In his new book, Act Like You Got Some Sense, Jamie Foxx provides insight on parenting through a humorous and understanding approach, both reflecting on their own experiences and those of others.
Jamie Foxx, a modern day father of two and actor, conveys he never wants his kids to doubt their potential. He wants them to know they can meet any goal they set out to accomplish.
He expresses that he wants to be able to let his daughters know that they should have anything they desire. He further states that they should not put aside anything for later.
Foxx presents his new work, Act Like You Got Some Sense, as a book about his daughters and the things they showed him. In particular, he discusses how his 13-year-old Anelise exposed him to lyrics that were disrespectful towards women and how this highlighted the widespread acceptance of female subjugation.
In an interview with Parents.com, he expresses his concern for what women are currently facing. He says that when he looks into his two daughters’ eyes, he wants them to know that they have the opportunity to do anything, even become president. He insists that having men standing with their daughters makes it easier for them to reach their goals.
Foxx, who was raised by people who he considers his grandparents, takes fatherhood very seriously. He understands what it is like to be neglected by a parent, so he makes sure his children never feel that way. He wants them to feel that they can have anything they want. His positive reinforcement appears to be making a difference.
Foxx’s youngest daughter, Anelise Bishop, is already part of the Writers Guild, having written an anime script at 11. His oldest daughter Corinne Foxx, 27, has amassed a few film and television credits, as well as a recurring role in the upcoming season of Hulu’s hit comedy Dollface. Foxx wants to pass down a legacy to them of art, entrepreneurship and “never having been denied.” He remarks that he is able to observe them do their thing in the business and teach them early.
In terms of what his daughters have instructed him in, Foxx states that very close to the top of the list is the importance of being real with the people he cares about. Initially, he was the “Disneyland dad” – he wasn’t present when he should have been, but then would arrive with a bunch of amusement, food, and store purchases, assuming that this would be enough to compensate.
Foxx remembers that he made some missteps when raising his oldest daughter, Corinne. This ultimately led to them seeking out family therapy, which Foxx was initially hesitant about. “You know don’t no dang Black folks go to no therapist,” he had told Corinne. Nevertheless, he went and ended up talking so much that the therapist had to ask him to stop and listen to what his daughter had to say. That’s when Corinne uttered the four words that would forever alter how Foxx viewed parenting: “I didn’t like you.”
He remembers her telling him that the individual he was to everybody else was not what she required. She said to him, “Be present when you claim you will be there.” This gave him the chance to really start creating a strong connection with his daughters and be the father they desired. He wrote Act Like You Got Some Sense in order to alter the story concerning what it implies to be a dad, particularly a Black father to daughters.
He suggests that fathers should not shut down when discussing uncomfortable topics with their daughters, encouraging them to “talk about uncomfortable things early.” He believes this will help to break down the barrier that often exists between fathers and daughters, saying that “it is a daughter” should be taken into consideration first.
Maintaining a harmony between the parenting approaches of the past and the present is a challenge. Foxx pointed out that “different times” exist now and the way parents interacted with their children years ago may not be applicable now. Not forgetting that parents are not always their kids’ buddies, yet the world has evolved.
When Jamie Foxx had his own children, he came to the realization that he didn’t need to use the same words he heard growing up in a different place. He plays both the roles of friend and father, making sure his daughters feel comfortable enough to express themselves while still having boundaries in place. He refers to himself as the sheriff, saying, “We ain’t gone be doing all that!”
Foxx believes that a balance between old-school Black cultural parenting norms and new techniques is necessary. His book is full of instances where he references these traditions which have had an impact on his children. Although the parenting style is humorous, it is also firm. Historically, these norms have been relied upon by Black parents out of requirement. He is making his own path while recognizing these old parenting practices that are an integral part of Black culture. He is simply approaching fatherhood in a unique way.
Foxx argues that although their parents managed to make it work in their time, the current atmosphere requires different strategies.