The show Toddlers & Tiaras isn’t one to shy away from controversy–or should I say, the parents of the children on the show aren’t?
In a past post, Why Christian Moms Would Never Enter Their Little Girls in Pageants, I listed why Christian mothers would never enter their children in these types of pageants. The primary reason is that they sexualize young girls, and a true Christian mom would never place her child in such a dangerous position.
But another sad aspect of these pageants is becoming clear. Take a look at the following clip.
So now, these young girls are not only being encouraged to dress provocatively, but they’re also being pushed to enact bad behavior. I think the most revealing aspect was the mother’s justification–that adding the cigarette would make her daughter look cool. Cool? Seriously? Cigarettes are cool now? I thought we as parents were supposed to send the message that cigarettes are not cool.
It’s pretty obvious there’s virtually no line between child and adult in these events, even if the child is only 4 years old. And the saddest part is that, though the media promotes the sexualization of young girls, in this case, it’s the moms who are encouraging it.
Where does it end? These moms are so focused on winning and notoriety that they’re willingly and gladly damaging their kids.
The doctor in the clip is correct when he says the parents are getting high on the sound of applause. They’re living vicariously through their children in order to feel a sense of achievement. But in order to get that applause, they compromise their parenting responsibilities.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).
The truth in this verse should be a guiding force. A parent’s responsibility is to guide their children well so the kids take those lessons through life. But in contrast, these parents are teaching bad behaviors and values, and in the same way, their children will take these teachings with them.
The parents don’t demonstrate restraint and therefore don’t offer it to the children to emulate. Because of this, I fear these young girls are being led by the hand–by their parents–toward their own demise.
Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death (Proverbs 19:18).
Discipline is lacking when a child is taught to behave without restraint or the knowledge of what’s right or wrong. And when parents lose sight of what’s right and wrong, then how can a child know what’s good? A child looks up to her parents and believes that what’s being taught is always right. And since a child has no real control of her life, and the parents in these situations have lost sight of good values, it becomes a vicious circle. And so I turn this concern over to Christ, and I ask that you pray with me.
Lord God, I ask You to open the eyes and hearts of these mothers and fathers, so that they see the destruction in their actions. Let them understand, Lord, that these children are Yours and You have gifted them only temporarily. Let them understand that you have entrusted them in their hands with the expectation that they will guide them, teach them and discipline them, and all in a manner that is according to Your teachings. And Lord, I pray that when these young girls grow to an age of understanding, You open their eyes also, so that they recognize that true beauty is in the heart and that a successful life is not achieved by sexualizing themselves or enacting bad behavior.
Girls, do you think that Toddlers & Tiaras parents are compromising good parenting for the sake of fame?