On a recent episode of “Red Table Talk,” Willow Smith opened up about her journey with anxiety and navigating her mom’s response to it.
Ireland Baldwin, the daughter of Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin, sat down with Smith to talk about the difficulties she had while asking for her mother, Jada Pinkett Smith’s, support.
“It was rough. I feel like when I was growing up, she didn’t understand my anxiety,” said Smith. “Because she, growing up, had seen her friends die — she had been through so much stuff that my issues, to her, kind of felt like … [smaller].”
However, Smith shared that empathizing with her mom allowed her to forgive her for downplaying her issues.
“Recently, we had a talk, and she was like, ‘I never knew that I actually experienced anxiety,’” Smith shared. “And she was pushing it down for so many years, she had no idea. So, I had to forgive her a little bit for being like, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah … I get it, but it’s really not that bad.’”
After Smith and Baldwin spoke, their mothers and Willow’s grandmother joined the discussion.
Referring to the young adult’s conversation, Pinkett Smith said “it’s so beautiful being able to watch two young people sit together and have a conversation like that — just as a mom, because we didn’t get to do that.”
Pinkett Smith went on to discuss the difficulties in facing Smith’s anxieties, noting it took her a long time to understand her
“I had a very difficult time relating because two things: her lifestyle and how she was brought up was very different from mine. I don’t know what it’s like to be a child under hot lights.”
She also shared how her daughter’s struggles mirrored her own.
“One thing about heaving to deal with and learn about [Willow’s] anxiety, I’ve had to look at some of my own behaviors, and the behaviors of my mother and then go, ‘Of course I would have some anxiety in regards to how I grew up,’” she said.
Pinkett Smith ended the discussion noting, “I guess what I’m seeing is this cycle of generational anxiety.”