I'm sure you've all heard the story about the fiasco with the deceptive mom trying to get Hannah Montana tickets.
Although I'm frustrated with this type of parenting, I don't really want to harp on the mom, that's been done enough on the web and otherwise. I'd just like to take a step back and discuss generally what I think we can learn from this event and the public's reaction.
First, lets look at this parenting style. Here's an snippet to examine:
“We wrote whatever we could to win,” she said at the time.
Okay, so in general, what are we doing when we work super hard to achieve a goal that is not a godly goal? What I mean is, while there may not be anything wrong with Hannah Montana, there isn't anything eternity changing about going to one of her concerts either. If we are seeking after things of this world without also seeking out things of God, we are doing our kids harm. Do we ever work hard to get our kids something worldly but then not work equally hard to get them to church camp, Sunday School or to do devotions or even just read a bedtime story to them?
I know a great Christian mom who is also a coach/PE teacher in the area. Her family is busy with all the things modern families are busy with--and her husband is a coach, too--but when I heard she did devotions with her two children before school each day, even though her husband didn't do them, I was touched. That's the kind of sacrifice that lasts more than a lifetime-it will have an eternal difference.
Here's another snippet:
Asked how she explained the events to her daughter, she said, “I told my daughter the truth. I told her we wrote an essay and they said it was a lie. And I refused to accept the tickets. I told her there will be another time.”
Blaming-did you see that? "They said it was a lie". Blaming is huge today. And I'm guilty. Boy, when I stub my toe on something random left out in the floor, my first impulse is to blame someone for my pain. That would be my self inflicted pain. How about I just pay attention to where I'm going?
There's just something to be said about fessing up to our messing up. We're all human and mess up and integrity means speaking up before you're hounded down for clarification.
This statement also speaks to putting our children in the center of the universe. She's 6 (or maybe she's 7 now)-so why is she even going to a concert? When she's older, what will her entertainment be? Concerts will be so elementary school. And if we pacify our children with platitudes of "there will be another time" instead of saying, "When you're older..." we're only feeding their self centeredness. As a nation, we've taken our children and made miniadults out of them. Ironically, when they're adults, we've allowed them to stay teens. There's never been such a time of college grads moving back in with Mom and Dad as today.
“I’ve had to move out of my home,” she told Lauer. “I’ve received a lot of bad — a lot of harassment all over the Internet. I’ve been forced to close down my MySpace page. I have not been able to eat or sleep well. I have been very depressed.”
As the heart of our homes, moms and wives have a duty to make their home a haven. I'm not sure the background of who all lives in her home or why exactly she needs to move out (did her family living in her home kick her out? Did her neighbors harass her?), but clearly her home was probably not a haven, a sactuary of peace before this happened. If so, she could have retreated into her home and weathered the storm with her children safely tucked by her side.
As Americans, we have a fetish with our technology. I know this mom is only 25, but is it so bad that she had to cancel her myspace page? Did anyone force her to get on the web to receive the harassement? Could we do without our technology if it meant protecting ourselves and/or our children from the world? Can I do without my technology if I were spending too much time with it and ignoring the needs of my family? If it were my god and I'd lost my intimacy with my God?
Finally, let me end on a more positive note. The public's outcry against this woman, I'd like to believe, is because at least on some level, people "get" this. I know I'm not alone in my views about honesty, preserving our children's childhoods, and providing a healthy homelife.
I have a broader hope in this because of the rush of support for Mike Huckabee. He's out there with his faith, it's not a hidden, glossed over part of his life, it's who he is. He's out there with wanting to overturn Roe v. Wade. He appears to be a solid, ethical man of integrity--a rare find in politics--and I think America wants this.