Monday, August 06, 2007

Little Women

While far too many young Americans go to the Peter Pan school of adulthood, another, equally disturbing phenomena occurs: parents encouraging their children to be mini-adults. A friend relayed a story about her daughter's friend whose mother believes that her average little gnome is destined for Britney Spears greatness. And she does believe Britney is a worthy role model.

How old do you think the girl in the picture is? And where is her mother? Here's her mother's point-of-view when taken to task by the article's author:

Surely, she and Bethany's mother Catherine could stop pandering to their daughters' unhealthy obsession with their looks and refuse to pay for it?

Catherine says: "If her nails need doing or the tan needs topping up, Bethany complains she doesn't feel right - a feeling lots of women can associate with."

At a recent family party, Catherine recalls how a 14-year-old boy pursued her nine-year-old daughter.

"He wouldn't leave her alone all night, which made me feel very uncomfortable," says Catherine, who runs a furniture business with husband David, 42, in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.

"But thankfully she told him she was **** and not interested in him.

"I felt a little guilty because of the part I play in Bethany looking older than she is, but all her friends are the same, and when she works hard at school I'm loath to deny her the beauty treats she loves."

The cause of twenty-something adult babies and over-adult children is the same: indulgent parents with no sense. The adults rankle at having ever been told "no" themselves and will indulge in their licentiousness as parents--allowing their children to do all the things they weren't allowed to do as a kid.

As usual, how these parents raise their children is about them, not the child. The parent doesn't want to be the bad guy, or the grown up. The parent mourns all their missed opportunities to be Britney Spears and will go to any lengths and do anything to make sure their child has fame. Some goal, that. The parents focus on the superficial and transitory and their lives are devoid of spiritual or even natural meaning.

How will these children cope with the disappointment when they grow up and find out they get old and ugly just like everyone else yet their mind and spirit, which can still flower and develop through the years, has shriveled from disuse?

These adult children will be the ones still living with mommy and daddy in their twenties. No one else will feed their monster-sized egos. Look at how Britney Spears has reacted to tough love from her friends and family. It's not pretty.

Oh, and the girl in the picture is nine.


Anonymous said...

This post, I'm sure, speaks to many mothers raising young girls. I have my concerns as well.

I love this line: "...Yet their mind and spirit, which can still flower and develop through the years, has shriveled from disuse."

You could turn this into a poem! Very nice!!!

Anonymous said...

P.S. Melissa, you may want to look at the pictures again. I'm a bit confused under "here's her mother". There are 3 girls in the pictures..none are 9. Where is the mother? Thanks for your hard work!:-)

Anonymous said...

I looked at the picture again, I saw the nine year old. Sorry!

kman said...

This is just flat out disgusting. I'm reminded of "Little Miss Sunshine" which attempts to shine light on this exact issue. Exploitation and sexualization of young girls in beauty pagents. By the end of the movie you realize the "normal" people who have their girls in the pageant are way more screwed up than the completely dysfunctional family you've been following through the movie. That was my take-home lesson anyway.

Excellent post.

Kids can't be kids... adults can't be adults... whats the world coming too? Do these parents not see that letting your kids be adults hurts them? When the kids get older they should be adults but thats when they want to be kids... it's living life backwards. Very sad.