I don't know if we're doing this next generation any favours with shows like American Idol and America's got talent or even Hannah Montanna for that matter. These programs that foster the idea that success is found by winning a contest or that the only kind of success that counts is that found in showbusiness really challenges our roles as parents who want to raise kids with sound goals and values.
I was watching one of these shows the other night and a twenty-year-old kid said that if he won the million dollars he would want his mom to quit working. The camera then found his mother (who looked to be about 40 if that) at stage left beaming trying to look teary-eyed as a stray tear fell down her cheek.
I felt none of the things I'm sure I was supposed to feel. No sympathy for this kid who hadn't yet made it, no feelings of I hope you get to stop working lady after all these long years - what's it been 10 years in the workforce - of doing what - working at some midlevel office job?
It's a shame that so many young people think hard work the old fashioned way is for chumps. It's frightening hearing so many teenaged girls wishing they could be super models, or the next Britney or Paris. TV makes this looks so possible, like if they were just given the opportunity, they could rise to instant fame.
I read a news article where they were interviewing junior high students, and when asked what these kids wanted to do when they were grew up a majority of them said things like: I want to be an actress or I want to be a movie producer or I want to design clothes or I want to live in New York and write screenplays. One girl even said that she wanted to be a socialite like Paris! I'm not kidding. And very few said things like: I want to be a teacher or a policeman or a doctor or help people.
Celebrity culture's destructive presence is seeping into our homes on all levels it seems. It's hard to know what to do about it since isolating your children can't be healthy either. I mean let's face it, we do let Deaglan watch some TV but even the children's shows that we grew up with use pop culture's influence to increase their viewership. On Sesame Street a while ago, the puppets (muppets?) were spoofing a popular music video to teach the word of the day and the letter of the day.
Parenting is hard enough on it's own but having to compete with instant fame and rich socialites is another ball game alltogether. We really have our work cut out for us!