Our Life on Christ

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Don't Put Your Daughter in a Pageant!

Parenting Time Tuesdays

“Shut up! I said, ‘Shut up!'’’ “Move it. Now!” Sounds like something you might hear a drill sergeant yelling or maybe even a mom or dad at his or her wit’s end. But when I heard these words, it didn’t come from a military commander or any disgruntled parent; it came from the lips of a 4-year-old little girl named Kaleigha who was featured on TLC’s Toddlers & Tiara’s. To top it off, she was directing her commands at her parents!


I was yelling at the television when I saw this! I was blown away by so many things I saw while watching the show. A 7-year-old named Holly shaved her legs and got her hair highlighted. She said she did it because “Hannah Montana does it and Hannah Montana is pretty and a pop star.” When Holly was getting her acrylic nails put on, the nail tech asked her mother if she wanted the nails squared or rounded. She motioned to Holly and said, “Whatever Holly wants, she makes all her own decisions.” This mom is losing (has lost) control of her child: Hannah Montana is her daughter's role model and at seven, she makes decisions that she shouldn't even be thinking about until she is at least eighteen years old.


Not only are the girls in these high glitz pageants indirectly (or maybe even directly) being told that the way to be accepted is to be beautiful and the way to be beautiful is to have fake hair, nails, tans, eyelashes, and teeth, they are being allowed to do and have whatever they want.

One pageant mom on the show said that she doesn’t know what she wouldn’t pay to let her daughters do what they want to do. I just keep shaking my head in disbelief and confusion. We were not put on this earth to make our children happy and to give them things.


In the past, I thought that my aim was to have a happy child. Our goal as parents is not to have happy, smart, or even well-adjusted kids. Our goals it is to raise children who know and glorify God. Once God is the foundation, everything else falls into place. Besides, I have learned that a child is happiest with some boundaries and discipline.

I’ve been guilty, though, and I’m sure you have been, too: I’m preoccupied with whatever and a commercial comes on. The “Ooh, can I have that?” questioning starts. It’s a simple, “Yup, you can. Uh huh, you can have that one, too” until the show comes back on (this is no longer an issue since we don’t watch television anymore but, that is another post all together!). I don’t actually purchase all the things that were marketed to her in those few minutes but what I have found is that she thinks she’s going to get all the things I said yes to. I wonder why.

When we go to the store, she asks for more things. Sometimes I give in, sometimes I don’t. The point is that we are teaching our kids that “stuff” (toys, crowns, money) will make things better. I am reading "Shepherding a Child's Heart" by Tedd Tripp. He made the following point: Parents pander to children’s desires and wishes; teach them to find their soul’s delight in going places and doing things; attempt to satisfy their lust for excitement; fill their lives with distractions from God; give them material things and take delight in their delight for possessions; and we train them in an idolatry of materialism.

We do these things in an attempt to adapt to a culture that does not know God but then we expect them to deduce that a life worth living is found only in knowing and serving God. How does that compute? It doesn’t.

I am learning to not “take delight in their delight for possessions” but, in our culture, that is very hard! I hope to teach my daughters to be more others-focused instead of being so self-focused as so many people are. In studying Jesus and His life, it becomes easier to teach about God’s principles and standards. Parenting, like everything in life, is one big work-in-progress! I am so far away from doing it all right. I know one thing, though, I will never enter my daughters in a pageant!

What things do you do to make sure your child is not selfish, materialistic, and/or vain?

1 comment:

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