Pop Culture: How Much Is Too Much?Written by Linda Hill
The other day, I saw a link to the latest Miley Cyrus video and out of curiosity, I clicked on it. If you haven’t seen it yet….DON’T! I’m not sure there’s enough soap in the world to scrub my brain of those images. It was an experience that reminded me of one of my better parenting decisions. When my kids were very young, I decided that I was NOT going to immerse my kids in pop culture. I made it a point to NEVER put someone else’s name or image on my kids shirts, blinking shoes, backpacks, and lunch boxes. I also didn’t take them to sold-out concerts after waiting in line for hours to get the limited (and very expensive) tickets. I distinctly remember the phases of Brittney Spears, Aaron Carter, N’Sync, Lindsay Lohan…and more recently; One Direction, the “Bieb,” Taylor Swift and so many others who have made it big. They have been marketed in a big way to our children with their names and faces on pencils and school supplies to an entire lines of clothing. Did you know Justin Bieber even has his own women’s fragrance?!? Is it any wonder that in a 2009 survey of British children, it was found that the top three career aspirations for five-11 –year-olds were sports star, pop star, and actor….compared with teacher, banker and doctor only 25 years ago.
I might be dating myself here, but when I was a kid, it was the likes of Donny Osmond, Leif Garrett, Shaun Cassidy…and we can’t forget that hunky Greg Brady! I remember my older sister waiting in line for hours and hours to get Donny’s autograph at a mall. Even as a kid, I thought that was a waste of time, so I went to the movies instead. I wonder what happened to all those icons of the 70’s and 80’s? It might be a lively dinner discussion to tell your kids about who your idols were as a kid and then search the internet to see what they did after their “15 minutes of fame.” I mean, don’t get me wrong, my family certainly enjoys jammin’ the latest pop songs on the car radio and we all have our “favorites.” But after viewing the disaster that is Miley’s latest video, I’m grateful that I didn’t engage my kids in the frenzy surrounding these “super stars.” Most have become train wrecks and their fame and fortune has NOT served them well. I guess we’ve given them some place in our house…but it was usually as a “bad example” in those great dinnertime discussions about choice and consequence. I’m glad my children weren’t watching them too closely and idolizing them. There are plenty of parenting mistakes I’ve made, but the decision not to sell my kids out to pop culture turned out to be one of the wiser parenting tactics. As for superheroes ….that’s an entirely different story!
When you were young, what was your favorite television program? Who was your favorite comic strip or book series hero? (Taken from When I Was Little story starter)
Linda Hill is a native of…well, nowhere really. She grew up as an Air Force brat and currently claims Littleton, CO as her home of 8 years (the longest she’s lived any one place in her life so far!) She is the mother of 5 children, two sons and a daughter who have already “flown the coop” and 2 daughters in high School. She is a graduate of Brigham Young University in Family Science and put her degree to use as she raised her large family and operated several home-based businesses while serving in many volunteer positions in her church, community and the schools. She has been married to Kent Hill for 25 years and they look forward to at least another 125! Currently she is an instructor to teens for a daily early morning religion class. She is passionate about her family, storytelling, politics and when she gets the time – locking herself in her sewing room with a chick flick and getting her “creative” on!
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