Jada Pinkett Smith reveals how she raised her kids with a strong work ethic despite their "affluence"

By Alexia Fernandez
January 28, 2019 03:37 PM

Jada Pinkett Smith wants her kids to know the value of what they have.

The Red Table Talk cohost, 47, spoke about how she and husband Will Smith raised son Jaden, 20, and daughter Willow, 18, during a panel at the Sundance Film Festival on Sunday. (The Men in Black actor also has 26-year-old son Trey from a previous marriage.)

“There’s two things with my kids that I think really worked well,” Pinkett Smith said. “As much as people got on me in regards to having them work early, I did not want them to grow up thinking that because they were in the midst of affluence that they did not have to grind or work hard on their own.”

The Girls Trip star said having her kids work at an early age “got them a taste” of hard work “and they really had a lot of respect for their parents in regards to what we were doing.”

She continued, “These hours, this work ethic, you have to be on time. I think also they had to start their charity lifestyle very early, [at] 5 years old they were in the orphanages at homeless shelters.”

(from left to right) Trey, Willow, Jaden Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

“They got to see that there’s life beyond all the twinkles and lights. That was really important to me, that they understood that listen you guys are really privileged and you are to learn how to offer and offer yourself and be in service to the world,” the actress shared. “I think Will and I always led with that.”

She added, “They got to see very early, life is not a game and all of this here it’s not yours, me and daddy worked for all of this. I’d tell them, ‘Your room? That’s temporary! That ain’t your room, that’s a room you’re using in our house.'”

Pinkett Smith cohosts the Facebook Watch show Red Table Talk alongside her mother, Adrienne Banfield Jones, and Willow.

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The actress and her teenage daughter have shown just how close their bond is on the show in which they’ve talked about relationships, sex, drug abuse, domestic violence and depression.

In a touching episode, Willow revealed to her mother that amid the height of her fame after her single “Whip My Hair” came out she cut herself.

“What? When were you cutting yourself?” Pinkett Smith asked her. “I didn’t see that part. Cutting yourself where?”

RELATED: Jada Pinkett Smith Proves Daughter Willow, 18, Looks Just Like Her in Throwback Pic

“On my wrist. I mean, you can’t even see it but there’s still a little something there,” Willow responded. “But like, totally lost my sanity for a moment there. I never talk about it because it was such a short weird point in my life. But you have to pull yourself out of it.”

Red Table Talk airs every Monday on Facebook Watch.

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