Have you heard that saying … ‘I blame the parents’ … I imagine we all have.
What does it mean though … when does a child’s action cease being the parents responsibility and start becoming the child’s? Interesting question.
Lets take Lyndsay Lohan … although she’s not your average person, a wealthy woman in her mid-twenties, with a rocky history landing herself in and out of jail, rehab where the media love her as she spells trouble with a capital ‘T’ and that makes her very newsworthy.
Her parents, seem ordinary enough, but maybe they’ve not helped her as much as she needed. It can’t be easy to deal with such a life-changing experience even when its being actively sought and perhaps their motivation wasn’t always in her best interest.
You can’t help but wonder how you would cope with a similar ordeal? Because it must be a minefield of things to work through that only the most level-headed can hope to handle. So without full parental support it can’t be easy. Then there are those that do have great parents to back them up who still manage to fluff it up, consider Amy Winehouse for example (since writing this have changed views on this topic).
Amy Winehouse is to blame
Amy Winehouse, enormously talented (in my view), has not coped well with the trappings of being famous at a young age and her history shows her falling into all the standard pitfalls of drugs and sex and rock’n’roll to quote Ian Dury. However, her parents are supportive and appear to have her best interests at heart.
But in weighing up the general obstacles most people have no sympathy because they think handling what these kids have to handle is wasted on them. Saying things like half your luck and I wish I had her sort of money to worry about. A better question is more along the lines of whether it’s easy for anyone having to deal with these sorts of obstacles, let alone a young person who’s in the throws of adolescence:
- growing up in the public eye
- the wealth
- not sure if people are friends with you or your fame
- not sure if your management team have yours or their best interests at heart
- the paparazzi
- the glamour and the greasepaint
- the loss of anonymity
The fame trap
We can never know what that’s like without experiencing it and once experienced there is NO way back to how life was before. And there lies the rub, you’ve only to look at television’s reality shows outcasts to see how demeaning a world it can be, think Spencer Matthews.
Whenever glimpsed, fame looks so superficial and empty, and I guess what drives someone’s ambition in that direction is different for everyone. But what often appears to lay behind it is insecurity and a need for attention, this is generalizing of course.
So are the parents to blame for these two examples, some parents supposedly push their children, we’ve all heard the nightmare stories of Michael Jackson’s upbringing and what in many respects was a tragic life culminating in his untimely death.
Are the parents to blame simply because they are older, wiser or not. Should they shield and protect their kids to a certain extent? But then willful children and the circus that is show business, is quite a tough animal to roll back once the wheels are in motion. And maybe it’s only when that whole enchilada kicks into play that parents begin to realise just what is happening, and feel disempowered to stop it.
It’s a tough call either way. And there will be parents pushing their kids every step of the way, again for a wide range of reasons, such as money providing their kids with a life the parents couldn’t give. The parents thinking they’ll be looked after by their children. That’s a tricky one.
But finally lets look at Charlotte Church, a child-star with so much charm and oodles of talent, who came from a very grounded traditional Welsh background. She seemed more grounded than her mother (as was portrayed in the press anyhow).
This girl has lived, loved, had a family with a long and successful career since she was 12. When she ‘went off the rails’ she was simply living it up the Cardiff way, just having fun with her ‘ordinary’ friends and part of that was to go ‘out on the lash’.
And in the UK that’s fairly standard practice for most young women. Maybe its our judgement that’s off kilter … and something to be considered with due care and attention.
Parents and children and who is to blame
But people have children and children grow up, each with their own personality, and part of the parental role is to provide a safe haven for your kids to go out and explore the world, knowing they can return to regroup themselves as they get on with growing into a fully rounded human being.
Life happens for sure, but all parents are doing the best they know how with the tools they have to hand aren’t they? What are your thoughts when it comes to blaming it on the parents and does that affect how you are or have been as a parent yourself. It would be great to hear your thoughts on the matter.
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