Friday, July 25, 2008

Bring Back Childhood

Charity, by Frederick Morgan

Check out Lovely Whatevers for more childhood paintings like this.

Lillibeth has updated her blog today with something about childhood in regards to the way the young singers and pop stars seem to be steering them. It is sad that many parents actually promote this diversion and cause their children to be distracted from a normal childhood. These girls are wrapped up in the culture of the current "star" and missing out on a lot. Whatever happened to experiencing nature, in the form of picnics, flying kites, floating toy boats, planting a little garden, or going for walks and looking at clouds? What about enjoying innocent indoor things like making paper dolls and doll houses, learning to draw and paint, or making up your own tunes and songs? Following after a singer will not give these children the resourcefulness they need for life and it will not grant them the kind of childhood they need in order to have right thinking and good judgement later on. A lot of money is spent to help make these young stars rich, when it could be spent on creative things to develop children's Be sure to read the article here.


Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia,

Unfortunately, being a lady, a wife, a mother, doesn't rank very high in society's list of priorities for young women.

I have two boys and I find the same problem for them as you have mentioned for girls.

We must stay vigilant and make sure, as parents, that they are involved in worthy endeveours where they could learn a trade for future use.

Thank you for posting...


Father's Grace Ministries said...

I loved this article and echo a hearty AMEN! I know of other chilldren, the same age as our eldest girl who is six, who are sadly right into this sort of thing.It's all part of the world trying to sexulalize children, and yes, literally skip over childhood.

While we encourage Christian toys and classic novels etc in our home and generally discourage a lot of pop-culture, if someone like Miley Cyrus comes on the news, or a similar show, we often sit with our girls, talk about her performance and or dress, and discuss what God would think of this or that. Being brought up to be modest and to know the Bible, they usually come up with the right answers themselves- an important tool to help stand against peer pressure in the future.

Jessica said...

Oh! I couldn't agree more, but unfortunately, my 13 yo daughter loves Miley Cyrus and my husband doesn't think there is anything wrong with it. I have tried to appeal to him about this, but his argument is that she could be into something or someone a lot worse. I don't like the show; and I've talked to my daughter and told her (and my husband) how it isn't right that everyone's lives in the show revolve around her. And the show tries to convince young girls that their goals in life should be to become "stars". And that's aside from all of the other obvious things. She claims to be a Christian also, which, it is not my place to say whether she is or isn't, but she has been falling into the Hollywood pit lately just as other young girls in the scene who started out like her; and I fear it will only get worse. (I am talking about the recent inappropriate pictures that have been leaked to the public.)
Please pray for my family--that my husband and I would see eye to eye on these issues and that my oldest daughter would give up her near obsession with Miley Cyrus!

Anonymous said...

I just read the article and I have to say a hearty AMEN as well, very well written, I couldn't have said it better myself. God bless.....Marie

Anonymous said...

This whole pop star culture is pervasive in the public school system. It's not because the schools promote it, though, they do have posters of these kinds of stars on the Got Milk campaigns and whatnot in the cafeteria. My daughter went for K, 1st and almost through 2nd grade. Though we pulled our daughter out of school primarily for other reasons, this whole fashion/rock star culture was actually part of it as well. We live in a very affluent area. The state of fashion what it is, my daughter was surrounded by little girls wearing tight low-riser bell bottom jeans with glitter, low cut tank tops with crocheted shrugs, sparkly shoes, tight mini-skirts and belly-revealing t-shirts, etc. Many with designer labels, of course. When I was a little girl in the 70's, these were clothes that prostitutes wore. Did you catch that my daughter stopped going to school in 2nd grade?

Miley-mania is happening at all levels. It starts before they even begin kindergarten. The problem is THE ONE parent who caves in. When other girls envy the girl who has the pink Hannah Montana bra or the lavendar Mary-Kate & Ashley tube top with gold glitter, they all want it. You don't even have to buy certain items of clothing for the culture to impact how they dress. I bought my daughter some cute things that sometimes look questionable on her. Not because of what they are (skorts, layering t-shirts), but how she puts an outfit together. These young girls can put outfits together like some of the best stylists in Hollywood. It's their culture.

Ultimately, parents are responsible for the media they put in front of their children, but, honestly, it's not like we have many choices anymore. Lots of folks don't want to give up their tv time, and this is the result. Viacom (owner of MTV and Nickolodeon) knows this and puts out material that encourages all kinds of behaviors. Marketing budgets for children's programming and products exceeds the GNP of some small countries. Kids are big business, and you can see how rotten they are becoming as a result!

Unknown said...

