Role Models

I’ve got to be honest with you – in some ways, I am absolutely terrified of having kids. For starters, I just really like to sleep. My wife Michelle and I regularly cite this as one of our top reasons why we haven’t had kids yet. But aside from that, it’s just a tough, tough job to be responsible for guiding and shaping a kid into a reasonable, responsible, well-adjusted adult. And it’s not getting any easier…

In entertainment news this weekend, Miley Cyrus was filmed at a party smoking from a bong. But apparently the bong wasn’t filled with marijuana. The substance she was smoking is called salvia divinorum, which is legal to possess and use in California. The problem is that, even though the plant is legal in California, it contains a fairly powerful psychoactive element similar to opium. You can see the effects on Miley pretty much immediately.

Miley Cyrus as 'Hannah Montana'

Let me get back to why being a parent scares me, though… Miley Cyrus is pretty much beloved by a large chunk of girls who are in their early teens now because of her time as Disney’s Hannah Montana. That show was pretty much good, clean, wholesome family fun. Lots of parents let their young girls watch Hannah Montana, and, inevitably, she became sort of a role model for many of them.

Fast forward a few years to when Miley ended her run as Hannah Montana and struck out on her own musical career. At first, it was still pretty much bubble-gum pop. So, many of the girls who idolized Hannah Montana now turned their admiration to Miley herself.

Fast forward a couple more years to stuff like this, and her more recent music videos like this one and this one, and the picture changes dramatically.

Now the huge problem, as I see it, is that Miley Cyrus (and about a million young girl role models before her, so please don’t think I’m just picking on her) has undergone a major transformation in the last 2-3 years. A much, much larger transition than most of her young fans are even capable of. So what do you do if you’re a parent and your daughter became a huge fan of Miley’s during the Hannah Montana years? Obviously, if you’re a decent and responsible parent, you don’t want your daughter growing up to dress like this or this in public. But how do you break it to your kids that the person they’ve idolized for the last however many years is no longer someone that you want them paying attention to.

If I didn’t say it before I’ll say it now, parents have a hard job. What about you? Any kids? Any stars they’ve grown up watching that make you nervous now? How do you handle it?



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