Your Grrrs Aug. 7, 2007: Bad Parenting Responses

Here are some of your responses to Mike Straka's last column on Hollywood's bad parenting...

Krista M. writes: I just wanted to say that I love reading your articles and so often do I agree with you! You lay it all out there no matter what! It's great! The parenting of today's Hollywood youth is appalling! My father also worked for UPS (in the '70s & '80s) ... his work ethic was something that I will forever be proud of and try to instill in my own children! They just don't raise people like they used to!

Dale writes: Lindsey Lohan’s father recently appeared on TV stating “There is nobody to help my daughter.” Excuse me, who fathered this child and allowed her to act the way she does? Don’t argue that her mother has allowed her to get out of control -- both parents are equally liable -- when one fails, the other has to step in, even to the point of taking legal action to obtain sole guardianship. Parents are the first line of care and defense of children. If you can’t take care of your kids by providing them love, discipline (tough love) and guidance, then don’t have any kids to begin with! Relying upon others is selfish and weak, to blame others is more so -- get a spine, be a parent!

S. England writes: Is there any way to get this article to those idiot “so-called mothers”?

Ryan D. writes: I think the "I am not on Lindsay's payroll" comment was a jab at Dina who as her manager makes millions off of her daughter. $500 a month from him to Dina is a little silly when Dina has a mansion and makes 10 percent of every dollar her daughter earns (and is trying to make her younger daughter a star for another 10 percent). If she cannot learn from Lindsay's problems, maybe she should take a look at the Jackson family -- look at how they turned out. Yes, he should be involved in his kids' lives and support them financially, since he has failed emotionally, but to Dina, $500 is pocket change. I don't think he was suggesting that Lindsay support her siblings ... I think he was trying to get at Dina, she too has failed to protect and teach her daughter in Hollywood, because she is too busy enjoying the perks and reaping her 10 percent. It is like Britney and Kevin -- who is the lesser of two evils? -- sad that these two people are these children's options.

Deborah B. writes: I agree 100 percent with you. Dina Lohan's statement that she parties with her daughter outrages me. What is the matter with these people? Instead of drinking and partying with her daughter, she should be teaching her how to live responsibly. I fear that Lindsay Lohan may be lost because of inadequate parenting. However, in the end, she is responsible for her own life. She knew the drinking age, she knew that driving drunk was a crime -- yet she (allegedly) did it anyway. Unless she changes her behavior, her friends and her lifestyle, she will never get any better. With the parents she has, I don't see that happening. They are far too fond of seeing themselves in the press.

Marsha P. writes: You are so right on, it is maddening. I could jump up and down and shout YAY! if it weren't so depressingly accurate...

Bryan S. writes: An absolutely great column about parental responsibility and raising our children by example. Hard-working parents that support, guide and discipline their kids have largely succeeded in their responsibilities as parents and can be proud of that success.

Jim R. writes: About time someone said it. Keep up the good work!

Don O. writes: All right, there are some very valid points in that article, however, I have to disagree with it. If Lindsay was 13 and acting out of control, then yes, I blame the parents, because a 13-year-old child cannot think for herself and is in need of a lot of guidance. A 21-year-old adult knows that drugs are dangerous, knows that drinking and driving is dangerous and one in the public eye knows that its is hazardous to her career. My point is, the parents' responsibilities end when their child reaches an age to make intelligent decisions for themselves. I'm 28, I wouldn't expect anyone to blame my parents if I got a DUI. Where do my parents fit in that equation? I moved out of my parents home 10 years ago, I know drinking and driving is wrong, if I get caught doing it, why would you blame my parents? Lindsay's problems are exactly that: Lindsay's problems. It's on her to get help and get better, if not, she'll perish. Bottom line: Adults take responsibility for their actions, everyone makes mistakes at some point, it's how you deal with those mistakes that makes you who you are. You either own up to what you've done and grow from it or you blame someone else and your troubles continue or get worse. If you can't be a grown-up and take responsibility for your actions, you get no sympathy from me, especially someone as privileged as a Hollywood star.

Jacqui B. writes: THANK YOU MIKE! I am a 32-year-old woman who was raised, in a broken family, with my father loving me, and telling me “You're worth it!” and both parents disciplining me according to my actions. Now, having been raised properly to be an upstanding, contributing member of society, I am often shocked and sickened by the behavior I see by other people in my generation. I see the bad behavior being passed along like family genes. I am so glad that someone else has seen this trend and [has a loud enough voice] to speak out and tell the truth…… it's all our fault!! And until we can take responsibility for our actions and behaviors our children and our future society will suffer.

A. Goodwin writes: You were right on target about the parents shirking their responsibility and letting their daughters run amok! I get sick when I see little girls dressed like Britney Spears or little strippers and their parents thinking it's cute. Little girls who dress like that become teenage girls and young adults who dress like that. And along with the dress comes the questionable actions. Thanks for telling it like it is!

Denise P-B writes: You are right on target. While certainly Lindsay has to take responsibility for her own actions, she has had terrible examples set for her by her parents. Every time I see a picture of Lindsay and her mother and together at a party I want to scream! And her father is a loser, plain and simple. Sad. Hope her younger siblings fare better, but it doesn't look good.

Candice T. in Pleasant Grove, Utah, writes: Thank you! I have two young girls and I hope they will grow up and say similar things about our family as you did about yours. Kudos for honoring your parents and simply being grateful! It isn’t easy to be a mom these days — it isn’t exactly the cool thing to do. I wouldn’t trade motherhood and the quiet joys that come with it for all the money and fame in the world. I hope I can protect my girls from Hollywood — I really don’t understand parents who would push their children into Hollywood. I feel sorry for the innocence that was lost in Lindsay long ago and I hope that she will have some kind of realization that none of what fame has to offer lasts. I wish that her parents would grasp onto the fact they ARE responsible for her but I doubt that will happen. Shameful, really.

Genee from Queens, N.Y.: You are so right, Mike. I have an 18-year-old daughter who is right on the mark. I am a single, no-child-support mom for the past 18 years. It all comes down to mom and dad. Good for you!!

Earl B. writes: I enjoyed your column on the acting out of Lindsey Lohan and the role of the parents in her situation. I am the father of a teenage girl. She thinks I'm nuts because I want know where she is going, whom she will be with and when she will be home. I expect her to call when she gets where she is going. If she leaves one kid's house to go to another I expect to be informed of the move. My wife and I like doing things for her but we are not afraid to tell her "no" when appropriate. Children need limits and boundaries. Setting them does not make a parent mean or "uncool." I believe my daughter will turn out fine. However, the attention paid to these Hollywood brats makes the job of normal, decent, hard-working parents around the nation even harder than it would otherwise be.

Roger writes: Everything today is about getting in the press: publicity, bad or good keeps performers in the news which sells CDs, movies, T-shirts etc. for all the big corporations. This has been going on for decades but the public just doesn't get it. "Pop stars" getting arrested is encouraged by their managers and by their record companies and is thoroughly DISGUSTING but a sad reflection on the media in this new disposable era we live in.

Raven H. writes: Question for Lindsay, Paris, Nicole and Britney: Why doesn't some one around them who cares for them (or at least their meal ticket) hire a D-R-I-V-E-R? I'm positive there are people out there who would consider it an honor to drive these girls around and be grateful for the JOB. The cost is minimal when compared to the bad publicity of DUIs and the value of human lives endangered by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Why, why, why, would these extremely privileged girls not use a driver?? It confounds me. GRRRR!

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