Very few of us can honestly say we weren’t a little interested when we heard the news of the latest celebrity debacle. We may have even picked up that tabloid in the grocery store line to peruse the gossip. After all, we’re only human. And somewhere, deep down, maybe we do take some pleasure in the fact that seemingly perfect celebrities are not only imperfect, but sometimes wildly flawed.
Which is why it was surprising to come across a recent article about how parents can learn a few lessons from their favorite gossip column personalities. That is, until I actually read the article.
Dr. Laura Berman, writing for the Chicago Sun-Times, picked out 3 important details that all parents should know. Of course, they probably know them already, but sometimes Hollywood can be a little behind.
First: a parent should not try to be a child’s friend. Kids have enough friends – what they need is someone who can set clear limits, not someone who is afraid to say no. It is a large problem not only amongst celebrities, but also for many parents of “Generation Me.” But with expensive toys and games, all-expense paid vacations, matching (and not to mention inappropriate) mommy-and-me outfits, and even parents taking their teens to clubs, celebrities may have surpassed the rest of America when it comes to this destructive trend. I didn’t see the photo of Melanie Griffith lighting her daughter’s cigarette, but somehow it doesn’t surprise me.
Second: along with not being your children’s friend, you should also not try to be their “warden.” The example? Why, Joe Simpson, of course. Which is simply too substantial and disturbing of a subject to get into here. Suffice it to say that parents should not be controlling every aspect of their (especially adult) children’s life. (Note to self for helicopter parents.) It’s important to recognize that discipline and assistance are both very different things than dominance. At some point, it becomes time to let go – at least a little – and let your child use the lessons you have taught them to venture out on their own, make their own mistakes, learn from them, and flourish.
Third: always remember that you serve as a model for your child, and that they will learn everything – from their values to their beliefs to what they expect of a relationship – from the example you set. This is not a surprising lesson to learn from Hollywood, as many stars act as if they don’t have children at all. Following her mother along to clubs perhaps led to Drew Barrymore’s own addiction problems before she even reached her teen years, and one has to be glad Britney Spears’ sons are too young to be paying attention to the example she has been setting lately.
Guess all us regular Moms we can all let go of that celebrity dream!