As I read your blog this morning I think of my children dd13 & ds12 and the things they do. We h/s but that doesn't mean we are prone to popular demand. HSM is top on my dd list but yet I see her making up dances w/her nieces & nephew. She makes cards & scrapbooks. Lately she is taking digtal pictures for the county fair. Ds I have a little harder time getting him away from the electronics. They are greatly limited though. He built a fort w/dad out of pallets. He rides his bike everyday for excrise. When we had chickens he helped me take care of them.
There is a lot of things do w/o the t.v. on & some times the radio.
But we don't live on a farm 40 acres to be exact. They both want to continue riding lesson & the stable is willing let them work for it.
Years ago my hubby remembers town kids mowing lawn all the time.
Now they don't know what work is.
It is sad how our society spoiled our children.

Lydia said...

When I get time, my daughter and I will put our heads together and provide a list of things parents can do with children, that will literally crowd out any time for nonsense like popular stars, and still give them much much pleasure and leisure activity. I cannot figure out how these child stars get past the labor laws. Our children want to work but they aren't allowed to go in the strawberry fields or the bean fields until a certain age. Yet the child stars are put to work at get rich before the age of 15. How do they get away with it?

Anonymous said...

To be honest I could care less about Miley Cyrus. I think it is up to her parents to train her right and protect her. If they are choosing not to do that to the best of their ability that is their fault and they will find out at some point that money and fame are not worth what they are doing their daughter and to others.

What matters to me is what I do with my children. How I train and protect them from images such as Miley Cyrus. I make sure they play with children who are not celebrity worshipers. I encourage them to find their talents with the Lord and not elsewhere. That's what's important to me.

Oh, and I love this topic and the article from Lilibeth!

Lady, Lydia, do you have other children?
Blessings to you and yours,
Mrs. Farrah Ginter

Anonymous said...

I never thought about child labor laws and child stars. I am 17 years and I agree. People need to stop treating celebrities like gods. It's not just the children there are a lot of adults that are obsessed with Hollywood. Very few of these people have any talent. Miley Cyrus is highly overrated. I like technology than playing outside though. I enjoy ny television, Dvd, and computer.

Anonymous said...

I read this post earlier this morning, & I've had some time to ponder my answer. We (parents) MUST scrutinize our own tastes nearly everything.
What music do WE listen to?
What types of clothes do WE like
to wear?
What type of (or how many)
activities do WE participate in?
What kind of humor do WE find
Must WE have the television on
(whether for dvd's or broadcast)
most of the time?

I cannot, by myself, change what I think is wrong with our society...except try to bring up children who will, over time, accept my values & begin to live them out as their own; to teach them to know their Creator, & learn to love & trust Him. I have to be willing to run counter culture, willing not be be one of the "cool kids" (yes, even we adults are guilty of subscribing to that mentality sometimes), willing to be disliked on occasion by my children, willing to..... there are so many more, aren't there? And sometimes it can be a lonely walk, raising our children. I'm grateful for a few friends & relations I have that are walking the same path, & the acquaintances I've made through blogs like this.

Miley Cyrus is a brand, like so many others we have shoved at us. Perhaps at heart she's a pretty nice little girl, but it seems to me she's on her way to being hardened, used up, by the entertainment industry. I also think her father is clinging to her popularity right now, so he's not going to stand in the way of her being promoted. I'd have thought the famous Coogan Law would prevent parents from profiting monetarily by their children's labor.


Anonymous said...

My 11 year old daughter loves Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus - I wasn't thinking it was too bad..I've watched the show a few times and it *generally* has some sort of positive thing in it - like if the kids do something wrong, there's consequences of some sort...or they feel remorse and remedy something, do the right thing..that sort of stuff...

I was figuring, at least HM/MC is better than what *I* was into at her age - some of the music I listened to was WAY worse than this... in language, style, the works.

I'm not overly keen on the clothes, but it's better than some of what's available for preeteens - you should see what passes for clothes in my neighbourhood sometimes, yikes.

*Thoughtful* about this post and the linked one've given me some stuff to think about.

(Ha, it's been one of those days - I thought I replied earlier LOL, evidently I just wrote it in my head. Not the first time LOL)

Just Me said...

My almost 13 year old daughter and I were talking about this just today. A friend of hers really likes Hannah Montana. My daughter watches the show some but she told me she has no interest in following Hannah Montana...
wearing her clothes, listening to her music etc. She just doesn't get into that stuff, like I remember doing as a young girl. I am so grateful to hear that, because sometimes I don't think I protect her enough from all these outside influences, even though we homeschool. My children do enjoy doing all the things you mentioned in this post. I really hope it stays that way for them.

candy said...

Dear Lydia,
I agree that its so sad that todays children are being distracted from a nice, normal, good old fashioned, pure, modest, sweet and special way of life. Its discouraging.
We are to train up our children the way they should go so when they are old they wont depart from it or from us.
Thats why many more families are opting out of public school to instead homeschool their children. Thankfully this step will help cut back on the exposure of wordly shows and music and of practically worshipping celebrities.
I dont look up to any celebrity. Not one. I dont want to be like them, wear their brands, listen to their music or follow their movies or shows. I need to set an example to my child.
We need to bring back the basics! The good old fashioned way of life. Its totally possible. All it takes is more moms and dads being brave and standing up for whats right instead of giving into whats popular.
It was a great article by Lillibeth.


