The two celebrated Father's Day with an incredibly candid episode of Red Table Talk.
The Red Table was replaced with a couch on Sunday for a very special episode of Jada Pinkett Smith's Facebook Watch show.
Joining her for the big day was husband Will Smith, as the two had what they called "one of the most intimate and vulnerable" chats they've ever shared. The 45-minute episode covered everything from Will's own childhood, his first marriage and divorce and the mistakes he's made parenting all three of his kids.
Throughout the episode, both Smiths were in tears, before the chat ended with some Father's Day messages from Trey, Willow and Jaden.
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The two began their conversation with Jada asking when her husband first felt his "fatherhood instincts" kick in. For Will, it came at a young age in an abusive household, as he vowed to be different from his father.
"From the time I was 6 years old, I wanted to be a father. I loved how my family was, but there were massive, critical deficiencies in my father's parenting that I wanted to correct," he explained. "I remember looking at my father thinking I could do it better than him. My father had a bit of a temper and I was a gentle kid. I was not a kid you had to slap or punch or beat, so growing up in a household where physical aggression was approved of, that really chaffed my hide, that hurt my spirit."
"There's such beautiful qualities that he instilled that are a big part of me ... but as the yin to every yang, I watched him beat up my mother," he continued. "So the biggest emotional scar I have in this lifetime, he delivered that also. He showed me a lot of things that I wanted to do, but he also showed me the things I would absolutely, positively never do to my children. When he would get angry, he would turn into the dumbest person I ever met."
That being said, Will said his father was a great teacher, who "believed school wasn't the only place you got an education." That's something Will carried over when parenting his own kids, as Will added, "His thing was, you can't father from a distance."
"I learned that everywhere is school. That anything you do, you have to do it well. Getting good grades, isn't above cleaning the kitchen," he added. "All of the lessons that you need to teach are everywhere. And the idea of having to contribute. You have to contribute. People thought we were forcing our kids to work."
Smith first became a father in 1992, when he was just 24 years old. At the time he was married to first wife Sheree Zampino.
"I think that was my first moment of the real weight of parenting," said Will of bringing baby Trey home from the hospital. "We put him in the basinet and Sheree went to sleep and it was like stark terror. It was like, I'm totally responsible for this life and I just couldn't stop going and checking."
"I gotta make sure he's breathing and all that new parenting stuff," he said, getting emotional. "I just cried so hard, it makes me teary right now."
When asked what made him cry at the time, he said feeling like, "I can't do it. Like, I'm not the guy. I'm not the guy. I just knew I didn't know nothing."
Dabbing tears from his eyes, he laughed as he told Jada, "Oh man, I'm gonna need to get myself together. I'm gonna have to walk this one off! I need a tissue. I thought the Red Couch wouldn't get me like this, I thought the Red Couch was safe!"
Will and Sheree split in 1995, three years after saying "I do," with Smith calling the divorce "a really difficult time" in his life. "Divorce was the worst thing in my adult life, divorce was the ultimate failure for me," he added.
"I've been hurt a lot in my adult life, but I don't think anything touches the failure of getting divorced from my 2-year-old son's mother," he continued. The split got messy and they began to fight about custody -- before Will created some distance between them so their son wouldn't see the friction.
After some advice from his own father, he backed off. "That was a difficult time," he explained, "but as daddio said, as soon as Trey was ready, he came looking for his father."
Will married Jada two years later in 1997 and they have two children of their own; Jaden, 21, and Willow, 19. As Will began to speak about their kids together, he said "the high point of my parenting" came when he and Jaden would travel back and forth from Beijing every weekend while filming "The Karate Kid" to see Trey play high school football.
Jada chimed in, saying she used to be "very angry" about the "Karate Kid" days, saying she "did not have a good time" during filming. But, she still credited that experience with Jaden's "work ethic" now -- saying it was a "pivotal" moment in making him the young man he is today.
After being somewhat of a distant father to Trey, Will said he didn't want to do the same thing with Willow and Jaden -- and that was part of the reason they were homeschooled.
"My kids, being with me, is of a higher value than sitting in a classroom," he said. "Spending time with me ... for me, the nature of my job has me physically and mentally distracted so I have to make up for that with presence, you have to be with me."
While Will had a certain style of parenting down pat, he admitted raising Willow "destroyed all of my belief systems." Though Trey got the "old school" version of parenting, he noticed that was "hurting" Jaden. Willow, meanwhile, "rejected it thoroughly."
He then recalled the issues they had following the success of "Whip My Hair," as she wanted to quit her tour with Justin Bieber after just 4 or 5 shows.
"She was ready to go home. I was like, 'You can't go home.' She kept asking, she was like, 'Daddy, it doesn't matter how I feel?'" he recalled. She then shaved her head, which he saw as an act of defiance.
"It was so devastating to me when she shaved her head bald because her record is 'Whip My Hair.' That's a protest against me," he said. "I took that as a sign from the gods. I was like, this little girl is rejecting what I'm trying to do for her. She doesn't want it."
"She was crying, she was scared, but what she wasn't gonna do was something she didn't want to do," he added, with Jada praising Willow for rebuilding her career "the way she wanted it."
"That 'Whip My Hair' thing put a pause button on my overt parenting," he said, something which came up again when Trey turned down football scholarships for college and when Will worked with Jaden on "AfterEarth.".
"What I decided on AfterEarth was I'm not going to have a single moment where I push him or pound on him, I was going to be a loving father," he explained. "And then the movie didn't work and I was like, 'That's what happens when you give a damn on how people feel. You can't win!'"
"I was furious because I know how to win, if everybody just do what I say, we're gonna win," he exclaimed with a laugh. "I knew to back up."
He said he has since shifted to the "gardener-flower concept of fathering," in which he recognizes he can't force his kids to be something they're not, he can only help them grow.
The episode ended with all three kids sending in video messages proclaiming their love, appreciation and respect for their father -- something which once again moved Will to tears.
"You're really a great father. Even as the kids are older, you've been such a great partner. I really appreciate the parenting partnership," added Jada, crying as well as she spoke. "It hasn't been easy, but it's definitely been worth it."