I've been reading a new blog, Stuff Christians Like. If you haven't read it, you should check it out. Good stuff. Jon, the author, humorously writes about the quirks of being a Christian.
I wrote Jon the other day and said, "You know what? Christians like Hannah Montana.
Before I go on, let me say that I have never met Miley Cyrus and I am sure she is a lovely girl...
At age fifteen, she's been labeled the new "good role model" for girls. (That's a huge weight to carry on a young teen's shoulders.)
But this isn't really about Miley. It's about a trend in entertainment for children, young girls specifically.
Take a close look at the television shows for kids today. The only shows targeting young kids feature young boys, not girls, in the starring roles. Even then, the young boys are portrayed as "heartthrobs."
Excluding animation, the most highly marketed movies for young kids, especially young girls, feature teen characters. Granted, the movies are considered "clean," but the characters are teenagers. We see clothing, linens, accessories, toys and more featuring these teenaged characters.
Why are teenagers the entertainment focus for elementary age kids? Why can't eight-year-old girls watch shows and movies about eight-year-old girls?
From that moment in the doctor's office when we discover we're expecting a girl, all we want to do is watch over her. After we get home with the sonogram, we read baby books, parenting magazines, and count the days until our little girl enters the world.
We fret over shots and ear infections. We worry about germs on the grocery cart.
We dress our baby girls in softly washed, cotton onesies from Baby Gap, teach them Spanish with Dora, and have tea with Cinderella.
All we want to do is protect her.
We make her wear a helmet when she rides her bike, buckle her up securely when she climbs in the van. We hold tightly to her tiny hand when she crosses the street; she looks up to us in wonder and security in the middle of a very frightening world.
Then one day, she changes. She's different, somehow.
We wonder, "When did she let go?"
The truth is that she never did.
Moms, we're letting the innocent, little fingers of our baby girls slip through our hands. In a world that is spinning out of control, we've got to hold them tight or they could be swept away.
So, what happens?
Sometimes outside influences permeate their impressionable Veggie Tales world. Sometimes they end up in the wrong crowd. But, what I am seeing from behind this laptop is a rapid progression of maturity from three-year-olds to thirteen-year-olds.
We need to let our little girls be little girls. Let them wear their princess pj's a little longer. Let them get their knees dirty. Let them dress up just to dress up. Let them have a boy friend and not label it "boyfriend." Let them be Little.
There are little girls acting like pop stars, pop stars acting like little girls, and young teens cutting, starving, hurting themselves and each other. There are six-year-old girls playing with dolls that look like street walkers and street walkers gaining fame from governors.
Young girls all over this country are cruising down a path of destruction and their mothers are driving them there in their minivans.
Moms, we've got to slow down.
Turn off the cell phone. Pull over the minivan. Turn around and take a look at the girl in the backseat. Is she growing up too fast?
To Miley Cyrus, I wish her the best success. I do. I hope she turns out differently, better than other teen idols who once danced in the same spotlight. And I pray that her own mom will hold her hand along the way. Tightly.
As for my own daughter having a role model, she already has one.