I received a lot of comments on my “Dear Daughter, Let Miley Cyrus be a Lesson to You post, but none of them could have prepared me for what came through this evening.
A comment from an angry 13-year-old girl has me concerned. Here are the actual words she posted on my comment board:
I just like to say, when kids grow up they are alowed to do what they want if they want to be like miley cryus YOU CANT CONTROL YOUR DAUGHTER FOREVER and i just like to say im the same age as your daughter and i think you could have told you daughter this personaly not go out and imberess your daughter and “u dont have anything thing against miley” you should shutup an mind your own bussiness. i think you just did this just to get attention. Let me guess you also have some things to say about her new music video wreaking ball, well thats nice ur an adult not a child you dont need to gossip about it over the internet.
How do you respond to a child like this? My first instinct was to go with a “How dare you talk to an adult like that,” but I had to take a step back. Her attitude and anger certainly got my attention, but for reasons the young writer probably didn’t anticipate. I’m actually worried about this child, and I sense that she needs attention and guidance. After a few minutes of contemplation, I penned this response:
You unknowingly provided validation for why moms need to stop being friends and start being parents. I’m saddened that no loving adult ever taught you the appropriate way to disagree with others. You are entitled to your opinion, but you are not entitled to be disrespectful. That is not the mark of being “grown up,” that’s the mark of the immaturity that comes with being a 13-year-old child.
My daughter is not embarrassed; she is very proud her mom took a stand to protect her and girls like you. Yes Paige, you deserve to be loved enough to have someone teach you and protect you from the influences of Miley and other entertainers. Why? Because you’re too young to understand the consequences. Thanks to these stars, too many girls now think they have to show their bodies or act provocatively to get attention or they base their self worth on social media feedback. Too many adult women regret adopting Miley-style behavior in their youth because they hit some very real and painful consequences.
I sincerely hope there is a loving adult in your life who will take the time to love you and teach you to respect yourself and others. If no one in your life is willing or capable, please reach out to your school’s guidance counselor or a trusted teacher. My prayers are with you, kiddo.
Paige is probably going to hate me, but she needed to hear the truth and be reminded that she is valuable. I pray someone in her life reiterates this.
This is why I do what I do. This is why we need to be there for our daughters — and be there for the girls like Paige.