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Jada Pinkett Smith’s Golden Rules Of Parenting

Jada Pinkett Smith, married to superstar Will Smith, and mother to Willow, 8, Jaden, 10, and stepson Trey, 16, recently sat down with Cookie magazine to share her parenting wisdom and worldviews. The 37-year-old actress and philanthropist, who starred most recently in The Women, also made her directorial debut in The Human Contract, finished executive-producing The Secret Life of Bees, opened a church, and founded a school with her husband in Westlake Village, California. She’s also well known for her role as Niobe in the popular Matrix series and as the voice of Gloria, the sassy hippo in Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (which opens this month).

Jada says “I’ve found that I’m at my best when I [engage] everything—the mind, the spirit, my body.” As a mother of a girl, she is all too conscious of emphasizing what she calls “the importance of wholeness in being a woman.” In addition to her budding film career, Willow is a serious gymnast. Jada says, “I say to her, ‘Always focus on your own personal strength – as long as you compete with you and stay on the track that you want to be on, you’re going to be okay.’”

Jada says she and Will are usually on the same page when it comes to parenting, “We’re kind of innately in tune with what we both want for the kids. We knew that part of our partnership would be creating the exact opposite of what we had.” Jada’s parents were both in high school when she was born, and while they were briefly married, she was brought up primarily by her mom, a nurse, and her maternal grandmother, who died when she was 12. Jada says she and Will are determined to make their marriage work, “We find solutions because that’s what we both want. There is no other option.”

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When asked about raising polite kids, Jada says, “It’s not ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ just ‘because I told you so,’ she explains. “I tell them, ‘Every time you go out into the world, you are leaving an impression of yourself and this family with other people. What impression do you want to leave? Do you want people to think you are spoiled [rotten]?’” Jada goes on to explain it’s not just about etiquette, it’s about a healthy self-esteem: “I want them to feel good; I want them to smile. Once children feel great about being who they are, you don’t really have to worry about manners.”

Jada goes on to share her Golden Rules of Parenting:

1. Eat as a family. “There’s flexibility about when they eat breakfast and lunch, but dinner together is sacred.”

2. Enlist help. “I’m lucky to have a lot of people in my world who help me. That includes her mother: “She travels with me all the time, and when I travel and the kids aren’t with me, she stays with them.”

3. Drink water. “I tell them, ‘You have three bottles of water a day, then drink what you want. I’m always like, ‘Listen, we’ve got to keep our bodies strong—we got too much stuff to do!’”

4. Respect their boundaries. Staying out of kids’ space can teach them to be responsible for their own decisions and mistakes, she says: “Is it their room, or are they borrowing the space while they’re living in your house? If it’s theirs, then they should be able to do whatever they want with it. If it’s their clothes, they have the right to do whatever they want with those clothes. We have to give them some freedom to be who they are.”

5. Choose your battles. For instance, Jada doesn’t prescribe what the kids are going to wear—even for the paparazzi. “Who is it going to hurt, really, if she has orange balloon pants on the red carpet?” she says. “I try to stay outside my ego and what I want and to respect them as I expect them to respect me.”

6. Expose and educate. “We go to church as a family on Sunday, but we study world religion during the week as well. We read excerpts from the Bible, from Hindu texts, Kabbalah, Judaism….”

Photo: Cookie

Filed under: Jada Pinkett-Smith

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Alyson Hannigan Is Expecting

Actress Alyson Hannigan is expecting her first child, her rep confirms to PEOPLE. The 34-year-old How I Met Your Mother star and her husband, actor Alexis Denisof, 42, will welcome their first child this spring.

The couple met on the set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer during the 1999-2000 season and wed near Palm Springs on Oct. 11, 2003.

On the big screen, Hannigan is famous for her role as band geek opposite Jason Biggs in the American Pie flicks.

Congratulations to the Hannigan-Denisof Family!

Photo: Sylvain Gaboury / People

Filed under: Alexis Denisof,Alyson Hannigan,Expecting

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Russell Crowe Bonds With Charlie

Russell Crowe Bonds With Charlie

Russell Crowe picked up his son Charlie, 4 1/2, from school in Australia, and they stopped at a bakery for some treats. Russell took a little time to give Charlie a quick cuddle in the bakery!

Russell has been growing his hair out for his upcoming role as Robin Hood in Nottingham, and he has promised his ponytail – which must be at least 10 inches to be donated – to Locks of Love, an organization which makes wigs for young cancer patients.

Photos: Flynet

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Filed under: Charlie Crowe,Russell Crowe

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Liv & Milo Have Lunch

Liv & Milo Have Lunch

Liv Tyler and her 3 1/2-year-old son Milo spent the day supposedly looking at houses in Los Feliz, and then they had lunch at the Figaro Cafe in Los Angeles. I wonder if Liv is planning to relocate from New York?

Photos: MATEI/bauergriffinonline.com

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Filed under: Liv Tyler,Milo Langdon

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Katherine Heigl & Hubby Plan To Adopt

Katherine Heigl & Hubby Plan To Adopt

In Touch Weekly is confirming that Katherine Heigl and her hubby, Josh Kelley, are in the process of adopting a baby from Korea,

“They’ve filled out the paperwork and have been approved and now it’s just a matter of waiting,” said a friend of the couple. “They’ve been planning this for a long time.”

Katherine’s sister, Meg, was adopted from Korea over 30 years ago which has made the Grey’s Anatomy star feel connected to the culture. However, Korean law states that prospective parents must be married for three years before adopting. Katherine and Josh wed last December. Apparently the couple doesn’t mind waiting,

“It’s always been her dream to adopt.” The source said. “They haven’t ruled out a biological child down the line either.”

Photo: AXELLE/bauergriffinonline.com

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Filed under: Katherine Heigl

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Jane Leeves & Children In Santa Monica

Jane Leeves, English actress best known for her work as Daphne Moon on Frasier, was photographed with her children, Isabella Kathryn and Finn William, in Santa Monica on Tuesday.

Photo: SCOTT/CHRIS/bauergriffinonline.com

Filed under: Finn Coben,Isabella Coben,Jane Leeves

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