Jaden Pinkett Smith has always touted her lax parenting style as a resolve to see her children embrace their individuality. “What I establish with my children is a partnership. I’m not necessarily dictating what is happening in their lives.”1 Today, the most highly inappropriate song ever performed by a twelve year old can be credited to her daughter, Willow Smith.
Partnering versus Parenting
A partnership is an established beneficial arrangement between two equal entities who share common goals. Parenting on the other hand is a relationship where one person is completely responsible for the growth and development of another human being. Even in the animal kingdom, it is understood that parents are responsible for the nurturing and molding of their young ones. It’s ironic to see how the lines between parenting and partnering have become blurred in human societies.
This laissez-faire approach to parenting is nothing new. However, it is normally practiced by those in the lower echelon of society who do not possess the language to describe it in such lofty terms. They are usually too busy eking out a living and fighting for daily survival to have time to develop a cohesive plan for child rearing.
Parenting in Crises
Then there are those who lack the will power or the inclination to become involved in real parenting. They are too self-absorbed or simply too lazy to exert themselves as the authoritative voice within their homes. These parents ignore the fact that children need adults to create structure and provide guidelines in the crucial developmental stages of their lives.
It is sad to know that there are parents who do not grasp that they should indeed be in control of to minors. Too often we hear victims of laissez-faire parenting recount its negative impacts on their lives.
Parenting is Serious Business
Raising wholesome children is not an easy job, even in the best circumstances. However, choosing to establish a partnership with minor children is an excuse to escape the difficult and uncomfortable aspects of parenting. Mr. and Mrs. Smith may very well need to consider the lives of young Hollywood stars such as Lindsay Lohan, and Amanda Bynes before they loosen the reins of freedom on their own children.
1. “Jada Pinkett Smith Wants her Kids to be Individuals” http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20643472,00.html