the “stuff happens” parenting philosophy

24 06 2008

I don’t keep up with the lives of celebrities much at all, because I have a life, so I don’t have to follow other people’s lives.  But while watching a regular news program, they mentioned the Miley Cyrus controversy, and they played a clip of her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, discussing it for the first time on TV.  The controversy is about some backless photos of her (which I haven’t seen), and I’m not going to pass judgment on that.  (FYI, Miley Cyrus plays Hannah Montana, who is extremely popular with youth these days, and she’s only 15 years old.)

With the introduction out of the way, I’d like to quote part of her father’s reaction to this on TV:

“I didn’t know they were going to strip her down and wrap her in a blanket.  I was surprised when I saw it … but, hey, that’s life.  Stuff happens.” ~ Billy Ray Cyrus

So he says he doesn’t approve of the inappropriate photos, but then he says, “Stuff happens.”  What irks me about the situation is that both Miley and her dad claim to be Christians.  And as Hannah Montana, she is a role model for a lot of young girls, and she compromised her standards (unintentionally, she says), and her dad admits it was bad, but then he doesn’t take a stance on it.  This is his 15-year-old daughter.

Billy Ray Cyrus also said he didn’t have any words with Miley about it.  Consider the philosophy he used to explain his lack of discussion and discipline:

“I didn’t, ’cause my dad always said, The more you stomp in poop, the more it stinks.” ~ Billy Ray Cyrus

Obviously he has the freedom as a parent to handle things how he sees fit, but it saddens me if this influences any other people.  I suspect there’s too many parents these days who are afraid of the tough discussions, so they avoid them, and children don’t receive the discipline and instruction that is needed for them to grow up to be responsible adults.

To me, this reflects one of the major problems with our society these days: the lack of personal responsibility.  To dismiss something like this with “stuff happens”, is lame.  She made the choice, and he is still her legal guardian and parent.  So he should have some responsibility for her bad choices.  But apparently he doesn’t feel much responsibility for it, because he isn’t even discussing it with her.  Of course, there is the chance that she learned her lesson from the negative exposure, but there’s also a large chance that she learned the wrong lesson.  Look at the other child stars like Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan who have departed far from where they started as children in the industry.

If Miley really was naive enough to think the pictures were all innocent and harmless and that no one would try to take advantage of her popularity to create some controversy, then maybe her parents should’ve warned her about this already and they should keep a watch for things like this.  She is only 15, so there’s a lot about life that she doesn’t know yet.

Like I said, her parents have the right to raise her how they want, but they should realize that she is still their responsibility.  But what do I know — I don’t have any children.  But if I imagine myself in Billy Ray’s situation, I would definitely handle things differently.

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3 responses

25 06 2008
fabulous hannah

wah wah wah…gripe gripe gripe:)

26 06 2008
Thomas Wayne

Ironically, I got an issue of the AFA Journal magazine in the mail yesterday, and there was an article about this exact thing…

You can add Jessica Simpson to the list, too. Supposedly she was going to be a Gospel singer when she started, but now she appears to not have the same convictions. Likewise for her dad, who used to be a preacher, I think. So instead of her using her talents for the glory of God, she exploits her talents & her body to make money and gain temporary fame. It’s sad…

18 07 2008
Miley Cyrus music fan

At this point miley is a product of american society and it doesnt matter what her or her father think, everything will be driven from her “work” whether is be as actor, singer, or half nude child role model. Its just a sad truth.

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