Children of Celebrities - Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith
By Yvette Vignando - 1st February 2011
In the past few days there has been media interest in a story about author Terry McMillan's comments (on Twitter) regarding the parenting decisions made by Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. Two of their three children are building a career in the entertainment industry and appear to be making a success of it. Sure, their parents' wealth and connections would be playing a large part in the opportunities presented to them, but are Jaden and Willow Smith being harmed by their early career development?
Well, firstly I have to confess that I follow so little of the celebrity news that it took me some time to even connect the kids with their parents and the whole news story! I quickly acquainted myself with it before my interview on The Morning Show today and called reliable sources of information such as Kerri Sackville, blogger on Life and Other Crises who knew a disturbing amount of information about celebrities considering her busy life wrangling kids, blogging and writing a soon-to-be best-seller book.
And this is what I think - there are pushy stage parents and there are parents who encourage their children to enter the entertainment industry in order to fulfill their own ambitions. I guess there are also parents who see their children's entertainment careers as a path to family wealth. I am not for a moment saying I agree with those kinds of parenting decisions and I do think there is a risk of harm to children's emotional wellbeing if they don't have a balanced and happy childhood. Clearly a desire for wealth could not be motivating the Pinkett Smith family where the parents have more than enough wealth and success to see them through the hard times. And if you watch The latest Karate Kid remake , there is no denying that Jaden Smith is a talented young man.
I have no way of knowing how much the Pinkett Smiths are 'pushing' their kids into the show business industry but I do think that if those children didn't have outgoing temperaments and some talent, no amount of pushing would get them the success that these two children are apparently getting. I also know that none of our three boys could be turned into a Justin Bieber even if my best friend was Angelina Jolie or Mariah Carey or I was an A List movie star.
So, I don't know, maybe the Pinkett Smiths are very ambitious for their kids, maybe the environment of growing up around entertainers and movie stars makes kids hunger for the same success but I absolutely won't judge the emotional wellbeing of those children based on what is reported in the celebrity media about their careers. Hopefully they are happy and enjoying their childhood with their parents and their own friends. I wonder what Daniel Radcliffe would have to say about this? (If you know him, I am sure he wouldn't mind commenting here on this blog.)
Bottom line, I think kids need plenty of time to rest, play, be educated, be creative and pursue their passions; they need to feel safe, loved and know they have people they trust to talk to. I might choose to balance my kids' lives differently to you or to the Pinkett Smiths, but that's my decision right? And in case you are wondering what I think about child beauty pageants and little girls having their eyebrows forcibly waxed to participate - I hate them, and I think that is yet another issue. What are your views?
You can watch the short segment with me and Nelson Aspen, Hollywood commentator, discussing this news story with Larry Emdur and Kylie Gillies by clicking here: The Morning Show