In recent years, we’ve seen Jada Pinkett Smith tackle insightful topics and conduct intergenerational conversations on her online talk show, Red Table Talk. While viewers get to see a more vulnerable and understanding side to the 50-year-old actress, that wasn’t always the case.
During the latest episode of ‘RTT,’ Jada’s daughter, Willow Smith, 21, revealed her mother used to overlook her struggle with anxiety because she didn’t realize her daughter was dealing with her own unresolved mental health issues. Willow Smith explained,
“I feel like when I was growing up, she [Jada] didn’t understand my anxiety because she, growing up, had seen her friends die. She had been through so much stuff that my issues to her kinda felt [smaller]. And that was very frustrating for me as a child, because I was like, ‘How can you not see my internal, emotional struggle?'”
While it took years for Willow Smith to forgive her mother, she eventually realized that Jada Pinkett Smith was unknowingly struggling with her own set of mental health issues. Willow added,
“[My mom] had no idea. So, I kinda had to forgive her a little bit.”
Later in the episode, Jada Pinkett Smith admitted she didn’t understand what it felt like to be a child star, which is the main reason why she did not properly recognize her daughter’s struggle when she reached fame at a young age. Jada explained,
“I don’t know what it’s like to be a child under hot lights. And then just really not knowing how to comfort her, not knowing what help she needed, not understanding the behavior.”
In learning more about Willow’s emotional struggles, Jada eventually realized she too may have suffered from anxiety.
“In having to deal with and learn about her [Willow] anxiety, I’ve had to look at some of my own behavior and behaviors of my mother and go, ‘Well, of course I probably would have some anxiety in regards to how I grew up.’ It was very difficult.”
This isn’t the first time the famous mother and daughter have been candid about their relationship. In a previous episode of Red Table Talk, the ladies spoke about the importance of setting boundaries. Jada said,
“You’re saying that what we should do is we should really be able to listen to what people feel. I gotta stop trying to fix every d*** thing. That’s not my job either.”
She continued and shared how her daughter, Willow is great at standing firm on the boundaries she’s set.
“I gotta give Willow props because she’ll call me, disrupted, and be like, ‘I don’t need you to fix anything mom, I just want you to listen.’”
Thankfully, Jada and Willow seemingly have a much better understanding of each other today. During their most recent chat, Willow said,
“When you told me that you actually do experience anxiety, that changed my life. You’re my best friend, what can I say.”
Watch the full episode here!
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