Friday, February 19, 2010

Watch Out, the Parent Police are Coming

I'm tired. Sick and tired. Not just of the day to day judging that parents seem to do to one another. I've talked about that until even my ears are bleeding. But of the desire to judge famous people as parents.

We hate parents who have full time nannies, but we also hate parents who drag their kids everywhere. We hate Katie Holmes for letting Suri wear high heels, but we hate Brad and Angelina for letting Shiloh dress like a boy.

But that's just the beginning. What we really love to hate is parents who let their kids be on television. I have read more disparaging horrible things about Kate Gosselin, Michelle Duggar and Billy Ray Cyrus than all other parents on the planet combined.

I can't fathom what sins they have committed against the world that warrants the hatred I see directed toward them every day.

Kate may be a little bit of a harpie, but I am constantly overwhelmed by her amazing organizational skills. I have two children and I can't imagine being able to feed them all organic foods. She has eight and she manages it with aplomb. It takes me as long to get my two buckled into their car seats as it takes her to get eight.

And as to the obvious psychological damage that being on television causes to kids, I'm not sure that there is any evidence of that. This is really the first generation of reality shows, so there is no real precedent. But let's compare to child actors. Do you think that Kate's brood is any more damaged than say the Olsen twins? What about the kid who played Gage in Pet Semetary and cussed out half of Maine?

And as for Michelle... Well, personally, I think she's a whack job. I can't imagine choosing to have that many kids. I can't imagine choosing to have half that many kids. Possibly a quarter is the limit of my view of "normal." But frankly, she's doing a good job. She has well-behaved respectful kids. Her older kids know how to care for smaller children and do so on a regular basis. I may not agree with their faith, but I can respect her dedication to it. Yes, I think she's a little crazy for not closing up shop while she's still lucky, but if she wants to have 40 kids and can support them and continue to raise them to be as good as the current 19, I say have at it.

And finally, Billy Ray. Oh, dear, sweet, achey brakey Billy Ray. Okay, Miley may not be the most wholesome angel in the clouds, but newsflash, she's an American teenager, read imperfect. And frankly, I think Billy Ray is doing a great job with her. He's providing her with a safety net while allowing her to make her own mistakes. He's staying involved and letting her grow up.

And Noah Cyrus. I'm a little tired of all the outrage about her. The video of her slapping her own behind. Yeah, I don't think that's appropriate. But you know what, I don't think any of the viral videos of kids dancing MTV-worthy dances to that apple bottom jeans song are appropriate. And that's what it was: a viral video. Posted by an overzealous big sister who thought her kid sister was super cute.

People. Listen to me. Parenting is a messy art. It's finger painting on it's finest day. There are going to be spots on the floor. You don't get fewer spots for the number of zeroes on your paycheck. Let's cut celebrity parents a little slack. We are all in this together. Even the people on the cover of US Weekly.


Steve said...

I'll admit that the specific cases you are talking about mean nothing to me as they don't get the same exposure over here. The UK public has its own list of parents they love to hate.

It seems to me that growing up is hard enough without doing it in the public spotlight. And given most famous kids don't choose to be famous, I agree with the sentiment of your final paragraph.

Bibs, Burpies and Beyond said...

Parenting is not easy. You learn with your own mistakes and hope to be doing your best. I raised 3 boys and thank God they are all doing well and are professionals. The mistakes that they make are theirs now, not my doing. Now I'm rasing my twin granddaugthers, They are 12yrs. My Lord, talk about hormones and drama.I love them to death, but I will have boy any time.
The parents that you mention,I don't know how they do it.I think is just pure instinct. You had them and you do and manage as best as you can.

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

Having boys doesn't necessarily prevent drama. My son can be as much of a drama queen as any girl, any day. Gee, I don't know HOW I wound up with a high strung kid! ;-)