By now, most of us have seen clips of the now-infamous number on the VMA awards, and we’ve exchanged opinions on creepy teddy bears, foam fingers and nude bikinis. We’re shocked and disappointed that Hannah Montana has disintegrated, giving rise to this unwelcome, over-sexed femme fatale.
(photo courtesy sheknows.com)
But we shouldn’t be surprised.
Our daughters might not be nearly nude on TV and our sons might not be ESPN cautionary tales…but the growing-up metronome is set at a high tempo in our tiny town, and probably in yours, too. We’re frantically running a Race to Nowhere, and our kids are stressed, anxious and exhausted.
We live in a world that is obsessed with the fast lane. In some cases, kids are almost like products, chiseled and sculpted and polished. They’re pressed toward sophistication so they can create a unique, competitive image. The intensity and rigor are celebrated, because we know that pressure can create a sparkling diamond that will shine brightly in a mound of ordinary stones.
But we need to remember that pressure can also create fissures and broken pieces.
When I saw the video of Miley, my bloggy fingers were creeping toward the keyboard…I was so tempted to saddle her with lots of blame, and point out where her parents and managers have gone wrong. But my niggling conscience made me examine how I have managed the young people–my children!–for whom I am responsible. Because Miley’s antics will soon be faded fodder, but my kids will always be on the front page of my life. I’ve been asking myself what my husband and I are doing well…and in what areas we need to create firmer boundaries, provide more encouragement, step out of the way, or shut our mouths and listen.
As our kids continue to grow and change, we’ll plan and evaluate and adjust.
And we’ll slow down.
There’s just so much beauty in ordinary stones…I don’t want to miss it because I am too busy trying to create a diamond.
Very well said, Katie. Society is so quick to judge & condemn with complete disregard for its role in creating the situation. Sad times for sure. Thank goodness we serve a God who is quick to listen and slow to anger… and tells us to do likewise.
In our tiny town, I encounter lots of parents who want their kids to be “popular”…sometimes without realizing that to be popular, compromises end up being made that conflict with other hopes parents hold for their kids. In Miley’s culture, she was doing the types of things that a young woman does to be popular. I’m sure there are executives at MTV quite pleased today with the ten million viewers they had on Sunday, along with the video clips they now have to promote next year’s show.
I think the challenge for parents is to monitor what we’re communicating to our kids and watch for ways in which we may be influencing them in a direction we don’t really want.
Beautifully stated. I should be so wise…….
I really enjoyed reading this. I love your platform and from where you write. I really connected with “But my niggling conscience made me examine how I have managed the young people–my children!–for whom I am responsible. Because Miley’s antics will soon be faded fodder, but my kids will always be on the front page of my life. I’ve been asking myself what my husband and I are doing well…and in what areas we need to create firmer boundaries, provide more encouragement, step out of the way, or shut our mouths and listen.” It takes a conscious decision to remember that we all have to plan, evaluate, and adjust. Thanks for sharing!
Amen and amen.