Kelli said...

A primary school teacher told me children today only enjoy doing simple things (as described) until about the age of 7 or 8. That's a short childhood. I remember playing with dolls until 12 years and not taking an interest in 'pop stars' until 16. I'm in my 30s now - so I guess a lot must have changed in two decades. I think parents in general would like their kids to experience simpler childhoods (as they themselves had) as there are a growing number of books on these topics). However with the media being a strong force in many homes and peer pressure at school makes it an uphill battle for parents today.

Mrs. Anna T said...

Dear Lydia,

I can't help but think that on the one hand, girls are terribly pressured to leave their innocent childhoods behind - look at 8-10-year-old girls trying to dress like they are 16 (where are their parents looking?)

On the other hand, grown women are pressured NOT to grow up. Look at 35-year-olds who attempt to look like like 16-year-olds. We are pressured not to get married, start families, or be responsible for others.

In other words, we are encouraged to be stuck in a perpetual teenage-hood (I'm not sure if that's a correct English expression, but surely you understand). A particular age is promoted as an ideal, and the beauty of seasons of life is missed.

There's a beauty in being a sweet young child. There's beauty in being a young single woman, and a new wife, and a young mother - and also incredible beauty to watch your family grow. There's also beauty in growing older, and reveling in dear grandchildren who are placed in your arms.

There's a season for playing with dolls, and for getting married; for bearing and raising children, and for educating them to be mature adults; a season for wrinkles, and knitting for your grandchildren. Our culture is missing out on the beauty of every season, by hanging on to the vision of eternal youth.

Ecclesiastes says it much better than me: "For every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven."

A blessed day to you and to everyone!

Laura Ashley said...

I wanted to chime in on the child labor laws for child/teen entertainers. There is an exception made for them that is noted in the law. (the law also includes other jobs that children often do like delivering or babysitting)

Gina said...

After reading this post I got up and showed my six year old daughter how to make paper dolls. I loved doing that when I was a girl, getting so creative with pattern and color. As soon as I said "YOU get to be the fashion designer" a huge grin came over her little face. She just came over and showed me her heart patterned dress and kissed my cheek. Thank you for the inspiration!

Kate said...

I thank my parents for keeping me more sheltered and allowing me to enjoy my childhood. I played with dolls and enjoyed pretty little hobbies such as singing songs, drawing and wrighting and gardening long after my peers painted nails, sought boyfriends, and swooned over "hot" TV stars.

I'm glad my childhood was extended. I'm thankful my innocence was kept intact longer. Unfortunately, the world pressure finally caved in around me and it was accepted as normal. Thankfully, the upbringing I had remained in my background and I only dabbled in the world so much before finding it utterly ridiculous, wasteful and even hurtful.

DonnaB said...

I smiled when I read this post because when my daughter (who is almost 15) has friends over she plans activities like laying on the trampoline to watch clouds, walking down to a pond in our neighborhood and having paper boat contests, blowing bubbles off the back deck and watching them carried about the wind or simply climbing trees. When her friends leave, they say what a great time they had and how they never have enjoyed such simple pleasures before.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia,

I always feel enlighted and inspired reading your blog. I value your opinion; I have a question. How do you feel about girls and ballet or liturgical class?


Aelwyn said...

Everyone needs heroes. The problem is the kind of "heroes"/role models that are put before children today. We need to point our children to the saints throughout ALL time - the Bible, the early Church, all the way through the twentieth century. Both boys and girls need this.

Good character building fictional stories are fine, but I find that Christian merchandising gets a bit out of hand with some of the "Christian" toys. Much of it, such as action figures, just imitates what the world offers. I saw a stuffed Jesus doll in a bookstore the last time I was in. Something just wasn't right about that. When I look for "Christian" alternatives to things like American Girl dolls, the cost is exorbitant. That size doll sells without a name and label for about a quarter of the cost.

All that to say, I think it is important first to put good, strong Christian role models and good stories out there for our children; discerningly discuss how to be in the world and not of it; and, watch out that we don't just imitate the world's stuff and ways by repackaging it with a Christian label.

Imagination and simplicity lead to a much healthier childhood.

One final thought...I mentioned in church to a mother of a large family that it is so difficult to raise girls nowadays because of the push towards immorality. She said that she was more worried about her boys. Her girls can be sheltered through not watching t.v. and reading the right books. Her boys will be confronted with temptation every time they walk down the street because of the way many girls dress. They have a far bigger battle with sin than the girls do. Something to think about...

Jennifer C. Valerie said...

Ms Lydia
I'm not sure if you will read this comment today but I hope so. My mother in law is being taken to the hospital this morning. Could you please pray for her and the doctors who are going to be checking her. Details on my blog. Thanks in advance