Sometimes – every so often – you get wind of your kids stepping up in tough situations. And you think “they actually hear me!” We had one of those days recently. Our eldest, Jess, was thrust into a difficult setting. An old gut-wrenching experience reared its head once again. We’d been over the proper way to react, but it had been awhile. This time mom and dad weren’t nearby. So, she had to rely on her community of friends who didn’t know about the situation. They still don’t. But they quickly picked up on what was happening and gave her the confidence she needed to prevent the problem’s escalation. Jess came through in a great way, and we couldn’t be happier.
I’ve written about Mara Wilson (April 18 blog) who had avoided succumbing to the lifestyle of child stars by choosing a different path. I don’t know if it was a moral decision or just an honest evaluation of her desire for that profession. Regardless, she wasn’t sucked in to the fame and fortune that would have been hers. I have mixed feelings whenever a child star appears on the scene because Mara Wilson is the exception to the rule. We’ll see most of their lives unravel before us through various media.
Imagine how difficult it must be to parent these children. Macaulay Culkin, Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Bynes, and many others have fallen into what looks like a parent-less trap. I may be naive, but it seemed that Billy Ray Cyrus did what he could to keep Miley under raps. How does one do that? As teenagers, the kids are bombarded with getting everything their hearts desire. It’s hard to combat. But, it’s not just celebrity parents who deal with this. It may be on a smaller scale, but our kids have to wrestle with desires, and it’s up to parents to guide them. Often it means making kids sad to show them the importance of good decision-making. Time after time we restrict what they’d like to watch or enforce bedtime even though it means their disapproval. Many times we have to make them refrain from verbally attacking another party who has wronged them, even though we often feel the same way. So often we say “no” to buying what everybody else seems to have because it is extreme and unnecessary.
However, when the day comes – and it will – that your child takes off the maturity training wheels and rides on their own; it will be all worth it. Take the little glimpses of those days as a reward now. You’ve earned it.
Point your kids in the right direction—when they’re old they won’t be lost. (Proverbs 22:6, The Message)