In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to discuss when dads corrupt their children instead of fathering them.
First a quick update:
“Children absorb your emotions”
Children learn three ways – they watch & copy, hear and repeat or believe what they hear, and make conclusions via their experiences. However, children also absorb emotions. Watch the video.
Now, let’s talk about when dads corrupt their children instead of fathering them.
Less than one week ago, CNN.com ran as its lead news story the arrest in Miami of pop star Justin Bieber for DUI, resisting arrest and driving with an expired license.
As absurd as it seems that CNN – a 24-hour news cable network and accompanying website would believe that the arrest of a teenage pop star is the most important event, above all of the other events that actually directly impact one’s life, this article is not about the details of that arrest.
It is, though, about the lessons that can be gleamed from the involvement and lack of involvement of fathers of young pop stars and celebrities, and, the subsequent destructive results.
Shockingly, it has been reported that Justin Bieber’s father, Jeremy Bieber was present and involved in the alleged drag racing incident in Miami that resulted in Justin Bieber being arrested for DUI and resisting arrest.
* Update – NBC news reported that Justin Bieber and his father were “extremely abusive” to a flight attendant such that she was forced to take refuge in a cockpit.
This prompts one to ask “What is the role of a parent?”
As a human behavior expert, this is a common question my clients pose to me.
The answer: The role of a parent is to raise a child to his or her full potential.
What does that involve?
Other than the obvious of food, water, shelter and love, raising a child to his or full potential requires consistency in setting limits and boundaries, providing guidance, direction and wisdom.
Jeremy Bieber, Justin’s father was reportedly in one of the SUVs that blocked off the residential street in Miami, at 4 AM while Justin and another man raced their cars.
Justin Bieber admitted to police that he had been drinking, smoking marijuana and taking prescription pills.
How could a father not be aware of this?
How could a father encourage and enable this behavior?
Instead of teaching and mentoring Justin, his father was leeching off his son; his father became the parasite and enabler to his son’s destructive behavior.
If you look at the photo of Jeremy Bieber and his son Justin posing together, it does not in any way reflect a father and son relationship. Instead, it is clear that the father is trying to look as cool, hip, young and fresh as the son – trying to create the teenage hip-hop attitude of superiority, arrogance and self-importance. The father is trying to get his son’s approval.
What is wrong with that?
It is simply another example of a father who wants to be best friends with his son and get his son’s approval; someone who wants to hang out and party with his son more than guiding him; someone who wants to be like his son, rather than raise his son with evolved values and purpose based on wisdom and insights.
Note that in California, Justin Bieber was accused by neighbors of hosting loud parties and speeding through the neighborhood of Calabasas – along with accusations that he egged a neighbor’s house, causing over $20,000 in damage.
Of course, it can be rightly argued that Justin’s behavior is typical of a teenager – albeit a teenager with a lot of money, power, freedom and extraordinary temptation.
And it is for that reason that every teenager needs a father (a strong role model and mentor) to guide and discipline him/her. And a teenager such as Justin who is subjected to the enticements and temptations of Hollywood and its parasites needs a father to teach him self-control and self-discipline.
Children also need role models that set boundaries between the child and the parent.
Jeremy Bieber, like Billy Ray Cyrus (father to Miley Cyrus), is yet another example of a parent who is more interested in partying and being best buddies with his child than he is being a real dad to his child; an example of someone who is seeking the approval of the child. Read my article “The dangers of being your child’s friend”.
Please do not confuse the message here; I am not saying a dad should not play ball, hang out with his son, do things together or be a companion. I am saying the dad should be the guide and mentor before trying to be his son’s best friend and trying to get his son’s approval. The father should be setting the boundaries rather than breaking them with his son.
Miley Cyrus came to Hollywood with her family after being baptized to protect them all from the evil temptations of Hollywood. But it turns out, Miley’s dad Billy Ray Cyrus now admits he made a big mistake.
Miley has completely lost her way and Christian values.
Aside of her controversial performance on the VMA awards, Miley has sung about and promoted the use of Ecstasy and Purple Drank/Sizzurp (a slang term for another recreational cocktail drug.).
Miley’s father wanted to be her best friend and now Billie Ray says he regrets trying to be her best pal instead of being a father. Read my article “Miley’s dad – big mistakes, bad parenting”.
(Note also the photo shoot that Billy Ray Cyrus did with Miley where they appear more like boyfriend and girlfriend than they do like father and daughter. Watch the video:
The same occurred with Lindsay Lohan: both of her parents (Dina and Michael) wanted to be best friends and hang out and party together with Lindsay.
The result is the same – Lindsay’s life has been a mess and she has wasted precious years struggling with addictions instead of living her full potential and contributing artistically to the world.
All of the above, Jeremy Bieber, Michael Lohan and Billy Ray Cyrus are examples of dads who are extraordinarily immature, selfish and narcissistic.
Parents are supposed to give to the child everything that he or she needs to blossom and realize his or her full potential; the parents are not meant to be the takers or bloodsuckers of the child’s fame, fortune or attention.
Parents are supposed to care for and protect their children – not corrupt them.
It can be argued that it is obvious in the case of Justin Bieber that his father, too, like the parents of Lindsay and Miley did not put first the child’s welfare.
How can a child learn, grow and evolve when the parent contributes to or is the problem instead of the solution?
Many parents will say “I am there for my child” without understanding what that truly means: to provide moral and emotional support, offer wisdom, understanding and guidance to help the child find purpose and meaning in life.
When there is no real meaning for life, a child becomes a hedonistic, self-absorbed and narcissistic person – a typically entitled Hollywood individual.
Glaringly, the real victim here is Justin Bieber whose life cannot change without drastic help, which, can’t come from either of his parents.
Finally, consider this: who was it that truly turned around the life of Britney Spears when it was crashing and burning?
In August 2007, a few months after shaving her head, Britney Spears revealed: “I am praying for my father. We have never had a good relationship. It’s sad that all the men that have been in my life do not know how to accept a real woman’s love. I am concentrating on my work and my life right now.”
A few months later, her father stepped in to stop Britney’s out of control behavior
A judge placed Britney under conservatorship of her father, Jamie Spears, giving him control of her career, personal life and finances
Unlike the other fathers mentioned above, Jamie Spears was not shown to be interested in posing in photos with Britney, nor trying to be hip, cool and accepted by other teenagers, nor trying to get massive amounts of publicity and interviews. Jamie Spears was not intent on being her best buddy or sidekick; he simply focused on being a real father and doing what is best for her welfare, helping his daughter to realize her full potential.
Finally, also read my article about the extraordinary impact that dads have on their daughters as documented in a study involving 10,000 students and another study that followed 820 girls for their entire childhood (pre-kindergarten to age 18).
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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”
Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist
Anointed “The Woman Expert” by WGN Chicago, Patrick Wanis PhD is a renowned Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert who developed SRTT therapy (Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique) and is teaching it to other practitioners. Wanis’ clientele ranges from celebrities and CEOs to housewives and teenagers. CNN, BBC, FOX News, MSNBC & major news outlets worldwide consult Wanis for his expert insights and analysis on sexuality, human behavior and women’s issues. Wanis is the first person ever to do hypnotherapy on national TV – on the Montel Williams show.