jaden smithWill and Jada Pinkett Smith have gone out of their way to raise two kids who feel confident expressing themselves. But are they prepared to hear everything their kids have to express? Their son just announced what he wants for his 15th birthday: Jaden wants to be emancipated from his parents.

Will Smith describes it as the backlash. "I know if we do this, he can be an emancipated minor, because he really want to have his own place, like ooh," Will told The Sun. He understands how kids want "command" of their lives. But ... at 15? Isn't that so very young for a kid to be living on their own?

Of course you want to raise your kids to be independent young people. And it's to Will and Jada's credit that Jaden feels ready to strike out on his own at such a young age. There's a difference between thinking you're ready to live on your own and actually being ready to live on your own. Most teens are constantly pushing for more and more independence. But when they're not pushing for that, they're actually crying out for more security and guidance in some subtle and not-too-subtle ways.

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Will thinks this may be about father-son rivalry. "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." But aren't there other ways to support your kids in carving out their own identities besides letting them move out?

Only Will and Jada and Jaden can decide if he's truly ready to strike out on his own. But if I were them, I wouldn't take Jaden's request at face value.

Do you think 15 is too young for any teen to live on their own, or are some kids just more mature?

 

Image via Pacific Coast News