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Parenting: Smith Family

 

The Smith’s are one of the most talented families in Hollywood.  Will Smith is known as “Mr. July” for his annual blockbuster summer films.[1]  His wife, Jada Pinkett, is a singer and star of Hawthorne, a series on TNT.[2]  The Smith’s are raising three children.  Willow is the youngest Smith child, and she loves to sing; in 2010 she produced a hit single “Whip My Hair.”  Her brother Jaden has acted with his father in the Pursuit of Happyness (2006), and most recently was the star of his own movie, The Karate Kid, 2010.  Their half brother, Trey Smith, plays football and is starting to produce music of his own. In this episode of Oprah, the Smith’s discuss their family plan, their trip of a lifetime to China, Jaden’s new movie, The Karate Kid, and Parenting 101.

The Smith’s family has a lot of great qualities and they are a great example of a “IMT Family”. In the Smith’s interview with Oprah Winfrey they cover some of the key concepts in IMT and how they apply them to everyday life. The interview shows IMT concepts in action, and in a family atmosphere. Here are some clips taken from the interview about these IMT concepts.

 

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Marriage Business Plan:

“If you don’t have a goal, a purpose for your relationship and pretty much anything it’s like you don’t have a purpose, you don’t have a place you’re going, something that you want to accomplish, something you want to do, you can really get lost in the murk of your journey.  There has to be a vision.” (Will Smith, 3 min.)

“I had my vision and he had his, so we had to join it…Once we started to see how the children were growing and, you know, Willow and Jaden and Trey were becoming their own beings we decided, ‘Okay, we want to make a family business.  How do we incorporate all the talent that we have in this family?’ So that’s our vision—to create a place where their dreams can come true and their extended families’ dreams can come true as well.” (Jada, 3 min. 50 sec.)

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Raising Children:

Oprah: “How do you raise children who are grounded, gracious, who are giving, who are solid inside themselves when they have access to everything?” (Oprah, 9 min. 50 sec.)

I just want them [the kids] to live in service in greatness. I want them to live and create in a way that when people see it, people are inspired and people become better just by having contact with their excellence.” (Will Smith, 7 min., 35 sec.)

But they have to be able to define that for themselves, and that’s the thing, we can’t define that. We might have a vision for what we see but at the end of the day, Jayden has to have his own vision, Will has to have her own vision, and so does Trey. We are there to help inspire and facilitate their vision because in order to reach the type of excellence Will is talking about you have reach inside yourself to find that drive; nobody can put that drive in you.  So you have to inspire the individual to find and focus the goal they want for themselves. (7 min., 55 sec.)

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Freedom:

“The things that parents understand is difficult because you can’t communicate the things” (Will 21 min 20 sec)

What happens is that your kids get to see you in your best light. How you interact with people, how you talk and how you deal with stress. Those things are where the lessons come from and then also allowing them to do it. (Will 21 min 42 sec)

“What I thought was great was that her beauty didn’t depend on her hair yes you know what I mean…… what she told me was that I wanna be free, mommy”(Jada 23min )

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Punishment: With children

“We don’t believe in punishment per say.  There are consequences to your actions.  We believe in restriction. You can have as much freedom as you can handle—you can cut your hair, you can put stuff on your walls, you can have as much freedom as you can handle, and as soon as you do something that is detrimental to yourself and when you can’t be trusted with your freedom, then you have to be pulled back, but its not about punishing you about what you for what you did, but it’s about protecting you from what you could do to yourself.” (Will Smith, 29 min., 40 sec.)

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Interaction with Family:

As you look at the interaction that the parents have with their children, here are some questions you should think about:

How do the parents treat their children?

What is the family’s work ethic

How does the family spend their time?

How does the family deal with stress and trials?

What is different then most families?

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Greatness

Will: “Greatness lives on the edge of destruction.  That’s where it is.”

Oprah: “So you have to almost come to the breaking point, is what you’re saying.”

Will: “The reason someone becomes great because they survive death.  That’s what made you great-you were almost over, that was it.  When the phoenix rises from the ashes.” (Will Smith, 38 min. 15 sec.)

He’s a different child.  Look at how he’s walking. Chest up, confident. Because when you overcome that type of challenge – he did that. That comes form experience. (Jada Pinkett, 38 min.)

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References:

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5 Comments


Allison Baker
10/28/13

I love this article! I think it’s great how the Smiths chose to make family decisions. They treat their children as their own people and let them make decisions but are still there to guide them. They take work seriously and see it as the way you present yourself to the professional world. I think Will and Jada Pinkett have a good method of parenting and it shows that control is not needed. Being a good example for the children is enough to let them make their own choices with information on how to do it well.


Branden Lau
11/01/13

I think that this article illustrates many IMT concepts; however, the most apparent are the freedom, alignment, and facilitation that the Smith family implements in their life. This is especially true in raising their children, whom they want to grow their own way without pressure from their parents. It is astounding how Type A the Smith family is and they serve as a great representation of many IMT concepts.


Teja Reddy
11/01/13

Smith’s family is great, almost all the basic concepts of IMT were clearly seen in his family, not controlling children, respecting each other thoughts these things which they followed are great. We can clearly see Type A persons characteristics in them, so for sure they will be outstanding.


Brian West
11/17/13

I thought the part on having visions was great. They are definitely a type A family. Each member of the family has to have their own vision, they are teaching them to be visionaries. There were multiple other type A characteristics displayed in the interview such as no control and freedom. It would be great to see other families operate in such a way as this.


Isaac Martinez
12/10/13

Ah geez, I thought I respected Will Smith while he was the Fresh Prince of Bel Aire; I respect him even more so after watching this interview. I especially enjoyed when him and whats her face (Jada) discussed how each individual in a relationship must share the same goals; and not merely share them, but voice them as well. Being on the same page if you will can yield tremendous results and strengthen a relationship. Their parenting techniques are also hauntingly familiar to those executed by our beloved Dr. Kashiwagi. Little to no control is the way to go when it regards parenting. I wonder if I could use IMT to help me raise and care for my hamster. To be continued.

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