“Miley Cyrus, the 20-year-old singer who began her career as squeaky-clean star of the Hannah Montana television series, seems to have ditched that goody two-shoes image for good with her recent Video Music Awards (VMAs) performance. Did Miley’s performance cross the line, are we making too much of it, or are we missing a chance to have a more important conversation about race and sex? You be the judge”.
Are we missing a teachable moment?
I do believe we are.
We’re missing a great opportunity to use these recent events as a springboard for a much more fruitful debate.
Not only the parents out there, but all of us, adults [okay, I understand she is adult as well, but you get my point!]. Instead of judging or criticizing what happened, how about using it as a family dinning-table conversation topic?
Shocked? I would also be, if I weren’t a parent of young children, living through all the social events brought to us on a daily basis – can’t pretend we’re blind to the present-future opening their wings right in front of us… maybe even, coming to life in our very own TV room! My 5 1/2 year-old knows who ‘Miley-Montana’ is, and like many others her age, walks around the house repeating song chorus. As a parent, how should I approach her questions on ‘why can’t I watch this or that Disney channel shows?’ Should I just now say that her beloved Hanna is bad, and she should completely switch her idolatry towards ‘Lava Girl’ [and Shark Boy, for that matter]?
That said, are all the previously-innocent Disney stars turned evil? Have them all become bad examples to our children? Should I just turn the TV [and the computer!] off, once and for all? Is that a plausible solution?
That’s what social media lives and breathes on! Controversy is needed to sell papers, creating countless and endless postings on Facebook… increasing the Klout scores throughout social network channels… The whole fuzz on twerking? Sad to say, but unfortunately, many young girls who had not yet heard the term, are now ‘practicing Miley’s moves…
But… what’s the ‘message to take home’?
It’s not only about Miley Cyrus‘ performance, or her ‘not-so-appropriate’ display of oneself, and her puzzling lack of self-awareness. She is just one of the many examples of a debating behavior. Should I/could I judge her? Not sure about that. Not my place to do so, although, I can definitely take advantage of the current situation, and embrace a productive discussion. Any takers? 😮
The original article [inspiring this mini op-piece] presents an intriguing question: if we were missing a chance to have a larger discussion about race, sex, gender roles, and the evils of stereotyping?
The key point for the discussion, at least the way I see it, is the importance to teach children/teenagers about self-respect. There’s a crucial need for them to understand the meaning of self-awareness, and the consequences of their own acts.
We live in society, no one is an island, and we should all behave [and act] with these premises in mind. Teaching children/young adults to gain self-respect will surely assist them into improving their learning and creative skills, as well as their ability to understand/welcome love. Self-respect/self-esteem is closely related to happiness and success in life.
Strong senses of self-respect and self-esteem will help our children act responsibly, responsively and respectfully as they socially interact with others. Self-respect and self-preservation are concepts that should be the foundation of any growing individual. Happiness and the much-wanted success will follow on.
The ongoing lesson:
With strong self-respect, our children will know that they’re important, smart, valuable and unconditionally loved. We, the adults, parents, also need to do our share. We need to show our support and our respect towards that growing being. We’re asked to show our children they’re worthy of respect. And we do that by respecting their feelings, their privacy and their properties; expressing our pride in our children at every opportunity. Our children are unique, and should be cherished as such.
Also, another lesson to take home from this whole buzz is the importance the parents have on a growing child’s life. They [the children] need to learn how to fail. Mistakes are a fact of life. When we equip a child with skills necessary to make mistakes and regroup, we’re also teaching him/her how to analyze and learn from his/her mistakes.
The result will be a resilient child who keeps trying in the face of struggles and challenges. Maybe that’d have been a great advice for they ‘younger/growing’ Miley Cyrus… learn from your mistakes, even from the very big, ‘media-tweeted’, Facebook-escalated ones… learn from your failures… failures are teaching situations, whose results are priceless learning opportunities. Probably that’s the great teaching moment/teaching opportunity gathered from these recent events: instead of criticizing [the performance] to our children/teenagers, let’s use it as a ‘live example’ during our family conversations. Let’s hear from our children what they think/perceive on the situation; what is their reaction and their un-bias judgment… and maybe, they could surprise us… maybe they may see things under a different, more rational perspective… Let’s hear from the kids, before we bash the young lady around with our not-so-nice words and pre-conceived ideas… Let’s not miss this one-of-a-kind teachable moment… ♥
Keep on living… keep on learning… 😮
11 thoughts on “Are we missing a teachable moment?”
Great points. I, too, hopes she looks back one day and reconsiders her actions.
Let’s just wait and see… right now, it’s purely an entertainment thing… the future will let us all know… Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comments – much appreciated!
well said…I imagine there have beeen many discussions among the adults…in fact…more than the younger generation…I do hope she rewatches this performance for herself…and contemplates on things she might have done differently!
Who knows… maybe she’s actually pleased with the so-called performance [?], and so are her managers/staff – they’ve gotten a lot of space in the recent media – very likely, way more than she was expecting when planned this ‘Madonna-like’ show… too sad, I say. Not artistic, to say the least. As somebody who’s experienced the 80s, I felt sorry when watching the performance. Not a dance, not a singing show… almost depressing, actually. I agree with you.. hopefully, later in life she’ll come back and ‘re-watch it with more mature eyes’… again, who knows? 😮 Thank you for taking the time to stop by and share your comments – much appreciated.
One can have enormous self-respect without necessarily conforming with the often ridiculous taboos built up by society. On the other hand, as social animals we need to respect that others have been brainwashed into these taboos. A fine line, indeed.
Very fine… almost impossible to describe between the ‘right and wrong’… it all comes down to each one’s personal call, personal values and their notion of respect. I try not to judge, but boy, it’s pretty hard not to! 😮
I think self respect is something that develops over time, in a safe, loving environment where a child feels loved, secure and able to be who they naturally are. Many children seem to be rushing through childhood too fast these days, being exposed to the adult world far too young. This is often the case with child stars like Miley and too often it results in young adults that don’t have a clear sense of their own identity, so in turn have a lack of self respect because they don’t know who they are or what they want out of life. I feel as parents it is very important that we protect our children’s childhood’s and, like you say show support and respect for our children so that they can develop their identity at a speed that is right for them. Then they can grow into adults who value themselves and others.
Thank you very much for your comments, Jessica. and I totally agree, which is actually pretty sad.. we [the society] have been responsible for ‘forcing’ young/innocent/directionless children/young adults into believing “they have to act in such a way, because it’s what society wants to see/perceive from them…’
I really agree with your statement – “it results in young adults that don’t have a clear sense of their own identity, so in turn have a lack of self respect because they don’t know who they are or what they want out of life.”
That’s what they’re missing – the clear sense of who they actually are, what they want, and not what ‘fans’ want from them, or what the ‘society’ is expecting them to act/perform like… they need to learn to be their own person, not a ‘public persona’ for the sake of ‘Facebook fans’, or anything like that…
Thanks for stopping by and sharing your much welcomed opinion! 😮