Skip to content

Jada Pinkett Smith Regrets Doing This One Thing With Her Kids

In a new interview, Jada Pinkett Smith revealed what she regrets about raising her kids in the public eye.

Raising children in the spotlight seems tricky enough, with your privacy constantly threatened by paparazzi and nosy fans. But, it becomes even trickier when your children want to be in the entertainment business, too—which is exactly what Jada Pinkett Smith encountered with her two kids, Jaden, 22, and Willow, 20. And it's their transition into being famous in their own right that Pinkett Smith has one regret about.

On Dec. 15, Pinkett Smith and her mother Adrienne Norris (better known as Gammy to Red Table Talk fans) were guests on model Ashley Graham's Pretty Big Deal podcast. Graham's mother, Linda Graham, was also in attendance for this mother-daughter episode. Parenting was a big part of the discussion, and Graham asked Pinkett Smith if, knowing what she knows now, she would have let her kids enter the limelight when and how they did. Turns out, she wouldn't.

Read on to find out what Pinkett Smith had to say about letting her kids have a taste of fame when they did and how it's affected their relationship today. And for more kids taking after their famous moms and dads, check out Celebrity Kids Who Look Just Like Their Parents.

Read the original article on Best Life.

Pinkett Smith said she wishes she "held off" on putting her kids in the spotlight.

Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow, Jaden 2010 AMAs
Kathy Hutchins /

In response to Graham's question, Pinkett Smith said, "Life is an unfolding, you know? It really is. We wish we could know everything at once and have all the information that we need, especially when it comes to parenting. Fortunately and unfortunately, you just have to go into things to recognize or realize what works and what doesn't." She mentioned that she knew early on her children were creatives and weren't going to be conventional, because she and her husband, Will Smith, aren't, either.

"Knowing what I know now, though," she continued, "I do think that I would have held off a bit in regards to how much they were allowed to be in the spotlight." And to learn more about celeb families, check out Celebrities You Didn't Know Had Famous Parents.

Willow has said her early fame caused tension with her dad.

Willow and Jaden Smith 2010
Photo Works /

Some of Willow and Jaden's biggest moments in the spotlight happened when they were very young. Willow released her hit single "Whip My Hair" when she was only 10 years old, and has since said she was confused during this time and that it strained her relationship with her father. "I definitely had to forgive you and daddy for that whole 'Whip My Hair' thing. It was mostly daddy because he was so harsh at certain times," Willow told Pinkett Smith on Red Table Talk in 2018. "It was a couple of years, honestly. Trying to regain trust for not feeling like I was being listened to or like no one cared how I felt." In protest, 12-year-old Willow even shaved her head.

Meanwhile, Jaden acted opposite his dad in The Pursuit of Happyness when he was eight, and went on to star in The Karate Kid and After Earth as a young teen. He also made headlines for his teenage relationship with reality star Kylie Jenner. To learn about more about stars' childhoods, here are Celebrities You Didn't Realize Grew Up Together.

Pinkett Smith said it was hard watching her kids deal with media scrutiny.

Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow, Jaden
DFree /

For Pinkett Smith, one of the hardest things was seeing her children deal with being covered in the media when they were young.

"There have been times—and not even so much with Instagram or what have you—but just gossip columns, in regards to how people would write about my children who they didn't even know," the 49-year-old actor told Graham. "That was the thing for me that I really had to put on my big girl panties, because I had to really sit in what I knew to be true as far as how I raise my children and how they took on their own being-ness, right? And I'm glad I did that, but people definitely didn't make it easy." She added, "They had to really deal with the kind of criticism within people's fear and unknowingness, and that's all it really was … It was hard."

And for more celebrity news delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

But, navigating the spotlight has made the family even stronger.

Adrienne Norris, Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow
Jada Pinkett Smith/Instagram

Norris weighed in when Graham asked if going through media criticism has made the family stronger. "It makes you stronger because you know what the truth is," Norris said. "It's unfortunate. You have to kind of sit in it and accept it and deal with it … Being in the limelight and living your life in front of the public's eye, it's just part of it."

Pinkett Smith agreed with her mom. "If you're going to be in the public eye like that you gotta learn to have that Teflon skin with that elastic heart." Norris said the "elastic heart" part has been hard for her. In the past, she would always want to speak out when something false or negative was written about her daughter. And for some of the tallest Hollywood tales, here are The Most Absurd Celeb Rumors That Some People Really Believe.

Now, Willow and Jaden are teaching their mom a thing or two.

Willow Jaden Smith EMA Awards
Tinseltown /

These days, 22-year-old Jaden and 20-year-old Willow help their mom with one aspect of fame: social media. "They definitely have a different relationship than even I have to social media," Pinkett Smith said on the podcast. "They've actually taught me a lot in regards to what to pay attention to, what not to pay attention to. And they've really helped me navigate my relationship with social media." And for more celebrity brothers and sisters, here are Celebrity Siblings You Didn't Realize Aren't Twins.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
Filed Under