Parenting for "Bad Boys" actor Will Smith was quite challenging. The celebrity once revealed that his second son lost trust in his leadership and sought redemption as a teenager.
Oscar-winning actor Will Smith has had an intriguing and exciting career. However, his personal life is laced with strings of struggles from childhood and parenthood, which he overcame.
The "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" star enjoyed the luxury of an ideal family until he witnessed his father, Will Sr., abuse his mother, Caroline Bright.
[Left] Actor Will Smith at the "Concussion" New York premiere at AMC Loews Lincoln Square on December 16, 2015 in New York City; [Right] Will Smith carrying Jaden on his shoulder. | Source: Getty Images
Will Sr. was a great dad to the actor and his other siblings. The man attended their school recitals and was supportive of Smith during his early years of stardom.
However, he was also very violent, and nobody in the family challenged his ways. His violence against Bright scarred the actor for life.
Eventually, the couple separated when their celebrity son was still a teenager and divorced in 2000. Smith maintained a close relationship with the family's patriarch but had an unresolved resentment towards him.
Actor Will Smith at a press conference to announce The Children's Health Fund's Benefit Concert on February 26, 1993 at the Watts Health Center in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images
When he became an adult, he contemplated doing something very tragic to Will Sr., who suffered from cancer at the time but reconsidered the decision.
Despite not proceeding with the plan to avenge his mother, the "Bad Boys" actor felt guilty for acting like a coward as a young boy. This influenced him to dedicate his achievements to his mother as an apology.
Jada Pinkett Smith carrying her son Jaden. | Source: Getty Images
DID SMITH INHERIT HIS FATHER'S TRAITS?
Growing up in a violent atmosphere might have scarred the actor, but it made him pledge loyalty to his family, including his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and their two kids.
He has been supportive of his wife since they became parents. The first pregnancy experience for Jada was challenging, but with her husband by her side, they overcame the situation.
In 1998, the couple welcomed their first son, Jaden, whose birth is referred to as "the miracle." However, Smith revealed that when his son arrived, Jada was in discomfort.
Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, son Jaden Smith and Will's son Trey Smith at the "Wild Wild West" Westwood Premiere on June 28, 1999 at Mann Village Theatre in Westwood, California. | Source: Getty Images
So he focused entirely on the new mom instead of their new child. A few years later, while recounting the birth experiences, the actor explained that memories of that day come as fearful flashes, even though he is a veteran of the maternity ward.
As the kids grow, they have established different personalities and do not intend to conform to societal norms. Jaden was once featured in a Louis Vuitton advertisement rocking a skirt, flaunting his gender fluidity, while his sister, Willow, once shaved all her hair.
Jada, also in the movie business like her husband, has accepted their stand. But, according to her, the kids were born differently and formed their unique identities independently, not from her rearing.
Will Smith and Jaden Smith at the Pauley Pavilion in Westwood, California. | Source: Getty Images
ALL ABOUT WILL SMITH'S FATHERHOOD WITH JADEN
Having a son with his wife was a beautiful experience for Smith, who bonded intensely with Jaden: the actor has an older son, Trey, from his first marriage.
Jaden and his dad would lay in bed, and while the actor enjoyed reading screenplays to his son, Smith's mini-me loved the stories.
As his kids grew older, the "Men In Black" star thought about reaccessing his parenting. But instead, the experiment caused him to evaluate his impact as a father.
Will Smith and Jaden Smith during "The Pursuit of Happyness" Germany Premiere at Movie theatre Cinestar Sony Center in Berlin, Germany on January 9, 2007. | Source: Getty Images
In his memoir titled "Will," the author detailed his rift with his son following their joint 2013 movie "After Earth." The film did poorly in ratings, which affected Jaden, who was not spared from the public's attacks.
Sadly, Jaden had followed his dad's instructions. As a result, the young actor felt misled and lost faith in his father.
Shortly after, Jaden sought permission to become an emancipated 15-year-old. Unfortunately, this left his dad heartbroken, despite refusing to allow his son to have his way.
Jaden Smith and Will Smith at The 2008 MTV Movie Awards - Arrivals at Universal City on June 1, 2008 in Los Angeles, CA. | Source: Getty Images
Smith wrote about his regret, especially knowing how much he indirectly hurt his son. His younger child, Willow, also experienced pain through his parenting, but it taught him a vital lesson.
According to Smith, Willow had secured a life-changing deal to tour with Justin Bieber following her "Whip My Hair" song release.
She complained of the grueling activity at some point: touring around the world, but the "Bad Boys" star explained that she had extra cities to tour, instructing her to continue.
Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith and Jaden Smith at the Philadelphia 76ers vs Charlotte Bobcats basketball game at Wachovia Center on January 27, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. | Source: Getty Images
That was when the "Whip My Hair" singer decided to shave her hair which ultimately made Smith pay attention to her feelings. The actor became more concerned about how much care and concern he dished out following the lesson learned.
Despite the regrets, he realized that a true father must act as a master provider and protector to secure the love and confidence of his offspring.
Will Smith and Jaden Smith at the 'After Earth' South Korea Premiere Times Square on May 7, 2013 in Seoul, South Korea. Will Smith and Jaden Smith are visiting South Korea to promote their recent film 'After Earth' which will be released in South Korea on May 30. | Source: Getty Images
Since then, the father of three has adopted a new perspective in dealing with his kids. Now, Smith and his wife unanimously support the kids with respect to their personalities rather than enforcing parental rules.
The entertainers have decided to give Jaden and Willow due respect and support and would never charge them to act in a particular manner.
Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, Will Smith, Jaden Smith and Trey Smith at the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 27, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images
HOW SUCCESSFUL IS JADEN SMITH?
Smith's second son inherited his dad's knack for success and is doing great as an actor. The Malibu native has a few film credits to his name, including "The Pursuit of Happyness," "The Karate Kid," and "After Earth."
Jaden is also a dancer, rapper, and songwriter. The young man also delights in making a difference in the world. He is a youth ambassador for "Project Zambia," where he cared for Zambian children who lost their parents.
Jaden Smith at the Peacock's New Series "BEL-AIR" Premiere Party And Drive-Thru Screening Experience at Barker Hangar on February 09, 2022 in Santa Monica, California. | Source: Getty Images
The 23-year-old teamed up with his siblings, Trey and Willow, also youth ambassadors for the program. The trio worked with Hasbro corporation to help African kids orphaned by AIDS.
Apart from providing humanitarian services, the younger Smith has a fashion line called MFSTSrep, producing T-shirts, pants, vests, and hoodies.
In 2013, Jaden worked with a Korean designer, Choi Bum Suk. They created pop-up stores where customers purchased clothes with their collaborated logos.
Jaden performs onstage during the "Justice World Tour" at Pechanga Arena on February 18, 2022 in San Diego, California. | Source: Getty Images
As far as his love life is concerned, the brand owner formerly dated Kylie Jenner and Sarah Snyder. In 2018, he confirmed that he was dating a male rapper named Tyler, the creator.
Irrespective of Jaden's choices, Smith and Jada approve of it and have vowed to support rather than question it. Clearly, the award-winning actor, Smith, chose a different path, and unlike his violent father, he is a loving, tolerant husband and father.