challenges of motherhood in a new interview.


Speaking with the Huffington Post, the actress, no stranger to mom-shaming herself, discusses motherhood -- which she calls "very difficult" -- in depth. While all of it resonates, her words on what a mom's most important job is struck me the most:

There's many different ways to mother, there's no one cookie-cutout way to be a mother. So, I think, as a mother and as a woman, trying to support other women in how they see it's best to mother their children is very important. And also in being a mother and being supportive of your children and allowing them to self-actualize and become who they think they should be versus who we as parents want them to be.

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As a daughter and a big sister, I can see how this struggle -- to let kids be who they are, and not who we want them to be -- is real. In watching my own mother operate, I see that there's a constant internal battle to relinquish control and allow your children the proper amount of freedom necessary for them to find themselves -- apart from your hopes and dreams for them.

Or -- as Jada goes on to point out -- apart from your mom-friends' casual guide to parenting.  

For moms (and future moms), it's our job to ensure that our children grow to be happy, healthy, and successful -- with a support system intact to do so. And this can't be done if we're too busy living vicariously through our children and making up for the time that we no longer have.

While there aren't any surefire solutions to mastering this particular piece of parenting, Jada suggests that moms "release that perfectionism" and "release that judgement in order for your kids to just develop in a healthy way."

Great advice, but it's a daily task that can be made even more difficult when our choices as moms are met with shame and criticism from our peers, or from our culture. No matter what we tell ourselves, criticism is heard and felt on some level. And when it's your parenting that's on the receiving end of said criticism, it's hard not to care. 

Mothers -- and women in general -- would do well to remember that there are "many different ways to mother" and "no one cookie-cutout way." And, as Jada also said, "... [A]s a mother and as a woman, trying to support other women in how they see it's best to mother their children is very important."

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And it's sooo true! We want feminism and empowerment when it's convenient for us as women. But, the truth is we must demand it all the time from ourselves and others.

What your children need will not be the same things needed for the next mother to raise her children, and so who are we to cast judgment on the mom who, just like us, is learning as she goes? 

So, instead of giving side eye, let's just show some support for each mom. Whether you agree with her methods or not.

Image via Jen Lowery/Splash News

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