“What makes a good father?”
Will Smith has taken over Red Table Talk for a very special episode.
The trailer for the episode, set to air on Sunday, was recently released, and it features fellow actor and Philly native Kevin Hart. In the special Father’s Day episode, the men dish on everything from how they raise their children to how they talk to their daughters about boys and even their ex-wives.
“I’m here to answer serious questions,” said Hart in the trailer.
“What makes a good father?” asked Smith. Hart replied with, “Being different from mine.”
“I literally had to learn how to care about how people feel,” Smith said. “It is a vicious betrayal to not care how they feel.”
Hart continues with, “When your child shows disappointment – you don’t realize the impact that your mistakes can truly have.”
The show is typically hosted by Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith, their daughter Willow Smith and his mother-in-law Adrienne Banfield-Norris, but for Father’s Day, it’s all about the men.
The actors know all about raising children. Smith has three in total, two with Pinkett Smith and one with ex-wife Sheree Zampino. While Hart has four, two with his current wife, Eniko Parrish, and two with his ex-wife Torrei Hart.
In the episode, Smith asks Hart if Heaven, his 16-year-old daughter, has expressed interest in boys.
“She talks to me about it and I had to learn to be okay!” Hart said. “I had to learn to not say, ‘Get the f— out of here. What are you talking about?!”
Smith adds: “One of the things I ran into with Willow, because she was raised around good men, she has a little bit of naivety around what [predatory] behavior would be like,” he said. “Willow’s 20 now, but from 16 to 19, I really found myself colliding with her. I just felt like she didn’t totally comprehend some of the difficulties [that could arise].”
Smith is a known guest on his wife’s Facebook show. In last year’s Father’s Day episode, he grew emotional while discussing his fatherhood journey, as reported by theGrio.
Smith and Pinkett Smith reflected on their then 23 years of parenting, including the lessons they’ve learned and the failures they’ve overcome.
One of the recurring themes within the conversation is the ways in which Smith’s own father, Willard Carroll Smith Sr. (affectionately titled Daddio), has affected his approach to fatherhood.
“From the time I was six years old, I wanted to be a father,” Smith reminisces. “I loved how my family was, but there were massive critical deficiencies in my father’s parenting that I wanted to correct. By the time I was ten years old, I remember looking at my father thinking I could do it better than him.”
Daddio Smith raised his children with strict military precision and physically abused their mother, but despite the negative reflections, Smith understands that the unfettering discipline he instilled helped him become the successful man and father he is today.
“I lost my fear of things that are impossible,” he says.
Smith first became a father at the age of 24.
“That was my first moment of the real weight of parenting.” Smith recalls of the night he brought home his firstborn son, Willard Carroll “Trey” Smith III. “I brought him home, and I remember we put him in the bassinet, and Sheree went to sleep and it was like stark terror,” he adds while holding back emotion.
“I just cried so hard, like ‘I can’t do it. Like I’m not the guy.’ I just knew I didn’t know nothing. It’s like in that moment, [I felt] how much better than me my father was.”
Additional reporting by Tatianna Mott
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