Everyone is talking about the Miley Cyrus performance and while it isn’t a shock that people are in fact talking about it, what is and isn’t being said, is what is surprising to me. Many people are appalled about the performance. I was truly, and pleasantly surprised to find a whole host of comments condemning the absolute stupidity of what was displayed for young people who have followed this gal for years on Disney. Without question there are far more people who were let down by the actions of this rising star than I thought might be.
Another side of the criticism is being aimed at Robin Thicke. A blog post by Matt Walsh at The Matt Walsh Blog focuses on the male component of this, and rightly so. Mr. Walsh discusses a letter by a “mom blogger” written to her daughter in which she writes about letting Miley Cyrus be a lesson to her. While both bloggers do share some valid, and great points most of them, in my opinion, miss the mark. Each blogger writes a letter to their respective child. What we aught to have done is write the letter to ourselves. A letter to us, as parents.
The author at Roadkill Goldfish does the best job of pointing out some of the issues that behavior like this stems from when she writes:
Yes, this is what happens when you constantly hear everything you do is awesome. This is what happens when people fawn over your every Tweet and Instagram photo. This is what happens when no responsible adult has ever said the word “no,” made you change your clothes before leaving the house, or never spanked your butt for deliberate defiance.
This… This is the issue right here. Now don’t get me wrong, I do not fully disregard consequences for individual actions. I believe fully that the consequences for the actions performed by both Miley and Robin should land squarely on their adult (even if not by maturity) shoulders. However there is the underlying issue that stands to be missed by every single one of us pointing the finger at these two adults. They are, in fact, a product of their environments.
This is true at any income, or fame level. If you want to know what a parent/parents are really like, just take a look at their children. Now that isn’t to say that parents don’t change over time, but without question children grow up to be what they are shown to be.
Now I know there are people who have told me, and are likely to read this and say, “I know good people who have had kids turn out bad.” To this I say: “Get to know them better.” There is no perfect parent, and sometimes it isn’t so much how you live your life as much as it is, how you allow your children to live theirs.
The Roadkill author nails it when she speaks of a lack of discipline. But it goes beyond spanking, or sitting in a chair for a time out. It goes down to disciplining our children to be focused on things that grow them “in the way they should go.” The influences you allow your children to have will have a direct effect on how they turn out. Most of the time it’s a bad parent, either mother or father. They might live one way in public, but the child gets to see the real them at home. But other times, it’s a lack of parenting that leads to a problem.
If you’re allowing your child to sit in front of Disney as a way to spend their time, you’re raising a materialistic, shallow, individual who is focused on good looks, and success based on money. Then you send them to school with 100’s of other Disney raised kids and what do you think you’re going to get? A child that is a product of their environment. Now I’m not reducing myself to blaming Disney, or television for the problem… No. I am blaming you, the parent. You choose to have the television, you PICK the shows your children watch by allowing them access to them in your home and not teaching them anything to the contrary. The fault of what we witnessed in this act lands squarely on the parents. When your kids grow up to live and act in this way, the problem will be in large part because of you.
Shawn Hannity said he felt sorry for Billy Ray Cyrus. But the thing is, he got exactly what he raised. Whether he raised her by personal example, or by exposure doesn’t matter. He picked the direction she went by the life he lived, and the choices he allowed her to make. The same stands for Thicke’s parents.
People are so shocked and mortified when this type of thing happens. They talk about how low, and irresponsible she is for doing something like this with such a big following of impressionable children, but they (those who point fingers) put no responsibility on the real problem. Us, as parents. If we didn’t allow our children to idolize actors, and television the actions of these two wouldn’t have been a problem in the least. In fact, it likely wouldn’t have happened. My ten year old didn’t get to see this because I make a point to ensure that we protect him from such things.
I can just hear the, “We can’t protect them from everything” crowd sounding off. The problem is, most parents don’t even make an attempt. I’m tired of the cop-out answer that we can’t protect our kids from everything. We can protect them from far more than we do. We just don’t want to make the hard choices, live the hard life that is required to actually protect them! We’d rather be their friend than their parent. Everyone else lets their children watch this, or that show, so why shouldn’t we?
This display wasn’t just an act of moral failure on the part of the performers. It was an act of failure on the part of their parents. It is also an act of failure on the part of every parent who had a child sitting in front of this woman for the last few years every day. I watched an episode of this show. It’s shallow. It has got nothing good to offer a child in the way of growth. If your kids sit in front of this, like it or not, you should be ashamed of yourself. And further, if your kid was sitting in front of this act as it unfolded, the last thing you should be doing is pointing your finger at either Miley, or Robin.