Will Smith: Why 'Inner Vows' About Parenting Can Be Dangerous

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The vows you make to yourself about raising your kids may have unintended consequences.

Growing up with a military father in a strict home environment, somewhere along the way, Will Smith must have made an inner vow about how he would raise his children. According to The Sun, Smith's son Jaden has asked to be legally emancipated from his parents once he reaches his 15th birthday in July. (Will and Jaden Smith have since set the record straight, denying the emancipation rumors on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, but that doesn't mean Will is not a lax father. "The thing that people don't get is that everything at his house is free," Jaden told Ellen. "I can get anything and everything at his house so I think I'm gonna be there for 20, 30 more years.")

The danger with making inner vows about parenting is that they inhibit normal growth: They cause extremes. You're unteachable in certain areas of your life because they represent the pain of an experience you never want to revisit. After living in a strict environment where his opinion didn't matter, Will Smith has shared that his parenting style is the opposite of his father's: He doesn't believe in discipline and punishment, instead allowing his kids to explain why their actions are the right ones. Inner vows such as the one he has made are self-comforting, as they offer hope during difficult circumstances. The negative side is the blinders you may develop from believing you are invincible in a particular area of your life.

Some inner vows people make include:

  • "I will never be poor again."
  • "I will never treat my kids like that."
  • "I will never wear hand-me-downs."
  • "I will never let anyone hurt me again."

Really? Never ever? You alone have the power to control every circumstance that affects you, now and in the future? Here's what will happen to you: Keep reading...

More parenting advice from YourTango:

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Nancy Pina

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Nancy Pina, Relationship Coach

Contact: 832-566-0800

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