Which is harder: parenting a newborn or a teenager? Actress Taraji P. Henson, says “It’s all the same.”
“Parenting starts when your child’s in the womb. My son is well-behaved, but there’s a dynamic between male-female. Once I show him that I know what I’m talking about, he’s willing to listen and learn. Kids are like puppies; they just want to please you. They don’t want to do bad, especially if you parent from the womb and let them know, ‘You’re not manipulating me. I’m the boss.’ And the first time they start crying when you say, ‘It’s time to go to bed, you have to let them cry it out.”
The no-nonsense mom says that social networking sites like Twitter is off-limits to her 16-year-old son Marcel.
“Twitter and sex stuff—anything that deals with things he’s not ready for yet. And we communicate. I don’t just say, “Do what I said”; I give him a reason for it. I told him, as far as sex, I understand your hormones are raging, but you can barely keep up with your extracurricular work and school work. There’s a time and place and reason for certain things, and while I’m not trying to take anything from him, with sex comes responsibility, and you have to be mature enough to handle it.”
Taraji, who stars in new movie The Karate Kid, says her onscreen son Jaden Smith is much like her own son.
“[Jaden] reminds me a lot of my son: polite, charismatic, strong-willed and just a charm to work with. The Smith family and their values and morals are the same as mine. It was a pleasure; he’s such a good kid.”
The Karate Kid is in theaters now.
Below are pictures of Taraji, Jaden, and Jackie at a recent appearance on 106&Park.