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If you want to raise children as cool as Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s are, heed their advice.
The actor recently shed light on raising children who are experimenting with their identity and gender stereotypes, like his son Jaden has done by way of clothing. “What I do with my children, that I feel that the greatest gift that I can give my children is the freedom to be who they are,” Smith told BET.
“I feel like a lot of times, when I was growing up, I would see parents … force a child to be what you want them to be. As a parent, if it’s an oak tree, I want it to grow as an oak tree. I’m not gonna try to force it to be an apple tree,” the Collateral Beauty star explained.
His two growing oak trees are truly inspiring. Jaden has been breaking gender barriers by wearing skirts and dresses and painting his nails. The gender-neutral teenager also became the face of Louis Vuitton’s SS16 Womenswear campaign in the beginning of 2016.
“I’m just expressing how I feel inside, which is really no particular way because everyday it changes how I feel about the world and myself,” Smith told GQ of his daring way of dressing. “I just want to teach people how to be comfortable. Stop being so scared.”
His incredible attitude is definitely a result of his accepting parents. “Jada and I are very serious about finding what they are, and encouraging them to be what they are because you can never be happy being what you’re not,” Smith told BET. “We encourage our kids to experiment and seek who they are more than who we want them to be.”