Jada Pinkett Smith Is All About Letting Her Kids 'Self-Actualize'

The "Bad Moms" star discusses how she approaches parenting.
Peter White via Getty Images

Earlier this year, Jada Pinkett Smith played a comically villainous role in the movie “Bad Moms,” in which her character, Stacy, shamed other mothers over their parenting skills. Stacy is a perfectionist who believes Mila Kunis’ character, Amy, is a terrible person for having a career that occasionally causes her kids to be late.

All of the female stars of “Bad Moms” ― including Christina Applegate, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn ― have kids of their own. Due to her own experience with motherhood, Pinkett Smith is quick to distance herself from Stacy.

“I think that motherhood is very difficult,” Pinkett Smith told The Huffington Post in a conversation about her role ― tied to the Blu-ray and digital release of the movie. “I think it’s one of the most underrated jobs. People talk about how much they appreciate motherhood, but in my opinion, it’s not honored in the way that it should be.”

Pinkett Smith has two children, Jaden and Willow, with her husband, Will Smith, as well as a stepson, Trey, from Will’s previous marriage. More like Amy than Stacy, Pinkett Smith has a busy career schedule herself as she’s currently starring on the show “Gotham,” on top of filming movies.

“You kind of have to release that perfectionism and you have to release that judgement in order for your kids to just develop in a healthy way,” she explained of her own parenting approach.

Further unlike Stacy, the actress just wants to be supportive of whatever works for each individual mother.

“There’s many different ways to mother, there’s no one cookie-cutout way to be a mother,” said Pinkett Smith. “So, I think, as a mother and as a woman, trying to support other women in how they see it’s best to mother their children is very important. And also in being a mother and being supportive of your children and allowing them to self-actualize and become who they think they should be versus who we as parents want them to be.”

Pinkett Smith admitted she knows her family is a bit different than most ― with all four members of her immediate family having successful careers in the entertainment industry ― but still, in her household, whenever the family is together, they try to make sure they are as present as possible. “Everybody works so when we come together, we’re focusing on each other,” said Pinkett Smith. “We really cherish the time we have together.”

Trey Smith, Willow Smith, Jaden Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith.
Trey Smith, Willow Smith, Jaden Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith.
Jason LaVeris via Getty Images

In wrapping up the conversation about motherhood, Pinkett Smith stressed that it’s an ever-changing profession.

“Motherhood is brand new every time,” she said. “You might have it down with one child and then have another and that child needs something completely different and now you are learning all over again how to specifically mother that particular child because, like I said, what it might have taken to raise one child, another child needs something completely different.”

To deal with the stresses that come with this constant struggle, Pinkett Smith reiterated needing to be supportive of all mothers.

“In all these female empowerment movements [we try] to break from the chains of patriarchy, but yet we start to wear the same face of patriarchy and just put this face of matriarchy on it and call it female empowerment,” she explained. “So, I think the day that we as women allow ourselves to be autonomous is the day we’ll truly be free and empowered.”

“Bad Moms” is now out on digital, Blu-ray and DVD.


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