I’ve heard Justin Bieber‘s name a bit in the media lately. From egging his neighbor’s home to being arrested on drag racing and DUI charges most recently early this morning. Does this spell trouble ahead for this pop star, or is it simply a teenager being a teen? Let’s take a look at some of the other childhood stars gone bad as well.
Let’s face it, children who grow up in the music industry or become Hollywood darlings at a young age, face problems a lot faster than most of our own children do. They are subjected to an adult world with adult vices and rarely lack the capacity to withstand the onslaught that fame and popularity bring. There are drugs, alcohol, questionable values – all things that our own children encounter as well – but do they have the same strong support system that our children have to keep them on the straight and narrow, or are they a product being pushed to the point of breaking – without their even realizing it?
They live in a world of entitlement where their every whim catered to by the industry, and are deprived of the “normal” childhood they should have. The childhood in which you have to earn what you want by doing your chores, getting good grades, etc. is non-existent for them. Yes, they attend school, but the importance of getting a good education to further their career seems to be a mute point since they already have a career making them millions a year.
Children, like Justin, in the entertainment industry that become mainstream and are plastered across our televisions, in print, and on the radio, live in a world that most of us can only imagine. How many other 18 year old children do you know that own their own multi-million dollar mansion in Beverly Hills? At the age of 18, I was sharing a one bedroom apartment above a Coney Island hot dog restaurant in Pottsville, Pennsylvania – thankyouverymuch. These children are given carte blanche when it comes to spending money, and more often than not, that freedom goes to their heads. They are, after all, still children.
You Can’t Treat Me Like That
Child stars are treated differently by law enforcement, their peers, their own families for that matter. More often than not, these child stars are the sole support of their families, and as a result, they are given “free reign” by those closest to them. Most of these children realize at a young age that they are in control – whether their family admits it or not. I’m not going to do my homework and you cannot make me. If you do, I won’t buy you that new car you want. The luxury and entitlement have gone to their heads and they feel “above” the “little people” that basically put them where they are.
Our children understand that for every action, there is a reaction. That includes consequences for actions that are unbecoming or not in keeping with our family values. Time and time again; however, we see special treatment being given to those in the entertainment industry, sometimes with nothing more than a slap on the wrist and a “don’t do that again” warning from the judge.
It saddens me when I see these articles flash across my screen. It makes me wonder where this child’s parents are. I don’t care if you are a global singing sensation. At age 19 (his 20th birthday is not until March 1), Justin Bieber should have been at home with his parents, not at some night club allegedly drinking, doing drugs and then drag racing.
It reminds me of something my father used to tell me. “If you don’t know where your children are, they are most likely someplace that they should not be.” At age 19, my boys would not be at a night club, they would not be the owners of their own home, and they most certainly would not be drag racing.
If more of the Hollywood-types would step up and be parents and instill curfews and consequences for their child prodigies that normal children have, we would see a lot less of the Justin Biebers in our morning papers. If Wikipedia is to be believed, and Justin has a Christian background and upbringing, then he knows that the things he is doing are not in keeping with his core family values. He is a teen testing the waters to see just what he can and cannot do and get away with just like any other teenager and as such needs reminding that there are consequences for his actions.
These childhood stars who miss out on that all important time, also miss out on the lessons in life that they need to become responsible adults. Unfortunately, all too often this also leads to trouble with the law, stints in rehab for drug and alcohol addiction, or possibly even suicide.
Children are children no matter what their social station in life is. Whether you are poor, middle class, or have a butler to wake you and dress you every morning makes no difference. Your childhood is when you learn right from wrong, how to build lasting relationships, and when you learn that for every action taken there is a consequence. This mom will be saying a prayer for this young man in the hopes that his parents will step up and put a stop to the nonsense – for his own sake.