- Montana Fishburne, aka Chippy D, actor Laurence Fishburne’s daughter, getting into the pornography business.
- Nicole Richie, singer/songwriter Lionel Richie’s daughter, circa 2003-2007, high on heroin and pain meds, arrested and jailed.
- Maia Campbell, the late author Bebe Moore Campbell’s daughter, suffering from bipolar disorder, high on meth and allegedly prostituting herself.
We tend to believe that when a child ends up a young adult going down the wrong path, the first place to place the blame is on the parents. Chris Rock made this folk wisdom a funny platitude when he said that as a father, his only job was to “keep my daughter off the pole!” We tend to believe that who people grow up to be as adults is the direct product of the inputs of their parents. Those who turn to drugs, alcohol, prostitution, gambling and any of the other vices of the world are often thought of as children who weren’t loved enough, disciplined enough, paid attention to enough, protected enough, read to enough, sang to enough, just overall parented enough. The general idea is that lousy kids come from lousy parents.
Let’s face it: some people are going to grow up to be crackheads, meth-smokers, pimps and prostitutes no matter what kind of family they come from. Some people are going to lack self-control and self respect no matter how many times their parents told them they loved them, no matter how many times they were lovingly disciplined, no matter how many books were in their homes, no matter how organic their food was. Nasty adults come from families were the parents were the nicest people on the block, who hugged their kids all the time, limited their television watching, and didn’t allow violent video games in their homes.
The fact that you now are different from your siblings, and you grew up in the same house is evidence that parenting is not the end-all-be-all in how people turn out. There are so many other things going on, things we discuss on this blog all the time. And I’m sorry, this might make me lose cool points among you all, but I’m saying it – I’m not taking all the blame if my kids don’t turn out to be the greatest in the world. I’m doing my best, giving them most of what I’ve got. (Not all, cause we gotta save a bit for ourselves!)
I’m not saying that the Fishburnes and Richies and Campbells did all they could – I have no idea. But you probably don’t either. At the end of the day, if my kids end up as prostitutes, high on drugs, or in porn, it ain’t my fault.
What do you think? Do you blame the parents when you see young adults acting out? If your kids go down the wrong road, will you blame yourself?