Of course, I found it appalling. A mother helped her daughter win two highly coveted tickets by inventing a tragic event in order to gain sympathy. The following quote was very telling:
"We did the essay and that's what we did to win," Priscilla Ceballos, the mother, said in an interview with Dallas TV station KDFW. "We did whatever we could do to win."It seems that the mother concocted the story that the girl's father was killed in Iraq, so they wrote about his death in the girl's essay, part of the procedure to win the tickets. Now the sponsor of the contest is "considering taking away the girl's tickets."
Of course they should take away the tickets. That's a no-brainer. But will they?
There was a day that hardly anyone would question that decision, but now the fact that they are only "considering" it reminds me of the hand-wringers out there who would wail about the girl's hurt feelings and her lost opportunity for fun, or that it was her mother's fault so the girl shouldn't be punished. What rubbish! If they let her go, they will forever imprint on the little girl's mind that the lie worked, and that she had the time of her life because of deceitfulness.
Did I mention that the girl is only six years old? I think the mother's lying amounts to child abuse. But, from what I can gather, the lying stands to reason. I have never seen the Hannah Montana show, and I likely never will, but isn't it about a girl who lives a double-life? Isn't she deceiving a lot of people as a plot device? I guess it's no wonder that some Hannah Montana fans have no problem with using deception. (Please don't post comments defending Hannah Montana. If they aren't relevant, I will probably delete them.)
On to another example. I was reading a book yesterday that gives parents advice regarding how to handle bad media influences. Part of it included interviews with parents asking how they instructed their children when they are at a friend's house and the friend suggests watching an inappropriate movie. One father said that he instructs his child to call him using a code phrase that lets him know the situation without the child having to tell him directly. Then he would go and pick up his child, telling the host family that he forgot about an important family issue, so the child would have to come home.
In other words, he would lie. And this was supposed to be a Christian father.
Why not say, "I'm taking my child home, because your child suggested watching a movie that we think is inappropriate. I don't want by child being exposed to influences like that. Yes, I know you can find an alternative, but the fact that your child would suggest this movie at all lets me know that my child shouldn't be over here."
Would I say that? If you doubt that I would, you don't know me very well. Would my child be embarrassed? Maybe. But he would never forget that his father tells the truth and protects his mind.
The father in the book I mentioned will teach his children that it's okay to lie as a way to avoid embarrassment, that it's fine to deceive in order to avoid watching a bad movie. Yet, this father would be filling his child's mind with something more dangerous than a video with some bad words or violence. He would plant in his mind a license to lie, and that will prove to be a far worse influence than the movie would have infused.
Do you ask someone to say you're not home in order to avoid a phone call? Do you call in sick when you're not? Do you tell someone you loved a Christmas gift when you didn't? These are all lies, and there is no good reason to tell them.
Parents, tell the truth. At the very least, say nothing. Just don't lie. Whether it's telling kids to believe in Santa Claus, or approving Hannah Montana's deceptions, or telling a "white lie" to avoid a difficult situation, you are not only corrupting yourselves, you are corrupting your children. They are watching, and they will learn to follow your lead.
I'm adding to my post, because one anonymous commenter tried to defend the Hannah Montana show. I researched the show further, and it is certainly something I would never let my kids watch. I have read song lyrics. Some are unacceptable. I watched a couple of Youtube excerpts of the show and concerts. She shakes her hips and struts in sexually provocative ways. She kisses boys on the lips, is obsessed with romance, and wears immodest clothing. How old is she? 13? 14? What a horrible role model!
When I see little girls screaming for a glimpse of their heroine, or parents standing in line in freezing weather to snatch up a ticket, I can tell what's going on--glorification of stardom. Fame for fame's sake. Idol worship.
Why would parents allow kids to watch programs with harmful content like this? Do they want their girls to become sexually provocative, hip-shaking harlots? I don't get it.