The two celebrated Father’s Day with an incredibly candid episode of Red Table Talk.
La Table Rouge was replaced with a sofa on Sunday for a very special episode of Jada Pinkett Smith’s Facebook Watch show.
Her husband was joining her for the big day Will smith, as the two had what they called “one of the most intimate and vulnerable conversations” they have ever shared. The 45-minute episode covered everything from Will’s own childhood, his first marriage and divorce, and the mistakes he made as a parent to his three children.
Throughout the episode, the two Smiths were in tears, before the conversation ended with Trey’s Father’s Day messages, willow and Jaden.
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The two began their conversation with Jada to ask her when her husband first felt his “fatherhood instinct”.
“From the age of 6, I wanted to be a father. I loved the way my family was, but there were huge and critical gaps in my father’s parenting that I wanted to correct,” he said. Explain. “I remember looking at my dad thinking I could do it better than him. My dad was a little angry and I was a sweet kid. I wasn’t a kid to be slapped, hit or beaten. , so growing up in a household where physical assault was approved, which really irritated my skin, which hurt my mind. “
“There are such beautiful qualities that he instilled that are part of me … but like the yin of every yang, I saw him beat my mother,” he continued. “So the biggest emotional scar I have in this life, he delivered it too. He showed me a lot of things that I wanted to do, but he also showed me the things that I absolutely wouldn’t do. never to my children. When he got angry, he would become the dumbest person I have ever met. “
That being said, Will said his father was a great teacher, who “felt that school was not the only place to get an education.” This is something Will retained when raising his own children, as Will added, “His thing is, you can’t be a father from a distance.”
“I learned that everywhere is school. That whatever you do, you have to do it well. Having good grades is not above cleaning the kitchen,” he said. he adds. “All the lessons you have to teach are everywhere. And the idea of having to contribute. You have to contribute. People thought we were forcing our children to work.”
Smith first became a father in 1992, when he was just 24 years old. At the time, he was married to his first wife Sheree Zampino.
“I think this was my first moment of the real weight of parenting,” Will said as he brought baby Trey home from the hospital. “We put it in the basin and Sheree fell asleep and it was like terror. It felt like I was totally in charge of this life and I just couldn’t stop going check it out. . “
“I have to make sure he’s breathing and all this new parenting stuff,” he said, becoming moved. “I just cried so hard, it makes me cry right now.”
When asked what made him cry at the time, he replied, “I can’t do it. Like, I’m not the guy. I’m not the guy. I just knew that. I didn’t know anything. “
Dabbing the tears from his eyes, he laughed as he told Jada, “Oh man, I’m going to have to pull myself together. I’m going to have to dump this one! I need a handkerchief. I thought the red couch ‘Ne don’t take me like that, I thought the red sofa was safe! “
Will and Sheree separated in 1995, three years after saying “yes”, Smith calling the divorce a “very difficult time” in his life. “Divorce was the worst thing in my adult life, divorce was the ultimate failure for me,” he added.
“I have suffered a lot in my adult life, but I don’t think anything touches the failed divorce from the mother of my 2 year old son,” he continued. The separation became messy and they began to fight for custody – before Will created some distance between them so their son wouldn’t see the friction.
After some advice from his own father, he backed down. “It was a tough time,” he explained, “but like dad said, as soon as Trey was ready he came looking for his dad.”
Will married Jada two years later in 1997 and they have two children of their own; Jaden, 21, and Willow, 19. As Will began to talk about their children together, he said that “the highlight of my parenthood” came when he and Jaden came and went from Beijing every weekend while filming “The Karate Kid”. see Trey playing football in high school.
Jada intervened, claiming she was “very angry” about the “Karate Kid” days, claiming that she “didn’t have a good time” during the shoot. But, she still attributed the experience to Jaden’s “work ethic” now – saying it was a “pivotal” moment in making him the young man he is today.
After being a bit of a distant father to Trey, Will said he didn’t want to do the same with Willow and Jaden – and that was part of the reason they were homeschooled.
“My children, being with me, is more valuable than sitting in a classroom,” he said. “Spending time with me… for me the nature of my job distracts me both physically and mentally, so I have to make up for that with presence, you have to be with me.”
While Will had a certain style of parenting, he admitted that raising Willow “destroyed all of my belief systems.” Although Trey had the “old school” version of parenthood, he noticed that it “hurts” Jaden. Willow, meanwhile, “completely rejected him.”
He then recalled the problems they had after the success of “Whip My Hair”, when she wanted to stop her tour with Justin Bieber after only 4 or 5 concerts.
“She was ready to go home. I was like, ‘You can’t go home.’ She kept asking, she was like, ‘Daddy, whatever I’m feeling?’ “He recalls. She then shaved her head, which he considered an act of defiance.
“It was so devastating for me when she shaved her bald head because her record is ‘Whip My Hair’. It’s a protest against me,” he said. “I took that as a sign from the gods. I was like this little girl was rejecting what I’m trying to do for her. She doesn’t want it.”
“She was crying, she was scared, but what she wasn’t going to do was something she didn’t want to do,” he added, Jada praising Willow for rebuilding her career “as she wanted. “.
“This ‘Whip My Hair’ story put a pause button on my overt parenthood,” he said, something that came back again when Trey turned down college football scholarships and when Will worked with Jaden on “AfterEarth”.
“What I decided for AfterEarth was that I wasn’t going to have a single moment where I would push or hammer him, I was going to be a loving dad,” he explained. “And then the movie didn’t work and I was like, ‘This is what happens when you care about how people feel. You can’t win!'”
“I was pissed because I know how to win, if everyone does what I say we’ll win,” he laughed. “I knew how to back off.”
He said he has since moved on to the “gardener-flower fatherhood concept”, in which he recognizes that he cannot force his children to be what they are not, he can only help them grow up. .
The episode ended when the three children sent video messages proclaiming their love, appreciation and respect for their father – which once again moved Will to tears.
“You really are a great dad. Even though the kids are older you’ve been such a great partner. I really appreciate the parenting partnership,” Jada added, crying as she spoke. “It wasn’t easy, but it was totally worth it.”