Will Smith discussed his journey to fatherhood on a special Father’s Day edition of his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s Facebook show, RedTable Talk.
Smith, 51, told Jada, his wife of 23 years, that his fatherhood instincts kicked in when he was just six years old.
“There were massive critical deficiencies in my father’s parenting that I wanted to correct. By the time I was ten years old, I remember looking at my father and thinking that I could do it better than him.”
“My father had a little bit of a temper. I was a gentle kid, like, I was not a kid that you had to slap or punch or beat,” Will explained. “So growing up in a household where physical aggression was approved of, that really chaffed my hide. That hurt my spirit.”
The Bad Boys for Life star described taking Trey, his first child, from a previous marriage, home from the hospital, the “first moment of the real weight of parenting.”
“I brought him home, and I remember we put him in the bassinet…and it was like stark terror,” he recalls. “It was like, ‘I’m totally responsible for this life.’ I just cried so hard. It makes me teary right now.”
Will teared up as he explained, “I thought like, ‘I can’t do it. I’m not the guy.’ Oh man, I just knew I didn’t know nothing.”
Smith went on to say his 19-year-old daughter Willow‘s decision to abandon pop stardom after her hit song, “Whip My Hair,” had “put a pause button on my overt parenting.”
“I started to see that there was a higher value in talking to her about how she feels about the situation versus how to fix the situation, and it became the new thought process for me.”
By George Costantino
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